The UNC softball team (13-23, 3-7 ACC) fell to Virginia (24-10, 5-5 ACC) Friday afternoon, 3-0, dropping the first game in the series.
After two quick strikeouts to start the game, the Tar Heels managed two runners on base before sophomore Carlie Myrtle fouled out to the left fielder, ending the threat. Two walks in the bottom of the first inning also allowed Virginia to have runners on first and second. First-year pitcher Kenna Raye Dark struck the next batter out swinging to keep the game scoreless.
A mishap by the left fielder in the second inning allowed senior centerfielder Bri Stubbs to advance into scoring position with no outs. The Tar Heels once again could not convert, though. Fifth-year first basemen Kiersten Licea struck out swinging and the next two batters grounded out weakly to the infield.
The bats went cold after this. Dark retired the Cavaliers in order in the second, and the Tar Heels went down quietly in the third. A double in the bottom of the inning, though, gave Virginia a runner in scoring position. Dark once again extinguished the danger by striking out the Cavalier swinging.
Virginia finally got on the board in the fourth. A walk followed by a double into the right-center gap put runners on second and third with only one out. A sacrifice fly to foul territory in left field brought in one run, and a two-out double just inside the left-field line brought in another. An error by sophomore shortstop Alex Brown capped off the three-run frame for the Cavaliers.
UNC’s offensive struggles continued in the fifth. Stubbs managed to get on base with a single, but two lazy fly balls into the outfield kept the Tar Heels off the board. Virginia also only managed a single in the bottom of the inning before being retired by Myrtle in relief.
In the final two innings, the Tar Heels could only produce one more baserunner, a walk by Licea in the sixth. Three quick groundouts in the seventh retired them in order, completing the shutout for Virginia.