In this weekend’s series finale, which marked a celebration of shortstop Ally Blake’s four-year career, the senior came through with a 10th inning walk-off home run to give the No. 24 North Carolina softball team the sweep against N.C. State — its second consecutive ACC series sweep.
Having outscored the Wolfpack 13-0 in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Tar Heels had high hopes to similarly perform in Sunday’s “Ally Blake Day” game. Each of this year’s three seniors will be recognized at different home ACC series.
However, N.C. State came to play with a chip on its shoulder, recording six hits on UNC starting pitcher Lori Spingola and taking the game into 10 innings.
Fortunately for UNC, in the bottom of the 10th, Blake confidently approached the plate despite struggling with her bat and committing a costly error in the top of the fifth that tied the game at 2-2. Nevertheless, with one out and the game on the line, she blasted a solo walk-off homer to center field, giving UNC the 3-2 win and 3-0 series sweep.
“Before my at-bat, coach told me to relax, that I was a great ball player and that in that situation she wanted me up there,” Blake said. “And even though I had made some mistakes in the game, it felt good to have her behind me.”