Kalie Lang is one of four seniors that will be honored today. (photo from Charlotte49ers.com)

Charlotte 49ers softball: So long, seniors

It hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Charlotte 49ers softball team.  But the current group of seniors that will be sent off today–Bri Gwaltney, Lindsey Holloman, Kalie Lang and Jessica Stamey–certainly have some memories to share from their years donning the Green and White.

Let’s start with Gwaltney, the team’s all-time leader in home runs with 35 (next closest is current assistant Kristi Painter with 20).  The California native showed some power in her freshman campaign, hitting four bombs–with a .277 average to go along with it.  Her sophomore year was even better, as she hit 10 homers and brought in 40 RBIs while hitting .297.  Then came her breakout junior year. Fourteen homers (a single-season record), 40 RBI, 52 hits, .608 SLG%–all best on the team.  A .308 batting average–second on the team.  She’s picking up where she left off (.321, 7 HR, 45 hits) as her college career winds down, after which she’ll be regarded as one of the top power hitters in program history.

It’s been a little tougher road for Holloman.  As a freshman, she hit only .203, followed by a .143 campaign as a sophomore and a .224 mark last season.  But she’s come on stronger as a senior, batting .300 with 21 hits and 14 RBIs.  While she hasn’t enjoyed the same success as Gwaltney, it’s good to see her have blossomed into a strong hitter this season.

Joining the team in 2011 as a JUCO transfer, Lang hit five homers as a sophomore and three as a junior.  Currently, the Ardrey Kell standout has six bombs, third on the team, and while the average hasn’t exactly been there (.243 thus far this season), she has asserted herself as a power threat and a consistent run producer (34 RBI in 2011, 28 last year and 25 so far this year).  She’s also been called upon to step into the circle for the Niners, where she’s 2-1 with a 7.99 ERA this season. (By the way, you haven’t seen the last of the Langs on this campus–younger brother Brett, a redshirt freshman for the baseball team, is enjoying a solid season.)

Finally, there’s Stamey, who has worked her way into the lineup as a consistent starter over the past few years.  Right now, the Butler grad is hitting .268 with 16 RBI and 30 hits in 2013 (her .268 batting average would be a career high if the season ended right now), and while she doesn’t have the power that Gwaltney and Lang have brought to the lineup, her presence at 3rd base will certainly be missed going forward.

While the last chance to see this senior foursome at home will be Tuesday afternoon against local rival Winthrop, they’ll be honored this afternoon as they take on Butler in a must-win league doubleheader.  Although their home season is coming to an end, these ladies are still fighting hard to get into the A-10 tournament.  Hopefully, for them, they’ve got a few more games ahead of them.

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