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The Daily Tar Heel

Lauren Fuller does it all in UNC softball's Sunday sweep of Louisville

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the original headline of this article misspelled Lauren Fuller's name. The headline has been updated to reflect these changes.

Lauren Fuller batted in four runs on Sunday while also recording a win and a save on the mound. 

All in a day's work for the senior pitcher for the North Carolina softball team.

Against all odds and with some luck, Fuller became the hero of a Sunday morning doubleheader against Louisville. In the first game on Sunday, North Carolina's defense allowed three errors which led to five earned runs being charged to Fuller. 

“My defense was a little shaky at the start but they pulled it together at the end when it mattered,” Fuller said after Sunday’s first game.

Fuller made up for her team's mistakes, recording four strikeouts in seven full innings. Fuller earned the win when first-year third baseman Berlynne Delamora hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

The second game of the doubleheader saw Fuller take a completely different role for the Tar Heels. With junior Kendra Lynch in the circle, Fuller took over the designated player spot in the batting order. Fuller recorded three hits in the game and drove in four runs. 

Despite a great day at the plate, Fuller's hits may have come due to an anomaly. All three were a product of the sun at Anderson Field getting into the Louisville fielder’s eyes. Fuller says luck may have been on her side.

“I didn’t have the best hits, but they found a way to fall in there,” Fuller said. “The sun can be pretty rough out there. Their outfield was pretty deep so we found a way to find a hole.”

Even with her four RBIs, Fuller needed to save her team on the mound in the seventh inning. She came in to relieve Lynch in the last inning with the Tar Heels up by two runs. She entered a situation with no outs and two Cardinals on base. 

After walking the first batter, Fuller shut down the Cardinals' batters to record the save. The pressure of the situation never phased the senior. 

“That’s a position I’m used to, so I just normally come in at the end and just work to get ground balls,” Fuller said.

Lynch was thankful for Fuller's relief pitching, which got the Tar Heels out of a jam.

“Lauren stepped up all day today,” Lynch said. “She stepped up when the team needed her the most so I’m really proud of her. She especially picked me up when I needed her.”

Fuller’s resilient performance in both games has made Coach Donna Papa consider using her more as the season progresses. Lynch has pitched in 36 of UNC’s 37 games on the season and Papa says Fuller could step up as a more consistent starter. 

“We definitely need to use her more,” she said. “She showed today again that she deserves to see more time.”


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