Current Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 05:19:42 -0400
After a disheartening 2-5 start to the season, it looked like the North Carolina softball team was about to turn things around Tuesday.
The Tar Heels had put together three hits, and sophomore Kristen Brown had just blasted a homer over Cal State Fullerton’s fence in the opening minutes of the matchup.
Then the top of the first inning ended.
UNC would not lead again.
Fullerton answered right back in the bottom of the first with a home run of its own, a three-run shot by shortstop Gabby Aragon en route to a 9-3 win.
“Fullerton definitely capitalized on our pitching mistakes,” coach Donna Papa said. “They put runners on base and hit them along. We had opportunities to score early, and especially when you’re on the road, you need to score as many runs as you can. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we gave ourselves.”
The Titans went on to score four runs on just three hits in the third, increasing their lead to six.
“It was possible that we could come back, but I think after (the third inning) it started going downhill from there,” redshirt sophomore first baseman Jenna Kelly said. “When they score, we have to answer back right away. We can’t just wait until the last minute.”
UNC did score another run in the sixth, but the Titans scored two more in the same inning and the deficit proved to be too difficult for the team to overcome.
The Tar Heels, who have now lost three straight games, have struggled to find their rhythm thus far this season.
“This is definitely one of the slowest starts in years since I’ve been here,” Papa said. “We’re hoping we can turn things around sooner than later.”
Brown is confident the team can do just that.
“We’re one swing away from getting hot, and we just need to keep coming together and being strong and supporting each other,” she said. “We’re gonna get there. Next game, next hit, we’re gonna get there.”