On Friday and Saturday, the North Carolina softball team (19-13, 8-4 ACC) won its first two games against Pittsburgh (5-28, 2-10 ACC) before dropping the third contest on Saturday.
The Tar Heels took a early 3-0 lead with runs from Leah Murray, Kristina Burkhardt, and Kiani Ramsey. The Panthers answered back in the second inning with two runs.
In the third, North Carolina scored three times and added another three runs in the fourth, thanks in part to a three-run home run from Megan Dray, to secure a 9-2 lead. In the fifth, the Tar Heels continued with an RBI triple from Burkhardt and a sacrifice fly from Lexi Godwin. Pittsburgh responded with a two-run home run from Alexee Haynes to make it 11-5.
However, Pittsburgh was unable to mount a comeback, as both teams went scoreless in the last two innings.
North Carolina’s Abby Settlemyre picked up a two-run single in the second inning to give UNC a 2-0 lead. In addition, Berlynne Delamora and Zoe Goodman both hit two-run home runs to help UNC go up 6-0 in the third inning.
While the Tar Heels did not score in the last four innings, Pittsburgh could not match UNC’s early success and only scored twice from Alexis Solak and Hunter Levesque in the fourth and fifth, respectively. North Carolina emerged victorious, 6-2.
After a two-run home run from Campbell Hutcherson, UNC held a 2-0 lead. However, Pittsburgh's Gabrielle Fredericks answered with a solo home run in the second.
What happened next was a barrage by Pittsburgh. The Panthers hit three homers, three doubles, and four singles on a 10-run tear in the third inning. UNC used three different pitchers in the inning.
While the Tar Heels scored once in the third and twice in the fourth inning, Pittsburgh finished the fourth with another homer from Morgan Batesole, which added three more runs.
North Carolina went scoreless in the fifth inning, costing it the game by mercy rule, 14-5.
Who stood out?
Burkhardt had her fingerprints all over the first game, stealing three bases, scoring three runs, and going 3-for-3 at the plate.
Delamora broke North Carolina's career walks record with 122 during Saturday’s doubleheader.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels clinched the series after winning the first two matchups. After two convincing wins, however, North Carolina fell by the wayside in the last game, especially after Pittsburgh’s 10-run inning. UNC had to cycle through three pitchers to stop the bleeding.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels now have their third ACC series win and have four series remaining this season.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will travel to Farmville, Va., to compete against Longwood this Tuesday at 5 p.m.
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