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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball drops midweek game against Charlotte on Wednesday, 6-2

Graduate shortstop Sara Jubas (14) smacks the ball against Penn State on Friday, March 4, 2022. The Heels lost 0-12

A rough stretch continues for the North Carolina softball team (19-18, 4-8), as it dropped its fourth straight game to Charlotte (23-14, 4-8) on Wednesday, 6-2.

What happened?

In the first inning, the Tar Heels weren’t able to get going from the plate except for a double to deep center field from graduate shortstop Sara Jubas. 

They were alive defensively, however, as exceptional pitching from first-year Lilli Backes and an impressive hustle-catch near the dugout by senior catcher Taylor Greene made it difficult for Charlotte to get runners on base as well. 

Both teams remained quiet until the bottom of the third when Charlotte homered to left center for its first run of the game. The 49ers hit a double in the very next at-bat, but the threat of a rally was quickly eliminated when the runner was picked off at second base. 

To lead off the fourth inning, Jubas doubled again — this time with a line drive to left field. She advanced to third after sophomore outfielder Kiannah Pierce fouled out on a pop fly, but Jubas was once again left on base at the end of the Tar Heels’ at-bat. 

Charlotte put a greater dent in the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of two UNC mistakes. First, Backes hit a batter with a pitch — setting up their second base runner following a successful bunt. Then, a pitch got away from Greene which allowed the runners to advance to second and third. 

The 49ers brought the runners home with a bomb over the right field fence — giving them a lead of 4-0 going into the fifth inning. 

UNC continued to struggle to get runs on the scoreboard — leaving two runners on base in the fifth. 

It didn’t get much better in the sixth as the Tar Heels failed to score once again. 

Senior pitcher Hannah George was brought to the plate in the bottom of the inning, yet Charlotte only extended its lead to 6-0 shortly after with a two-run homer to left center field. 

The Tar Heels got two last-chance runs in the top of the seventh, yet their efforts were not enough to overcome the six run deficit. 

Who stood out? 

Jubas was a bright spot for UNC, as she performed well from the plate and put her team in position to score multiple times. She finished the game with two doubles and an RBI. 

When was it decided?

Despite the three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning, the game was never out of reach until the sixth inning. 

Only down four runs, the deficit was still manageable for the Tar Heels in the top of the sixth. However, their hitting woes doomed them once again — as they came away with zero runs. 

Charlotte’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning was the dagger. 

Why does it matter?

This is the Tar Heels’ fourth loss in a row — which is now their longest losing streak of the season. 

Although the pitching was better in this outing, there were still struggles from the batter’s box that kept their run count low in the previous series against Clemson. Leaving runners on base — especially runners in scoring position — and limiting their hits to the infield has made it difficult to compete, particularly in closer games such as this one.

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When do they play next?

UNC will go to Louisville on Friday to play the first game of the weekend’s series at 6 p.m. against the Cardinals. 

@dthsports |