UNC softball dropped its eighth-consecutive away game in a 9-1 mercy rule loss to South Carolina on Wednesday.
North Carolina was off to a slow offensive start, with no hits or runs in the top of the first. The defense put up a better performance in the first inning, producing a double play and keeping the Gamecocks scoreless.
The first Tar Heel hit came in the top of the second from Kierston Licea. South Carolina also had a hit in the second, but after two innings, the game remained at 0-0.
The Gamecocks changed pitchers for the third, but UNC failed to find an offensive rhythm after this change. Sophomore pitcher Lilli Backes remained on the mound for North Carolina, but after allowing two runs and three hits to kick off the bottom of the third, she was replaced by Carlie Myrtle. Myrtle proved unable to mitigate the situation, and South Carolina came out of the third inning up 5-0.
Another single by Licea and a double by Kianna Jones put the Tar Heels on the scoreboard. First-year pitcher Kenna Raye Dark became the third UNC pitcher of the night, but South Carolina adjusted to a new pitcher once again to heighten its lead to 8-1.
North Carolina continued to struggle at the plate in the fifth inning, batting three up, three down. The Gamecocks preserved some hope for a Tar Heel comeback when they also batted three up, three down to end the inning.
In a quick top of the sixth, UNC once again batted three up, three down. South Carolina had one run in the sixth inning to secure a 9-1 mercy rule win.