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The Daily Tar Heel

Sunday sports roundup: Softball wins, track and field competes as NCAAs and more

With several of North Carolina's fall sports teams adding spring seasons to their 2020-2021 schedules, The Daily Tar Heel will be recapping some of the action from this spring's busy weekends in roundups every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Track and field (Thursday-Saturday)

The North Carolina track and field team had a strong showing at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships last week in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with six different Tar Heels earning All-American honors.

The first of those honors came from fifth-year Daniel McArthur in the men's shot put. McArthur's 19.84m throw was good for fourth in the tournament, equaling his finish from the 2019 NCAA Championships and earning him the third All-American honors of his career.

Next came the men's 400 meters, where senior Isaiah Palmer's time of 46.57 seconds earned him 14th place at NCAAs and a second-team All-American nod. Palmer would later earn first-team honors as a member of the men's distance medley relay team, also including graduates Thomas Ratcliffe, Brandon Tubby and Allen Siegler. Their time of 9:25.80 set a new school record and was good for sixth in NCAA history.

Finally, senior Anna Keefer got second-team All-American honors, finishing the women's long jump with a distance of 6.35m and earning her 10th place.

PJ Morales, assistant sports editor

Softball: UNC 2, Notre Dame 1

The North Carolina softball team (10-8, 6-3 ACC) wrapped up its four-game series against Notre Dame (9-7, 3-5 ACC) with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

The Fighting Irish opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning, when Karina Gaskins homered to left-center. In the bottom of the inning, UNC responded, as center fielder Kristina Burkhardt hit a home run of her own to tie the score, 1-1. 

Both pitchers held the teams scoreless through the fifth inning, but UNC broke through in the bottom of the sixth. First baseman Kiersten Licea led off with a first-pitch home run to left, her third of the season. In the top of the seventh, starting pitcher Brittany Pickett retired all three batters, which gave the Tar Heels a 2-1 victory. 

For the second time this weekend, Pickett quieted Notre Dame’s bats, as she allowed only one run and four hits while striking out seven. After two runners were in scoring position in the top of the fourth, Pickett retired the final ten batters of the game. 

The Tar Heels will travel to Tallahassee, Florida next weekend for a four-game series against No. 15 Florida State.

Lindsey Ware, staff writer

Women's tennis: UNC 6, Georgia Tech 1

The North Carolina women’s tennis team was firing on all cylinders on Sunday in its 6-1 victory over No. 13 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. 

The Tar Heels came into their match against the Yellow Jackets ranked No. 1 and on a 32-match win streak in dual team play. The match began with doubles victories by senior Alle Sanford and first-year Reilly Tran on line two and Alexa Graham and Anika Yarlagadda securing a victory on line three.

Needing only three more points to secure the match win, the Tar Heels headed into singles. Despite an early loss by Sara Daavettila in singles, the Tar Heels pushed through, winning all five of the bottom courts. 

Line two Cameron Morra, line three Makenna Jones, line five Yarlagadda and line six Tran won their respective matches in straight sets while line four Fiona Crawley bounced back from a loss in the first set to secure a 6-1 victory.

“We knew we had a great challenge ahead of us going to their place” head coach Brian Kalbas said. “It was an incredible team effort all the way through.”

Following the win, the Tar Heels will face William and Mary on Wednesday, March 17. 

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Rithvik Chelasani, staff writer

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