Following the cancellation of South Carolina’s Carolina Classic, the UNC softball team had a strong start to the season, winning its first game against Boston College 7-3 in the ACC Pod on Friday.
In the first inning, sophomore third baseman Destiny Middleton started the game off strong, as she hit a double down the left field foul line.
When redshirt sophomore outfielder Kristina Burkhardt hit a single to left field, she advanced to second base, allowing junior outfielder Shayla Thompson to advance to third. Middleton was then able to score the first run on a throwing error by the Eagles' left fielder.
The second inning was successful for the Tar Heels, as Middleton hit a single to center field, resulting in first-year outfielder Kayla Baptista advancing to third base. Thompson’s single to the pitcher then allowed Middleton to advance to third, bringing Baptista in for a RBI. Subsequently, Thompson was able to steal second base and advance to third. Middleton then scored on a throwing error from the catcher, putting UNC at three points.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Eagles' Gianna Randazza hit a home run to center field, bringing in another teammate for two runs.
Following the second inning, things slowed down as the Eagles and the Tar Heels were now tied at 3-3. There were no more runs until the seventh inning, when the Tar Heels brought home the win.
In the final inning, Middleton singled to left field. She then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Thompson singled up the middle and advanced to second base, resulting in Middleton advancing to third.
Burkhardt was walked when she stepped to the plate, but directly after, junior designated hitter Kiersten Licea singled to left field, bringing in Middleton for a RBI and leading to Burkhardt’s advancement to second and Thompson’s advancement to third.
First-year outfielder Carsyn Snead pinch ran for Licea and junior first baseman Lexi Godwin was brought in to pinch hit later — unfortunately getting thrown out, but not before bringing in Thompson and Burkhardt for two RBIs. Snead then advanced to third base.
Concluding their final moments at the plate, fifth-year pitcher Brittany Pickett pinch hit for junior pitcher Hannah George, doubling to right field and bringing Snead in for the RBI, winning the game for the Tar Heels with a final score of 7-3.
Who stood out?
The team showcased their exceptional skills on offense as multiple players brought their A-game to the plate.
Thompson contributed her skills to the team with a hit, an RBI and her own personal baserunning that resulted in a run. Middleton also showed her elite skills, as she had a multi-hit game and scored three runs for UNC.
When was it decided?
With the Tar Heels tied to the Eagles from the beginning of the game, it wasn’t until the final inning that they solidified the win. Four runs in the top half of the seventh inning from Middleton, Burkhardt, Thompson and Snead put the Tar Heels ahead, and the Eagles couldn’t catch up.
Why does it matter?
Despite not playing against the Eagles in 2020, the Tar Heels won all three games against Boston College in 2019.
The way the team played today is a preview not only for the rest of this tournament, but the entire season as well.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will play a double header against Syracuse at Anderson Stadium, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, as they attempt to continue their winning streak into the rest of the tournament this weekend.