Looking to revitalize its season after losing three of the last five games, the North Carolina softball team headed into the Carolina Classic tournament this weekend with renewed energy.
Although the Tar Heels got off to a rough start, losing to the Penn State and Oregon by scores of 12-0 and 9-1, they bounced back on Sunday with back-to-back 8-7 victories over the UConn Huskies and the UNCG Spartans.
It was a tale of two teams this weekend for North Carolina. The Tar Heels struggled to get things going against their first two opponents, only scoring one total run between both games.
“The first two games, they were disappointing for me,” head coach Donna J. Papa said. “Oregon is a very good team, so I will not take anything away from them. They beat everybody — I think they runrolled everybody, or pretty close to it.”
The Tar Heels struggled to hit the ball in their first two outings as they managed to earn just nine hits in both games combined. This, combined with their difficulties of keeping their opponent off of the score sheet, led to two lopsided results to open the weekend.
Although UNC did not get off to the start that they hoped for, the team responded to losses by winning the next two games.
North Carolina had to claw its way to its first victory of the tournament on Sunday with a one-run victory over UConn. Although the Tar Heels dominated early on as they took a 7-0 lead, they had to stave off a late comeback attempt by the Huskies that began in the fifth inning.
“We were able to stay within ourselves and not feel defeated after they were able to come back,” said junior outfielder Bri Stubbs. “In some moments, teams are able to fall underneath with that type of comeback, but we were able to stay calm and collected.”
The Tar Heels showed that they are a team capable of handling adversity as they were able to get their weekend back on track.