The North Carolina softball team’s bats came alive on Sunday in the fifth and sixth innings, giving UNC a much-needed 9-2 victory over Illinois at Anderson Softball Stadium.
The win left the Tar Heels with a 2-2 record for the weekend in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge after they lost both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Illinois (5-4) opened the scoring with an RBI single by Remeny Perez in the fourth inning, giving the team a 1-0 lead. That lead lasted all of a few minutes before UNC (4-6) turned its focus to the plate. Tracy Chandless evened the score for North Carolina with a leadoff solo home run to start the fifth inning.
“I think when Tracy got that home run, that was big,” Coach Donna Papa said. “Once that door opens, it’s like everybody breathes.”
The Tar Heels strung together seven hits in the fifth inning. Senior Aquilla Mateen’s RBI double gave UNC a 2-1 lead before two-time All-ACC first-team shortstop Kristen Brown launched a two-run home run into the trees behind the left field fence.