A strong start wasn't enough for the North Carolina softball team, as an early 1-0 lead after three innings turned to a 9-1 loss at South Carolina on Wednesday at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C.
The Tar Heels (2-4) started off strong against the Gamecocks (4-1), with reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Kendra Lynch striking out 2015 First-Team All-American Alaynie Page on her way to a no-hit first inning. Lynch later tripled in the second and first-year pinch runner Kiana Sherlund scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead.
That lead would hold until the bottom of the fourth, when a South Carolina leadoff double followed by a single led to a two-on, no-out situation. Lynch drew a comebacker to the mound, but the junior threw the ball home in the dirt, allowing two runs to score.
“We kind of self-destructed after that,” Coach Donna Papa said.
South Carolina followed up with a double and a single, and after a UNC pitching change, the Gamecocks scored on a squeeze bunt to take a 4-1 lead. Another RBI single and an unearned run from third on an attempted double play to give South Carolina a 6-1 lead heading into the fifth inning.