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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball drops second game of home stand to N.C. State 15-8

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Utility player Alex Brown (5) prepares to throw to first base during a home game against UNCW. The Heels won 2-0 on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

In the second game of their three-game series, the North Carolina softball team (17-14, 3-5 ACC) fell to the N.C. State Wolfpack (21-11, 3-8 ACC) on Saturday with the final score being 15-8.

What happened?

UNC put the first point on the board when graduate shortstop Sara Jubas doubled to center field with two Tar Heels on base, allowing junior outfielder Bri Stubbs to run from third base to home plate in the first inning. 

The Wolfpack fired back early in the second inning when graduate catcher Taylor Johnson hit the ball out of the park and made it a tie game. With hits coming from nearly every player at bat, a double was all N.C. State needed to put up another point on the board.

With the second and third bases taken, N.C. State’s fifth-year infielder Logan Morris let the ball soar out of center field and brought three runs home with her, making the score 5-1 in the second inning with two outs. 

Luckily, senior pitcher Hannah George was able to hold the Wolfpack for the rest of the inning as the Tar Heels stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the second.

The slugfest didn’t stop for N.C. State, however, as Johnson stayed hot and homered out to left center in the third inning with sophomore pitcher Talia Hannappel now on mound.

North Carolina scored their next run in the top of the third once Jubas flied the ball out to right field, allowing Stubbs on third base to run to home base. 

After two more home runs for the Wolfpack in the fourth inning, the score of the game came to 8-2 in N.C. State’s favor, resulting in a UNC pitching change to freshman pitcher Carlie Myrtle.

On a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning, redshirt sophomore pitcher Kianna Jones scored while Stubbs advanced to second.

The offensive stamina of N.C. State could not be denied in the fifth inning when three balls were hit out of the park and brought one other run in with them, growing their lead over the Tar Heels to nine in a 12-3 game. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, both first-year Alex Brown and Jones of North Carolina homered to center field and brought in a total of four runs combined in an attempt to rise above the Wolfpack. 

To bring their total amount of runs to 13, the Wolfpack hit yet another home run in the top of the sixth inning. 

With a single by Brown in the sixth, the Tar Heels made the score 13-8, but a total of three runs by N.C. State brought it to the final score of 15-8.

Who stood out? 

In their offensive domination over UNC, N.C. State used what they learned from the first game of the series to display the power they can put behind the bat. With several home runs hit by several members of this Wolfpack team, their powerful potential cannot be denied.

On North Carolina’s side, several plays and runs by the entire team shined. Home runs by Jones and Brown in the fifth inning gave the team a necessary boost of energy and pulled them out of a scoring rut. 

Although many home runs were hit by N.C. State throughout the entire game, Myrtle defended the mound and her efforts should not be forgotten in the midst of a such home run frenzy. 

When was it decided?

With N.C. State leading the majority of the game and the Tar Heels just a few steps behind them, the win was in their favor. The fifth inning for the Wolfpack, which brought in a total of four runs, gave them a much larger lead over the Tar Heels and the confidence needed to win.

Why does it matter?

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Not only will this rivalry loss impact their conference standings and overall series record with N.C. State, but signifies how competitive ACC play is, and will be in the future, for the Tar Heels. 

With this being the second game of the series, the Wolfpack definitely showed UNC that they are a force to be reckoned with and an exciting last game of the series is hopefully yet to come.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will compete against the Wolfpack in Anderson Stadium for their last game of the series at 4 p.m. on Sunday. 

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com