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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball takes down Duke, 4-2, in series opener Friday for fourth straight win

Kiani Ramsey team celebration
The UNC women's softball team welcomes junior outfielder Kiani Ramsey (8) to the home plate after she hit a home-run during UNC's 11-5 win over Maryland at Anderson Stadium on Sat. March 2, 2019.

The North Carolina softball team (10-8, 1-0) defeated Duke (9-13, 0-1), 4-2, on Friday afternoon. This gives the Tar Heels a one game lead in their series against Duke and their first conference win of the season.

What happened?

UNC started the game at bat in the top of the first inning and scored the first run. First-year Abby Settlemyre was on third base and first-year Shayla Thompson had just stolen second base. Sophomore Megan Dray stepped up to the plate and hit a single to center field. Settlemyre ran towards home plate and scored the first run for the Tar Heels, giving them a 1-0 lead over Duke.

The Blue Devils tried to close the gap, but were having a tough time doing so. In the top of the third inning, senior Kiani Ramsey scored for UNC after a single to right field by senior Berlynne Delamora. Ramsey’s run would put the Tar Heels on top 2-0

Facing a two run lead by UNC, Duke managed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning. First-year Kristina Foreman hit a double to left center field and junior Raine Wislon ran across home plate, giving the Blue Devils their first run of the evening.

The Tar Heels scored two runs off of a single by redshirt sophomore Kristina Burkhardt in the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the seventh inning redshirt sophomore Jazmine Moreno scored a run for the Blue Devils, but it was too late for a comeback. Senior Leah Murray made the final out of the game for the Tar Heels in the bottom of the seventh inning, propelling UNC to a 4-2 victory.

Who stood out?

Burkhardt stood out the most this game with her impressive batting in the top of the fifth inning. She hit a single up the middle for two RBIs and gave the Tar Heels a 4-1 lead over Duke. Burkhardt’s two RBIs were a major factor in North Carolina securing the win, because it gave them a buffer from Duke for the remaining innings.

When was it decided?

The game was decided in the top of the fifth inning, when Dray and Delamora scored runs for UNC. This gave the Tar Heels a 4-1 lead, something the Blue Devils couldn’t come back from, even with a late game run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Why does it matter?

This game matters for UNC, because it was their first conference win of the season and extended their winning streak to four games. The level of competiveness and skill that North Carolina played with on Friday, is necessary for them to continue throughout the rest of the season.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels face off in a doubleheader against Duke on Saturday. The games are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Duke.

@markburnett1234

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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