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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball falls to Penn State 12-0 in Carolina Classic

First-year pitcher Carlie Myrtle (17) pitches the ball versus Penn State on Friday, March 4, 2022. The Heels lost 0-12

The North Carolina softball team (10-8) opened the Carolina Classic with a 12-0 loss to Penn State (9-61) on Friday evening at Anderson Field. The loss for the Tar Heels is their largest margin of defeat on the season, and only the second time so far this season that they have failed to score a run.  

What happened? 

The starting pitcher for UNC, first-year Carlie Myrtle, opened the game with a strong showing in the first inning, not giving up a single run. But the inning remained scoreless after the Nittany Lion’s starting pitcher, Bailey Parshall, only gave up one hit.  

Myrtle once again had a strong showing in the second inning, after the first batter she faced grounded out and recorded strikeouts against the next two. In the bottom of the inning, North Carolina’s first two batters recorded outs, before sophomore Kianna Jones singled to center field. But UNC’s fourth batter struck out swinging to end the inning. 

In the third inning, Myrtle thought she shut out Penn State. She forced the first batter into a ground out, and the second into a strikeout and thought the third had been struck out as well. But the third strike called by the umpire ended up being reversed, and in the ensuing pitch, the batter was able to record a single after an error by UNC. Myrtle then gave up another single, before the fifth batter was able to hit both runners in, to give Penn State a 2-0 lead, which they were able to hold onto for the next two innings.  

In the sixth inning, the Nittany Lions were able to get two runners on base and drive them both in, to give them a 4-0 advantage. They increased it even further in the next inning, after a grand slam and another home run that drove in two runners, to give Penn State the eventual 12-0 win.  

Who stood out?  

Myrtle, who played the first six innings on the mound for the Tar Heels, faced a total of 29 batters, recording four strikeouts and only allowing nine hits. Parshall, who pitched the entire game for Penn State, recorded a complete game shutout, only allowing five hits and recording six strikeouts.  

When was it decided? 

After five relatively matched innings, Penn State only held a 2-0 lead. But the Tar Heels failed to score in the final two innings, while the Nittany Lions used their final two innings to double their lead in the sixth and add eight runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach for North Carolina. UNC finished the game with a total of 26 at-bats and five hits.  

Why does it matter? 

Heading into the matchup, the all-time series between the teams was tied at 9-9, with UNC winning the last four. The Tar Heels were also 1-1 on the week before the defeat to Penn State, which included an 8-0 loss against Michigan on Tuesday and a 7-3 win over Villanova on Wednesday. The loss bumps North Carolina down to 10-8 on the season.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will look to bounce back from their defeat to Penn State on Saturday, when they face No. 12 Oregon at Anderson Field at noon in their second game of the Carolina Classic. Oregon opened the Carolina classic earlier in the day Friday with a 12-4 victory over the Nittany Lions.   

@DTHSports | 

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