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Tuesday March 21st

UNC softball ends three game losing skid, sweeps Virginia Tech

<p>UNC freshman Sierra Parkinson swings &nbsp;in a game versus UNC-G on April 4 in Anderson Stadium.&nbsp;</p>
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UNC freshman Sierra Parkinson swings  in a game versus UNC-G on April 4 in Anderson Stadium. 

The North Carolina softball team swept its weekend series against Virginia Tech, winning 2-1 and 10-2 on Friday, then closing out the series with a 4-3 extra-inning win on Sunday afternoon.

Game One

The Tar Heels (22-19, 11-4 ACC) kicked off their three game series with a doubleheader on Friday evening — starting slow, then coming back for the win. 

Virginia Tech jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after its pitcher, Carrie Eberle, launched a first pitch home run to left field. After the go-ahead home run, both sides endured offensive struggles. 

Going into the sixth inning, both teams only had three hits apiece all game and no one had scored again. However, North Carolina’s fortunes would soon change.

After a leadoff double from Kristina Burkhardt, a single from catcher Katie Bailiff put runners on first and third with no outs. Then, Berlynne Delamora grounded out to tie the game and Sierra Parkinson single brought home another for a 2-1 lead.

Sophomore Brittany Pickett shut down the Hokies in the seventh, a three up, three down inning to secure a 2-1 victory, North Carolina's first in four games.

Game Two

The backend of the doubleheader brought much more scoring for UNC — including a six-run second inning enroute to a 10-2 win.

Virginia Tech took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but it would not keep it for long. 

After two batters were hit by pitches and another drew a four-pitch walk, the Tar Heels loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Hailey Cole, who was on third, stole home for the first run, then First-year Megan Dray singled to bring another runner home. 

North Carolina tacked on four more run in the inning, including a two-run double by Burkhardt. 

The Hokies responded with one run of their own in the third inning, but they wouldn’t get any closer than that. A grand slam by junior Kiani Ramsey gave the Tar Heels a 10-2 lead in the fourth inning and Pickett shut out the Hokies to capture a five inning victory. 

Game Three

North Carolina completed its three game sweep on Sunday afternoon with an extra-inning walk off victory.

The Tar Heels took an early lead in the first inning after a two out rally. Burkhardt drew a full count walk and stole second base before coming home on an error. A second runner came home in the inning on another error by the Hokies and UNC led 2-0 despite having no hits.

Virginia Tech responded in the second inning when Taylor Clark blasted a two-run moonshot over the scoreboard in left field to tie the game at two apiece.

Despite the fast start for both teams, the bats cooled off in the following innings. Through the next five innings, the two teams combined for five hits total. 

In the top of the eighth, the tie was broken. Virginia Tech shortstop Caitlyn Nolan nailed a first pitch home run to left field, giving the Hokies a 3-2 lead.

North Carolina, though, wasn't done either.

In the bottom of the inning, the Tar Heels advanced runners to second and third with only one out. After a groundout and a walk, the Tar Heels were faced with bases loaded with two outs as Sierra Parkinson stepped up to the plate. Parkinson hit a first pitch single up the middle, bringing home two runners to close out the series.    

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