The No. 25 North Carolina softball team needed just five innings to defeat Campbell by a score of 11-1 on Wednesday at Anderson Stadium.
The Tar Heels (4-2) started the game slowly, picking up just one hit in the first inning. UNC’s offense came alive in the bottom of the second, exploding for four runs after the Camels (1-5) took an early 1-0 lead. North Carolina's first run came after Katie Perkins walked with the bases loaded to bring in Gaby Katz, who was pinch-running for Zoë Goodman.
The Tar Heels took a lead that they wouldn't relinquish after Kiersten Licea knocked in Abby Settlemyer. UNC made it 4-1 after a single to center field by Destiny Middleton drove in both Hannah George and Katie Perkins.
George also helped North Carolina in the circle. She shutout Campbell in the third inning, giving up just one walk and forcing three flyouts. The Tar Heels then extended their lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. Perkins stepped up to bat with the bases loaded, and an error by Campbell allowed her to reach first, while Megan Dray ran home for UNC’s first run of the inning. Bri Stubbs drove in the other two runs in the next at-bat, which were scored by Settlemyer and Campbell Hutcherson.
The Tar Heels once again shutout Campbell in the fourth inning behind George's pitching. North Carolina then added another run in the bottom of the fourth, after Hailey Cole scored off a double by Lexi Godwin to make it 8-1 to UNC.
In the fifth inning, UNC did not allow a single hit by the camels, which meant the Tar Heels would only have to come up with one run to end the game on the mercy rule. And with Brittany West and Stubbs on base, Kristina Burkhardt homered to give North Carolina the 11-1 win.
Who stood out?
Burkhardt led UNC’s offense, recording three hits from four at-bats. She also made the play of the game with her walk-off home run in the fifth inning.
George earned the win on the mound for the Tar Heels, pitching 2.2 innings and not giving up a single hit. George also scored a run.
When was it decided?
After the third inning, the Tar Heels had a 7-1 advantage, and it was a question of when UNC would win the game, not if they would win. That question was answered in the fifth inning after Burkhardt’s walk-off home run ended the game.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina was looking to build on its success of last weekend at the Florida State JoAnne Graf Classic, in which it picked up a win against No. 2 Alabama. UNC also picked up its 1,500th win as a program over the weekend.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels host the ACC-Big Ten Challenge this weekend and will face Wisconsin and No. 11 Michigan.
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