The offense gave the defense some room to breathe midway through the game with some big hits from senior Taylor Wike and Katelyn Shifflett. Wike led off the fourth inning with a home run to jumpstart a four run scoring tear.
In the seventh inning, Katelyn Shifflett hit her own home run for another three run scoring spurt, which was more than enough to close out the game. The Spartans scored just two runs, unable to move the runners all the way around the bases until the sixth and seventh innings.
Papa emphasized how important it was that the Tar Heels scored late in the game, a good sign for a team that has had some trouble so far this season.
In a doubleheader, no matter what happened in the first game, the pressure is on for the next one.
“Either way the pressure is on for the second game,” Papa said.
The Tar Heels withstood the pressure, and the defense held strong for a 3-0 win and the sweep.
It took until the final inning for the Tar Heels to score, but holding the Spartans scoreless all game turned out to be the difference. After a complete first game, Pickett delivered again with two one-two-three innings and two strikeouts.
Offensively, the Tar Heels grinded out three runs in the seventh inning, then held off their opponent in the bottom of the inning to close it out. Wike and Katie Bailiff had a pair of hits each, but it was Zoe Goodman who started the scoring. Her double down the line brought in the first run of the game in the midst of the three run inning, eventually becoming the winning one.
The sweep could not have come at a better time for the Tar Heels, before they take on No. 28 Notre Dame in a three-game series this weekend. The key series could be a moment for the team to turn the season around.
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