“Sometimes you have to grit out a win, and we did,” Coach Donna Papa said. “I thought that we played great defense (Friday). I thought that we were really solid. Kendra did a great job.”
The Bulldogs countered with a run of their own in the top of the seventh inning, momentarily threatening a comeback.
With one out, Lynch allowed a runner to reach first base on a hit-by-pitch. A ground out and a stolen base later, a Butler single gave the Bulldogs their only run.
“I’m very upset I gave up a run in the last inning,” Lynch said. “I’m very upset about that. I wasn’t sharp to finish, and I just gave up too many hard hits.”
Missed opportunities didn’t end up haunting UNC, but they could have. In the first inning, the Tar Heels stranded Wike and Mateen on third and second base, respectively. The bottom of the third inning left Mateen stranded yet again.
“The first three innings we had runners on scoring position and we didn’t do anything with it,” Papa said. “Our hitters started to come on later in the game and we just didn’t make adjustments early enough (Friday) at the times we needed them.”
“I knew it was going to come. We just had to put it together and get good pitch selection at the plate, and I feel like our hitters fought through all of that and zoned in on their pitch and got it done.” — Mateen on UNC finally scoring.
With her three hits Friday, Mateen is leading the team with a .444 average and is also leading the team this season with 16 hits. She also had a stolen base in the game.
Three numbers that matter
0: Lynch walked zero batters.
7: The Tar Heels tallied seven hits, compared to Butler’s five.
48: Lynch has pitched 48 innings this season, 27 more than UNC’s other starting pitcher, Sydney Matzko.
UNC hosts IUPUI at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Anderson Softball Stadium for the second day of the Carolina Classic.