The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday January 30th

UNC softball splits final conference series of season against Syracuse

Brittany Pickett (28) throws a pitch during Game 3 against NC State on Monday, April 16.
Buy Photos Brittany Pickett (28) throws a pitch during Game 3 against NC State on Monday, April 16.

This past weekend, the North Carolina softball team (28-25, 15-8 ACC) split a two-game affair in New York against Syracuse (28-19, 9-12 ACC) in its final conference series of the regular season. 

The third game was scheduled as part of a Saturday doubleheader, but was canceled due to rain.

Game One

On Friday evening, the Tar Heels got things off to a good start in Syracuse with a 5-1 win over the Orange in the series opener.

After three and a half innings had passed and neither team had scored, Syracuse took charge in the bottom of the fourth, scoring the first run of the game on an RBI fielder's choice to take a 1-0 lead.

However, North Carolina did not let the Orange hold the lead for long. The Tar Heels exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth inning.

Redshirt first-year Kristina Burkhardt led off the inning with a walk. First-year Megan Dray then bunted the ball to the third baseman, who threw Burkhardt out at second.

After pinch-runner sophomore Hailey Cole stole second base, junior Destiny DeBerry singled up the middle of the field. Cole advanced to third base, and DeBerry then used her speed to the team’s advantage and advanced to second base on the throw in from the outfield.

With runners on second and third base, junior Leah Murray reached on a fielder’s choice and Cole scored to tie the score, 1-1.

Junior Kiani Ramsey was then up to bat, and she reached first base after Syracuse’s second baseman dropped her fly ball. Ramsey earned an RBI on the play after a poor throw allowed DeBerry to score and Ramsey to reach second. With runners on second and third base, the Tar Heels led the Orange, 2-1.

After senior Taylor Wike was called out on a caught foul ball, sophomore pitcher Brittany Pickett hit her sixth home run of the year over the left field wall, a three-run shot, to push UNC’s lead to 5-1.

Neither team scored again and Brittany Pickett earned her 26th win of the season on the mound. The victory was the Tar Heels' 15th conference win of the year. 

Game Two

On Saturday afternoon, Syracuse secured a shut-out victory against North Carolina, 1-0, to conclude the series.

With Pickett back in the circle pitching, the game was still scoreless headed into the bottom of the seventh inning.

It only took one batter for Syracuse to end the game. Rachel Burkhardt hit a walk-off home run over the center field wall on her senior day to secure a 1-0 Orange win.

North Carolina’s Burkhardt went 2-for-3 at the plate and Pickett tallied three strikeouts on the mound en route to her 29th complete game of the season, but it was not enough for the Tar Heels to come out on top.

Due to bad weather, UNC did not have a chance to take the series as the final game of the weekend was canceled.

North Carolina will end the regular season on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Chapel Hill against Campbell on Senior Night.


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