UNC softball splits series with Georgia Tech
It was a game of early domination, and then it was a game with the potential of a late comeback. It was a game of prominent pitching prowess, and then it was a game of walks and double-digit hits.
In a doubleheader best described as a tale of two games for the North Carolina softball team Sunday, the Tar Heels recorded a 7-1 win, and later that afternoon, an 8-5 loss.
“The first game we just had a great mentality and went out and just attacked the ball,” coach Donna Papa said. “In game two, that was Georgia Tech.”
Early in the first game, UNC showed flashes of a problem the team has been dealing with all season. The Tar Heels managed to load the bases with no outs but failed to bring a run home.
In the second inning, the Tar Heels again found themselves in position to pull ahead of the Yellow Jackets.
Leadoff batter Jenna Kelly doubled off the rightfield wall, but the next two batters both popped out without advancing her. And, even with a two-out Elisha Elliott single, it seemed that UNC might leave yet another runner in scoring position.
Kristen Brown, however, would make sure her Tar Heels did not let that happen.
Brown sent a rocket clear over the centerfield wall on the first pitch of the at-bat, prompting the stadium announcer to dub her “Downtown Kristen Brown.”
“I really liked the first pitch,” Brown said. “So the first good pitch I saw, I drove it.”
It proved to be all the offense UNC needed, as junior ace Lori Spingola would only give up one run in her complete game. The Tar Heels added four more runs to accompany 12 total hits in the game.
But once the second game of the night was underway, the dominating team that had put away game one disappeared with the setting sun.
UNC was held hitless through three innings while the Yellow Jackets flew to a 6-0 lead.
Brown again gave life to UNC’s offense with two more home runs, but while those gave hope to the Tar Heel faithful, they were not enough to overcome the deficit.
“Both teams that got ahead wound up winning the game,” Papa said. “It just creates a different mentality and how you play.”
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