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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball falls to Florida State, 8-0, in ACC Championship Game

Brittany Pickett UNC v FSU
UNC junior pitcher Brittany Pickett (28) bats during a double header against the FSU Seminoles at G. Anderson Softball Stadium on Monday, April 15, 2019. The Tar Heels beat the Seminoles in both games.

The fourth-seeded North Carolina softball team (35-18, 17-7 ACC) was shut out by second-seeded Florida State, 8-0, on Saturday in the ACC Championship Game in Tallahassee, Fl. The Tar Heels managed just four hits on the day and gave up 11 to the Seminoles.

What happened?

Florida State wasted no time getting on the board, getting the first run of the day with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. The Seminoles followed that up by tacking on two more runs in the second inning, thanks to an RBI single and a walk with the bases loaded, before UNC was able to get out of the jam.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels struggled at the plate for most of the day, limited by the stellar pitching of FSU's Makinzy Herzog and Meghan King. A two-out triple by Kiani Ramsey in the first inning gave UNC a shot to get on the board, but Brittany Pickett's subsequent strikeout left the Tar Heels blanked.

A three-run fourth inning doubled the Seminole lead thanks to a solo home run, an RBI single and a fielder's choice. Another FSU home run stretched the lead to 7-0 in the fifth inning, then an RBI double in the sixth put the final nail in the coffin, ending the game – and UNC's hopes for a conference title – early.

Who stood out?

The fatigue of two days of stellar pitching seemed to get to UNC ace Brittany Pickett, who pitched 1.2 innings and allowed three runs and five hits in that span. 

North Carolina also struggled at the plate, as no Tar Heel recorded more than a single hit on the day. Catcher Megan Dray was the only UNC player to reach base more than once, as she went 1-1 with a walk against the Seminoles.

When was it decided?

A comeback seemed unlikely when the Seminoles doubled their lead in the fourth inning to go up 6-0. The Tar Heels found themselves unable to manufacture runs all day, and the six-run deficit that eventually stretched to eight was too much for North Carolina to overcome.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels produced a combined 15 runs in their previous two ACC Tournament games – nine against Louisville, and six against N.C. State – but were shut out with a title on the line. 

Though UNC took two of three games against the fifth-ranked Seminoles earlier this season in Chapel Hill, Florida State won the one that mattered in decisive fashion, leaving the Tar Heels searching for answers both at the plate and in the bullpen. Head coach Donna Papa will need more than the considerable talents of Pickett on the mound to put together a deep postseason run. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will look to regroup before finding out their NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday at 9 p.m. The selection show will be broadcasted on ESPN2.


@DTHSports |

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