“I think Kendra’s a really effective pitcher because she throws well but she understands the game,” said junior catcher Jillian Ferraro. “… And so I think for her that’s huge is that she places the ball really well and that makes it really hard for hitters, especially as they get deeper into the count.”
In the 8 1/3 innings she pitched in the doubleheader, Lynch did not allow any runs. She totaled three strikeouts, two walks and was named the winning pitcher in both games.
But she wasn’t done.
Right after her strikeout in the fourth inning, Lynch stepped up to bat and opened UNC’s quest to capture the lead.
“I was just relaxed,” Lynch said. “I felt good at the plate today, so I didn’t really think anything about it to try to do too much. I just kind of stayed loose and confident at the plate.”
Out of her calm confidence came an explosion. Lynch drilled the ball over the right field wall for a home run — UNC’s first of the day and Lynch’s first of the season — and the Tar Heels took a 5-4 edge.
“That was huge. I mean, that totally swung the game around. …” Coach Donna Papa said. “That was a big swing right there, shutting them down and then coming back in and taking care of business up at the plate.”
Against the Hoyas (2-10), North Carolina encountered some early trouble, failing to get a hit in the first three innings. As UNC navigated roadblocks in scoring, Lynch held Georgetown scoreless to keep the game tied.
Then Lynch came through again in the fourth inning, with the team's first hit of the game. Her pinch runner went on to score UNC’s first run, and her teammates followed her lead, scoring five runs in that inning before Lynch came to bat one final time.
She sent the ball cruising over the field until it disappeared behind the fence. For the second time that day, Lynch trotted around the bases and leaped into a dog pile of cheering teammates at home plate. The three-run homer locked in an 8-0 victory for the Tar Heels.
“Every time she goes out there, she’s gaining more and more confidence,” Papa said. “And she’s getting, you know, in different situations every single time, whether they’re pressure situations or just going out there and being able to get the lead off. …"
"And every time she comes out on the other side of it, which she has lately, it’s going to help her as we go forward.”