The UNC softball team (12-10) only records gets two hits in a 4-2 defeat against Boston College (12-7) in its first ACC game of the season.
After giving up a double in the second at-bat, first-year starting pitcher Lilli Backes recovered, getting two outs to keep the Tar Heels from falling into an early hole. UNC went hitless in the bottom of the first inning, putting the ball right back into Backes’ hands.
Sophomore outfielder Kiannah Pierce got North Carolina’s first hit of the game, narrowly beating the ball to the plate. Fellow sophomore outfielder Aneshia Jordan replaced Pierce as a pinch runner and safely got to second base during the next at-bat thanks to a sacrifice fly. An errant pitch then got Jordan to third base and in a prime scoring position, but the Eagles’ junior pitcher Susannah Anderson got two key outs to escape the second inning unscathed.
Boston College got on the board first after senior Kennedy Labshere blasted a ball just over the wall for a home run. The Eagles used their newfound momentum to tack on another hit, but North Carolina avoided any more damage in the third inning, keeping the game at 1-0.
The Eagles started the fourth inning with a lead-off single and a bunt that turned into a base hit. With runners at first and second base, the Tar Heels got a massive double play to erase two of the scoring chances. But the remaining runner was able to get to home base, after another Boston College single, to extend the Eagles’ lead to 2-0.
Anderson continued to give the Tar Heels issues in the bottom of the fourth inning, preventing them from getting out of their hit drought. Boston College was having similar success on the offensive end as first-year designated hitter Hannah Slike sent a pitch into the trees for her team’s second home run of the afternoon. UNC decided to pull Backes afterwards, replacing her with first-year Carlie Myrtle who kept the deficit at three at the conclusion of the inning.
But Myrtle gave up another home run to begin the sixth inning and it was now a 4-0 game. Three great defensive plays, including one from Anderson, kept UNC hitless for the fourth consecutive inning. The Tar Heels finally got a hit in the seventh inning, and it was a home run by senior Taylor Greene to cut the deficit to just two. However, that’s as close as they got and the Eagles held on for a 4-2 win.
Who stood out?
Anderson was the star of the game, keeping the Tar Heels bats silent. She shut out North Carolina, holding it to only a pair of hits.
When was it decided?
UNC had a chance to take the lead with a runner at third during the second inning, but Anderson was able to get the needed outs to keep them scoreless. The Eagles went on to score a run in four straight innings to take control of the matchup.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina begins conference play after an up-and-down start to season. The Tar Heels would’ve liked to build off winning the final two games of the Carolina Classic to start 1-0 in the ACC, but their offense struggled all afternoon leading to a defeat.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will face the Eagles later in the day at 5 p.m. for the back half of a doubleheader.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.