The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday June 29th

Preview: UNC softball looks to bounce back on the road against Charlotte

<p>Junior, Destiny Middlton, (47) fields the ball at third base during the Tar Heels 8-4 victory at Anderson Softball Stadium on Mar. 20, 2022.</p>
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Junior, Destiny Middlton, (47) fields the ball at third base during the Tar Heels 8-4 victory at Anderson Softball Stadium on Mar. 20, 2022.

After being swept by No. 18 Clemson, the North Carolina softball team looks to bounce back against Charlotte on Wednesday. 

This game will be the first of a five-game road stretch for the Tar Heels, who have struggled in opposing stadiums this season, posting a 2-6 record on the road.

On the other side of the diamond, the Charlotte 49ers are coming off a series sweep — where they were defeated by Marshall in all three contests. After going 4-0 in the Queen City Classic in early March, the 49ers have gone 4-11 since. 

Batting average battles

UNC's record when batting above .300 this season is 10-2. But when they've hit below .300, the Tar Heels are 9-15 and have been outscored 113-48. 

Junior outfielder Bri Stubbs has led the way for the Tar Heels, with a .381 batting average and 37 hits on the season. Closely behind her is sophomore middle infielder Skyler Brooks, who is batting .363 and has 33 hits. 

For Charlotte, hitting is just as crucial — the 49ers are a perfect 12-0 on the season when batting .345 or higher.

When crunching the numbers, more than 60 percent of UNC’s wins come from batting over .300, and over 50 percent of Charlotte’s wins come from batting over .345.

Strong scoring bursts 

UNC put together productive innings in its last series against in-state foe N.C. State. In their first game against the Wolfpack, the Tar Heels put up four runs in the third inning and seven in the fourth, lifting them to a 12-11 victory. 

In the third game of the series, UNC scored four runs in the first inning and 11 runs in the second, eventually winning 16-4 in five innings. High-scoring innings like these help North Carolina build momentum and diminish the chance for an opposing comeback.

Defensive dominance

On the defensive side of the ball, UNC senior catcher Taylor Greene and junior infielder Katie Perkins need to continue their dominance. Greene leads the team with 196 putouts, with Perkins not far behind at 167. 

An eye-catching player for Charlotte is graduate infielder Kourtney Gremillion. She leads the 49ers with 268 putouts, which is 37 percent of the team’s total. 

Both teams are in desperate need of a win on Wednesday coming into the home stretch of the season.

North Carolina is 19-17 overall and 4-8 in ACC action. Charlotte is 22-14 and 4-8 in Conference USA play. 

The Tar Heels have struggled away from home but have faced elite opponents, such as No. 6 Virginia Tech and No. 13 Georgia. On the other hand, Charlotte has beaten quality teams at home, including No. 6 Virginia Tech., No. 10 Virginia and No. 22 James Madison. 

This game will come down to which team has the most complete game from start to finish. North Carolina needs to get out fast and have multiple scoring innings to come out victorious. 

@RileyKennedy25

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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