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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels take five to kickoff new season

Junior Emily Troup slides safely into home during one of UNC's five games this weekend. The Tar Heels won all five contests.

The North Carolina softball team jumped off to a blistering start this season" winning the Carolina Classic and twice shattering the all-time scoring record.

The Tar Heels (5-0) claimed the Classic title Sunday with a 5-2 victory against East Carolina. But Friday and Saturday's games were when UNC did the most damage.

""We felt like for us to be a contender" our offense really had to improve North Carolina coach Donna Papa said. We spent 80 percent of our fall really working to improve that" so I was pleased with the runs that we put on the board.""

The offense came with a vengeance. Friday" the squad dismantled George Washington 21-1 setting a Tar Heel record for most runs scored.

But the Tar Heels were not content. The team returned to action Saturday afternoon" topping N.C. Central 24-0 and breaking the record for the second time in 24 hours.

""We did such a good job in staying focused in our at-bats and not worrying about who we were playing or what the score was"" Papa said.

It's very easy when you get a big lead just to go up there and not be very focused on what we're doing.""

UNC junior Emily Troup earned tournament MVP honors. Troup hit 8-16" putting up two doubles seven RBIs" nine runs and a home run.

""Honestly" I didn't even think about it. I was just trying to help the team out and hit the ball Troup said.

We worked really hard in the offseason and took a lot of reps. Our team collectively really hit the ball well in the fall" and we carried it into the first tournament.""

Tar Heel right-hander Amber Johnson" who earned her first victory of the season against Kent State" allowed only three runs in her first two starts.

Johnson was one of five Tar Heels to garner post-tournament honors.

Johnson was the beneficiary of a major confidence boost on the mound with some colossal run-support.

""It's huge" Johnson said. If we have a run I feel 10 times better. More than one is nice" but it definitely helps a lot.""

In early tournament play" UNC defeated East Carolina 5-1 Friday and scored a victory against Kent State on Saturday" winning 6-3.

""I was really pleased with what we did this weekend" Papa said. One of our goals going in was to really establish ourselves in a different way than we have in the past" and I felt like going into the season we had a lot more offensive power.

""It was exciting and things just happened. I thought we controlled a lot at the plate.""

The Tar Heels will look to continue the momentum when the team travels to UNC-Wilmington for a doubleheader Wednesday.

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