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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC softball head coach Megan Smith Lyon earns first home win with victory over UNC Greensboro

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UNC's softball team huddle together between game-play during the home matchup against UNC-Greensboro at Anderson Softball field on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1, 0-0 ACC) defeated the UNC Greensboro Spartans (5-8, 0-0 SoCon), 6-4, in their home opener at Anderson Softball Stadium. The win was the first in Chapel Hill for UNC’s first-year head coach Megan Smith Lyon.

“It feels like home,” Lyon said. “It was a good day.”

Redshirt junior pitcher Britton Rogers got the start, pitching six innings. The righty struck out six batters, conceding four hits, two walks and two earned runs.

“I knew that this was gonna be one of those games where I was really gonna have to fight,” Rogers said. “That’s a tough team and they put me to work out there, so I really had to lock in.”

After a scoreless first inning with both teams going three-up-three-down, Spartan designated hitter Jordy Chartrand ripped a deep ball into right field with two outs in the top of the second inning. The next three Spartan batters reached base, but an impressive catch in deep right from junior right fielder Alex Coleman got the Tar Heels out of the jam.

“It’s always great to come up with stuff like that,” Coleman said. “I don’t do it for me; I do it for Brit and I do it for my teammates.”

UNC opened the bottom of the second inning with three hits, loading the bases. With two outs and a full count, senior center fielder Carsyn Snead worked a walk, tying the game. Coleman then hit one down the third-base line to drive in first-year infielder Kate Bubela for the go-ahead run.

The Tar Heels built on their lead in the third, with a three-run homer from graduate infielder Lexi Godwin extending the lead to 5-1. Rogers regained her stride in the fourth inning, going three-up three-down with two strikeouts. North Carolina stole two bases in the bottom of the fourth, but UNC left the bases loaded for a scoreless inning.

A snag in left field from first-year outfielder Sanaa Thompson kept the Spartans off the board in the fifth inning, as Britton retired her ninth straight batter to end the inning.

“Seeing how she fought back and seeing how she showed resilience,” Lyon said, “she came out and started attacking the hitters. That was good to see.”

Graduate catcher Autumn Owen added some insurance to the UNC lead, with her sixth-inning single driving home senior infielder Skyler Brooks from second base.

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Senior lefty Bailey McCachren replaced Rogers in the final inning following a Spartan home run to center field. McCachren recorded two outs but was replaced by sophomore pitcher Kenna Raye Dark after conceding a two-run double. Dark secured the UNC win with a strikeout.

“For us, moving forward, we know who we are,” Rogers said. “We know we’re fighters. Every day we’re gonna have to be tough competitors, and that’s all we can ask of ourselves every single day.”

The Tar Heels return to Anderson on Friday for a doubleheader against Lipscomb and George Washington, with the first game starting at 3:30 pm.

@dylanstalterr

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com