The North Carolina softball team (23-22) won comfortably 8-0 over North Carolina Central University (9-29).
Following the weekend’s defeat against No. 4 Florida State, North Carolina was back at Anderson Stadium Wednesday to face unranked North Carolina Central University.
The Tar Heels kicked the afternoon off with a high-scoring first inning. Junior outfielder Bri Stubbs was the first to score. UNC scored six runs shortly after and never looked back.
UNC was also very strong defensively. They had a response for every hit the Eagles made. Keeping a low score on the other side of the scoreboard was critical for them to establish the commanding lead they were seeking.
After the one-sided first inning, the game went scoreless for the next two innings. Even though the game went quiet, the Tar Heels were able to maintain their defensive strength.
Being strong on the defensive side allowed North Carolina to demand less from their offensive side. The Tar Heels were able to resume scoring in the fourth inning. By the end of the fourth inning, UNC led 7-0.
North Carolina sealed the victory in the fifth inning after scoring two runs. With ten hits this game, North Carolina did an excellent job Wednesday in converting hits to runs.
UNC’s ability to keep the opposing scoreboard at zero shows how they were flawless today defensively. This is important for the Tar Heels since they had been struggling defensively in recent matches, especially a 9-2 loss to No. 4 FSU in last weekend's rubber match.
Even though this Tar Heel victory was expected, they played exceptional softball and are putting the weekend’s losses behind them.
Who stood out?
Stubbs’ offensive performance was a strong point for the Tar Heels. With two runs, Wednesday night marked another game where she came in big for her team. As well, first-year pitcher Carlie Myrtle secured her third win of the season, notching six strikeouts and giving up just one hit in five innings of work.
The Tar Heels’ teamwork was the afternoon’s strongest point. They were able to unite both the defensive and offensive aspects of the game to defeat NCCU as one.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels sentenced the victory in the first inning. They were able to establish a 6-0 lead that made it virtually impossible for the Eagles to come back.
Despite the early lead, the Eagles did not step down. They kept their head up and fought until the end to finish the game at the smallest distance possible from the Tar Heels. Even though they did not have much of a chance to overturn the result, NCCU’s fighting spirit was admirable.
Why does it matter?
North Carolina came off a painful loss last weekend against Florida State and this win was important to regain confidence, especially with the postseason just around the corner. Increasing their win-loss ratio is also fundamental to going into the postseason with the highest seeding possible.
Wednesday’s game was important for the Tar Heels to continue to work on the aspects of their game that need improvement. UNC was excellent on the defensive side and had a high batting average. They will need to relay their high form to the remaining games of the season.
When do they play next?
The team will be traveling to South Bend, Indiana to play a three-game series against No. 24 Notre Dame. The Tar Heels' first game is scheduled for April 22 at 5 p.m.
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