The North Carolina softball team (16-12, 6-3 ACC) lost the final game of an ACC series against Georgia Tech (22-12, 5-4 ACC), falling 3-2 to the Yellow Jackets.
The Tar Heels were unable to gain the redemption they sought after Saturday’s loss. Despite strong pitching and fielding, UNC could not come out on top after giving up two home runs.
UNC took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, with hits from seniors Leah Murray and Berlynne Delamora. In the top of the third, the Yellow Jackets crushed a home run to left field, putting themselves on the map.
In the next inning, Georgia Tech took the lead with a two-run homer, making the score 3-2.
Neither team was heard from again after the top of the fourth, and the game became a pitcher’s duel between the Tar Heels' junior pitcher Brittany Pickett and Yellow Jacket Morgan Bruce. UNC and Georgia Tech played solid defense, making efficient plays in the field for the rest of the game.
The final score stood at 3-2 for Georgia Tech, giving them not only a win today, but the victory in the ACC series.
Who stood out?
In the top of the seventh inning, first-year Abby Settlemyre made a thrilling dive for a fly ball in centerfield. Her catch marked the third out in the top of the seventh, ending UNC’s time in the field for the day.
The hit by Delamora that scored two was also a bright spot, even though the Tar Heels lost the lead in the fourth inning.
When was it decided?
Although the game was close in its entirety, it was decided by GT’s homerun to take the lead in the fourth. Pickett said that UNC knew Georgia Tech was a big-hitting team; the Tar Heels could not match this strength.
Why does it matter?
This weekend marks UNC’s first ACC series loss of the season, after beating Duke and Boston College. However, associate head coach Mary Jo Firnbach said the team is focused on one game at a time.
“We’re not trying to look as far as with the conference,” Firnbach said. “We’re worried about ECU now and making some adjustments, so we’re better and better prepared for when we go into that game on Wednesday.”
Firnbach also said that the team will look to focus on hitting and being less hesitant at bat, but instead taking charge of the game.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels go on the road on Wednesday, March 27, traveling to Greenville, N.C. where they will face ECU at 5 pm.
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