The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday January 24th

UNC softball exacts revenge on UNC-Greensboro

On this exact day three weeks ago, UNC-Greensboro snapped the North Carolina softball team’s 11-game winning streak. On Wednesday, UNC got its revenge.

The Tar Heels (27-8, 8-2 ACC) shut out the Spartans (20-14, 3-0 SoCon) in a 2-0 rematch.

What happened?

First-year lefty Brittany Pickett began the game by striking out two of the first four batters she faced. She set the stage for Leah Murray, who hit a lead-off single for UNC on the team’s first at-bat of the game.

The sophomore right fielder promptly stole second, and senior Kendra Lynch hit her 44th RBI of the season to bring Murray home.

UNC’s 1-0 lead remained untouched for the next two innings. Both teams went three up three down in the second, and North Carolina went three up three down again in the third.

The Spartans had a chance to make some noise in the top of the fourth, when two singles put runners on second and third. But sophomore pitcher Sydney Matzko forced a groundout on the next at-bat and blocked UNCG’s scoring bid.

The bottom of the fourth saw the game’s only other score. Sophomore third baseman Berlynne Delamora lead off for North Carolina. Her first swing was a miss.

Her second connected. The ball just snuck over Anderson Stadium’s left-field wall, and the Tar Heels had doubled their lead.

UNCG missed another opportunity with two runners left on base in the fifth. Lynch — the fifth pitcher North Carolina used in the game — subbed in for the last two innings.

She struck out the Jasmine Palmer, the last batter she faced, to preserve UNC’s shutout and victory.

Who stood out?

Murray and Delamora scored the only two runs of the game.

Even though the Spartans outhit the Tar Heels six to four, UNC was able to capitalize on the few it had. The same couldn’t be said for UNCG, which left seven runners on base.

When was it decided?

Delamora’s home run broke a game scoring drought that had lasted 2 1/2 innings.

It took a 1-0 lead to a 2-0 lead. Neither is ideal, but UNC’s defense held onto its cushion. After Delamora’s score came 2 1/2 more scoreless innings and a Tar Heel victory.

Why does it matter?

UNCG’s 6-3 win over UNC on Mar. 8 was its first against North Carolina since 2011. It was also the first for head coach Janelle Breneman, who spent six years as an assistant coach for UNC’s head coach, Donna Papa.

Wednesday’s win was retribution for the earlier loss. It was also a nice bounce-back after an 8-7 home loss to N.C. State last Sunday.

When do they play next?

North Carolina will play conference opponent Virginia in a three-game home series this weekend. The first game is on Friday at 7 p.m.

@chapelfowler

sports@dailytarheel.com

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