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Charlotte’s Dynamic Duo Earns National Recognition In Softball America Rankings

The Charlotte 49ers are making a significant splash in the college softball landscape, as two of their standout juniors, Sam Gress and Ella Chancey, have been thrust into the national spotlight. Softball America’s latest rankings have placed these two athletes among the elite, heralding a season brimming with potential for the 49ers.

Sam Gress, a force to be reckoned with on the mound, has clinched the 78th spot in the prestigious Preseason Top 100 Player List. Gress, hailing from Harrisburg, Pa., is coming off an absolutely stellar debut season with Charlotte. Her record was an impressive 21-12, complemented by a razor-thin 1.92 ERA across 35 starts. She’s not just a workhorse; she’s a strikeout artist, amassing 137 K’s in over 200 innings. Gress’s 2023 season was adorned with accolades: Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, First Team All-Conference USA, and an NFCA First Team All-Region selection. She’s a pitcher that batters fear and teammates revere.

On the hot corner, Ella Chancey has been named the 10th-best third baseman in the nation, a testament to her prowess in the infield and her power at the plate. Chancey’s sophomore year was a showcase of consistency and power. Starting all 58 games for the Niners, she blasted nine home runs and racked up 24 RBI. But it was in the pressure cooker of the NCAA Regional game against Campbell on May 20 that Chancey truly shined, smashing a pivotal go-ahead two-run homer to vault Charlotte into the Regional Final against Duke. Her postseason performance was nothing short of stellar, going 5-for-12 with four RBI in four games.

Chancey’s freshman year set the tone for her explosive college career. She hit a blistering .348, with 11 homers and 38 RBI, smashing the CLT freshman single-season records in both power categories. Her achievements didn’t go unnoticed, as she was named to the Conference USA Second Team and the Freshman All-Conference list.

As the 2024 season dawns, the spotlight is squarely on these two Charlotte juggernauts. Gress, with her dominating presence on the mound, and Chancey, with her explosive bat and rock-solid defense, are poised to lead the 49ers into what could be their most exciting season yet. With national recognition already in their pocket, the stage is set for Gress and Chancey to turn these accolades into a season of unforgettable performances. For Charlotte softball fans, it’s time to buckle up for a thrilling ride!

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