Every run thereafter came in the fifth inning courtesy of the Tar Heels. Burkhardt started the rally with an RBI single to give her team it would not relinquish. Ramsey and junior Brittany Pickett both drew walks with the bases loaded to manufacture two more runs, then Megan Dray's two-run double gave the Tar Heels a five-run lead.
A sacrifice fly by Zoe Goodman gave UNC its last run of the day, cementing the North Carolina win and a spot in the ACC semifinals.
Who stood out?
After allowing three runs in the first three innings, Pickett settled in and pitched a gem, striking out eight Cardinals and throwing a complete game. The win was Pickett's 20th of the season, a team high, and came in the Tar Heel's most important game to date.
At the plate, Ramsey led North Carolina with three RBIs, punctuated by a double to left center that knocked in two runs. Dray's two-run double in the fifth inning broke the game open, and gave the Tar Heels the cushion they needed to advance.
When was it decided?
Tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth, the game seemed to be anyone's for the taking. It wasn't decided until the Tar Heels' fifth-inning explosion, in which five of UNC's six runs were scored with no outs and the team recorded five of its ten hits on the day.
Why does it matter?
With the win, fourth-seeded North Carolina have advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, when they will face eighth-seeded N.C. State on Friday for a spot in the ACC Championship.
The nine-run outing came after Donna Papa's squad had managed just two total runs in its previous two games, losing to Louisville, 6-1, and then to N.C. Central, 3-1.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will face the rival Wolfpack on Friday at 1 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fl. It will be the first meeting this season for the two teams.
N.C. State knocked off the No. 1 seed Virginia Tech on Thursday, 3-2, for the right to face North Carolina.
@DTHSports | email@example.com