The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday July 7th

UNC softball drops third straight game in 4-3 loss at Notre Dame

UNC senior catcher Taylor Greene (15) runs towards home plate during a home game against N.C. Central at Anderson Stadium on Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022.
Buy Photos UNC senior catcher Taylor Greene (15) runs towards home plate during a home game against N.C. Central at Anderson Stadium on Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022.

The North Carolina softball team's (23-25, 6-15 ACC) series at No. 24 Notre Dame (35-9, 13-5 ACC) concluded with a 4-3 loss in Sunday’s matchup.

What happened?

North Carolina started off Sunday’s game with three up, three down first inning. Notre Dame was only slightly more successful at the plate in the first inning, collecting with one hit.

UNC had its first hit of the game in the second with a single to left by junior third baseman Destiny Middleton. The Fighting Irish had a hit of their own in the second, but the first run of the game didn’t come until the third.

Junior infielder Katie Perkins hit a single to kick off the third inning, and sophomore outfielder Aneshia Jordan ran in her place. Sophomore midfielder Skyler Brooks reached on a fielding error by the Notre Dame shortstop that allowed Jordan to score. The Tar Heels achieved a 1-0 lead that carried through the inning, as the Fighting Irish failed to have any hits or runs in the third.

The Tar Heels continued their strong hitting in the fourth with two singles by Middleton and redshirt sophomore Kianna Jones, but the team failed to advance their lead. The Fighting Irish put themselves on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, tying the score at 1-1.

The North Carolina offense was not as successful in the fifth, failing to get any hits. Notre Dame used this as an opportunity to take the lead, and two runs made the score 3-1. UNC didn’t allow the Fighting Irish to maintain this lead. After junior outfielder Bri Stubbs singled to shortstop, a homer by senior catcher Taylor Greene brought her and Stubbs in to even the score 3-3.

The final inning started with a double by first-year utility player Alex Brown. However, this would be the only hit by the Tar Heels that inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Notre Dame loaded the bases and scored on a walk to end the game with a 4-3 win.

Who stood out? 

Greene had a strong offensive performance in Sunday’s matchup that was consistent with her other solid performances at the plate in this series. In her three at bats in the series finale, the senior catcher had one hit, one run, and two RBIs.

Middleton also performed well at the plate with three of the team’s eight total hits.

When was it decided?

This game remained close for its entirety. Ultimately, once the Fighting Irish put runners on the basepaths in the final frame, the walk sealed the Tar Heels' fate.

Why does it matter?

With the loss, Notre Dame was swept in three games. These losses prove detrimental as the regular season winds down, because as a result of Sunday’s loss, UNC will need to win all three of their remaining games to finish the regular season above .500.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will remain on the road for their final regular-season series at Syracuse next weekend.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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