UNC softball (2-0) began its season with a win this afternoon, beating Cal Baptist (0-1), 3-2, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The Tar Heels got their first scoring opportunity of the game on just the second batter. Third baseman Destiny Middleton lined a ball past the right fielder and to the wall. Middleton rounded third and attempted to score, but the Lancers relayed the ball in and tagged her out at home.
First-year MaKenna Raye Dark got her first start for UNC and found trouble in her first inning. With no outs and women on second and third base, Dark managed the jam and escaped with no Lancers crossing the plate. The inning ended with an attempted suicide squeeze that ultimately led to a double play.
The Lancers were able to strike first in the bottom of the second inning, though. Amanda Bricker blasted a pitch over the center field wall to give them a 1-0 lead. A two-out single by Priscilla Estrada doubled the lead as the Tar Heels entered the third inning down two.
Abby Settlemyre immediately answered with a two-out RBI single of her own, bringing home Kianna Jones and cutting the deficit in half.
The score remained 2-1 until the top of the fifth when a double by Dark brought Bri Stubbs home all the way from first, tying the game. The Tar Heels took the lead later in the inning. The centerfielder lost a flyball by Settlemyre in the sun, allowing the ball to drop and the Tar Heels to plate another run.
Cal Baptist struggled to get anything going on offense after its second-inning run. In their final opportunity in the seventh, sophomore Lilli Backes shut them down 1-2-3 and delivered the Tar Heels their first win of the season.