The North Carolina softball team (35-17, 17-7 ACC) tamed the North Carolina State Wolfpack (31-27, 9-15 ACC) behind a five-run rally in the fifth inning and a complete game gem from junior pitcher Brittany Pickett. With the victory, the fourth-seeded Tar Heels will play for the ACC Championship on Saturday.
The Tar Heels drew first blood in the bottom of the first, when a sacrifice fly from senior Kiani Ramsey allowed redshirt sophomore Kristina Burkhardt to score. The Wolfpack soon responded with a run of their own in the top of the second. In the top of the third, Pickett would strike out the side, giving her seven strikeouts in just three innings.
The score remained tied 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth, when North Carolina broke out into a five-run rally and batted around. The rally started thanks to a one-out home run from sophomore Zoe Goodman to give the Tar Heels a 4-1 advantage. UNC would add two more runs thanks to a single from senior Leah Murray and a sacrifice fly from Burkhardt.
With a 6-1 lead now in hand, Pickett shut out the Wolfpack the rest of the way to cruise to the ACC Championship Game.
Who stood out?
Pickett handled the Wolfpack the entire game, as she surrendered one run and just three hits and struck out 13. The win improved her record on the year to 21-11, with a 1.99 ERA.
Two Tar Heels starred at the plate as well. Ramsey had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with one RBI, while Murray went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.