The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball rebounds with 7-0 shutout win against North Carolina Central

Zoe Goodman Michigan
Zoe Goodman (33) swings against Michigan on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 in Anderson Stadium.

After a 1-3 showing in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge that caused them to plummet out of the top 25, the North Carolina softball team rebounded on Tuesday afternoon with a 7-0 victory over North Carolina Central. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels seemed to be recovering from a long weekend of competitive action when the game started slow and was knotted at zero for the first two innings. The Eagles managed to keep the Tar Heels at bay until the bottom of the third inning, when head coach Donna Papa’s team was finally able to sneak runners on base. 

First-year outfielder Bri Stubbs completed a surprise bunt, helping her get all the way to second base and drive in the game’s first run after N.C. Central threw an errant ball over first base. 

Once the Tar Heels developed an appetite for scoring, the inning went south for the Eagles. A passed ball brought Stubbs in for the second score of the game, only to be one-upped by junior Zoë Goodman, who powered a two-run home run that to center field to cap off an explosive four-run inning for UNC.

A home run from sophomore Kiersten Licea in the fifth paired with an RBI double from Alyssa Stanley and yet another home run in the sixth inning meant UNC maintained a comfortable lead before ending the day with a 7-0 victory. 

Papa was proud of the way her team responded to a challenge she gave them before the game.

“My two words for today were attack and adjust,” Papa said. “I was pleased that we made adjustments and played solid all the way around.”

Who stood out?

In the eyes of Papa, it was Goodman who differentiated herself in this midweek game. The junior catcher from McKinney, Texas, has bounced around the rotation for the Tar Heels, but has found a role as a clutch hitter.

“If you can do your job with runners on, which she did, that’s what we need”, Papa said. “We need people who can produce runs.”

When was it decided?

Just when it looked like UNC’s early slump could bleed into this midweek competition against a less formidable opponent, a four-run outburst in the third inning propelled the Tar Heels to a win. 

Why does it matter?

Tuesday’s win signals a return to normalcy for a team that was recovering from a sharp fall in the national rankings in the previous week.

UNC earned a national ranking earlier this month after a season-defining victory over No. 2 Alabama. However, the Tar Heels struggled in recent matchups, as they dropped three of their last four games against No. 11 Michigan and Wisconsin in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. 

When do they play next?

The North Carolina softball team will return to action at 4 p.m. on Wednesday when UNC faces off against James Madison in Anderson Stadium.


@DTHSports |

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.