In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, North Carolina (11-9, 2-1 ACC) softball trounced Duke, 8-1. The Tar Heels could not repeat their success and dropped the second outing, 2-1. But UNC still earned a series victory over the Blue Devils (10-14, 1-2).
Following a scoreless first inning, the Tar Heels took an early 3-0 lead at the bottom of the second, with Hailey Cole, Kristina Burkhardt and Hannah George scoring on successive plays. North Carolina continued to increase its lead to 4-0 with a single from first-year Abby Settlemyre in the fourth inning.
At the bottom of the fourth, Duke’s Raine Wilson batted a single through the left side, giving the Blue Devils their first run from Rachel Abboud. However errors costed the Blue Devils — they had already recorded three — and UNC maintained its lead.
In the seventh inning, the Tar Heels rattled off four runs. North Carolina’s Destiny DeBerry tripled to a defensive hole in right field, and Megan Dray extended the Tar Heel lead to 5-1 with a run. Soon after, DeBerry added a run herself from a single from Burkhardt. Campbell Hutcherson singled to second base, driving in both Lexi Godwin and Burkhardt to make the score 8-1.
In the first inning, Duke’s Kristina Foreman hit a line drive to left field. North Carolina’s DeBerry dove but could not grab hold of the ball, giving the Blue Devils two runs from Deja Davis and Rachel Abboud.
In the second inning, the Tar Heels answered back with a home run from senior Berlynne Delamora. After four consecutive scoreless innings, the Devils led, 2-1, at the bottom of the sixth. The Tar Heels couldn’t find success on offense, with only three hits all game. George struck out for the last out of the seventh inning, solidifying the win for the Blue Devils in front of their home crowd. Duke pitcher Brianna Butler lept instantly and threw off her helmet in celebration.