In a nail-biting 10 inning game on Wednesday in Chapel Hill, the North Carolina softball team (19-19, 8-4 ACC) lost 4-3 to UNC-G (29-7, 6-0 SoCON).
UNC moved out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Kristina Burkhardt doubled down the left field line to score Taylor Wike and Leah Murray, who both walked to get on base. On the play, Murray slid into home and injured her leg and didn’t return to action the rest of the game.
It might have taken UNCG four innings to finally post a number on the scoreboard, but once they scored, they did so in a big way. With two outs, the Spartans tripled down the right field line, then followed with a two-run home run to center of the field to take the lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tar Heels' Zoe Goodman responded with a sacrifice fly that sent Kiani Ramsey home.
The rest of the game became a pitchers duel. The score remained tied until the top of the 10th inning, when UNCG worked a few singles — ultimately claiming the go-ahead run with an RBI single to center field. In the bottom of the 10th, the Tar Heels could not put a response together, dropping their third straight game.
Who stood out?
For North Carolina, Brittany Pickett pitched a complete game, her 17th of the season, giving up four runs and eight hits and striking out seven. She was nearly unhittable for most of the day and had a strong outing — aside from the home run she gave up in the fourth inning.
Pickett has pitched most of UNC’s innings this season and has an impressive 17-6 record as the starter. In comparison, the other pitchers on the roster have a combined record of 2-13.
When was it decided?
Each team had its ups and downs throughout the afternoon and the game could have gone either way in moments and wasn't truly decided until the last play. ,
In the 10th inning, UNC had a few mental errors, including miscommunication on a bunt that gave up a run. When the team couldn't respond with Wike in scoring position, it was all over.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina has now lost three straight games. While this wasn’t a conference game, it was still an opportunity to end the skid by beating a team on a 14-game winning streak to stay above .500.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be back in action on Friday night at 6 p.m. in Chapel Hill against Virginia Tech.
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