With the bases still loaded and no outs, first-year pinch hitter Lexi Godwin had a prime opportunity to add more runs to an already high-scoring fourth inning. She was able to capitalize with a grand slam to make it an 8-0 game.
Pickett was able to maintain the shutout and end the first game in five innings.
Game 2: UNC 8, Virginia 0
UVA came out strong to start the second game with two straight hits in the first inning. However, first-year pitcher Hannah George was able to escape the inning and keep the Cavaliers scoreless in the series.
The Tar Heels responded by exploding for six hits and four runs in the first inning. Redshirt sophomore right fielder Kristina Burkhardt started the scoring off with an RBI single. Senior center fielder Kiani Ramsey followed that up by blasting a ball just short of the wall, but it was enough to get Burkhardt home with an RBI double. Dray went up to the plate next and was also able to get great contact on the ball, but this time it went the distance for a home run.
The score remained the same, until a Pickett solo home run earned the Tar Heels their fifth run. The team was able to get another run after a sacrifice fly from Dray to stretch the lead to 6-0.
UNC loaded the bases in the fifth inning with an opportunity to end the game early for the third time this series and RBI singles by senior second baseman Leah Murray and Burkhardt clinched another shutout victory.
Who stood out?
Pickett had another strong performance. She followed up her shutout on Saturday with another one in the first game on Sunday. She only allowed one hit and struck out six batters. She also tacked on an RBI double to get the Tar Heels on the board.
Pickett later hit a home run in the second game to add on to her strong series.
Godwin’s first career home run could not come at a better time. She hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to put the first game out of reach. The seven-run inning gave the Tar Heels an 8-0 lead.
George also had a terrific day on the mound. She was able to fight off every UVA scoring chance, delivering key strikeouts. Her performance proved to be the determinant in the Tar Heels’ second game shutout.
When was it decided?
The impressive fourth inning gave the Tar Heels a large lead that they were able to hold in the first game. The inning, highlighted by Godwin’s grand slam, gave them enough runs to end the game in a mercy. This gave them extra time to rest up before facing UVA again in the second game if the doubleheader.
In the second game, the Tar Heels got off to very fast start in the first inning, scoring four runs. They used that momentum to take control of the game.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels were coming off their third conference series win against Pittsburgh. They were able to get another one this weekend with a great all-around performance.
The pitching was dominant as Pickett and George prevented the Cavaliers from getting any runs, pitching the entirety of their respective game. At the plate, they put constant pressure on UVA, loading the bases several times. On the field, the Tar Heels made play after play preventing their opposition from scoring whenever they had the chance to. In addition, UNC executed well in both games, only committing one error during the doubleheader.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels play two nonconference opponents on consecutive days. They face Coastal Carolina on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Liberty the following day at 6 p.m.
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