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March 5, 2017

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– The 21st-ranked Pitt softball team fell 8-7 in nine innings at Anderson Softball Stadium Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C., despite tallying a team-high 13 hits in the contest.
The Panthers are now 12-5 on the season and 0-3 in ACC play after being swept by the Tar Heels [15-4, 3-0 ACC] in their first conference series of the year.
Pitt jumped on the board early in the game taking a 5-0 lead after just two innings and extending that lead to 7-1 after four. However, a six-run inning by North Carolina in the fifth tied the game and sent the two teams in to extra innings. In the final frame, Pitt left a runner on base before giving up a RBI-single to the Tar Heels to end the game.
Junior Giorgiana Zeremenko had a day at the plate for the Panthers, tallying five RBIs on two hits, a three-run bomb in the first inning and a two-run double in the fourth. Sophomore Olivia Gray and freshman Alexee Haynes each tallied a single RBI.  
Six players recorded two hits apiece in the contest.
In the circle, all three of the Panthers’ pitchers saw action in the game. Freshman Brittany Knight started and finished the game for Pitt, while junior Kayla Harris and sophomore Sarah Dawson were entered in relief in North Carolina’s half of the fifth.
Knight tossed 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks. Prior to being replaced on the mound by Harris, the freshman had given up just three hits and a single run. Harris let up five runs on three hits and three walks.
Zeremenko got things going for Pitt in the opening inning, with a three-run long ball to left field, scoring Gray and sophomore Alexis Solak.
The Panthers posted another big inning in the second, tallying two runs on four hits to move ahead 5-0. Freshman Alexee Haynes brought around Valerie Ortega and Knight on a clutch pinch-hit double to left field. Ortega and Knight in her first plate appearance each singled to put runners on Haynes.
North Carolina got on the board in the bottom of the third inning following a solo home run from Brittany Pickett.
Zeremenko led Pitt to another two-run inning in the top of the fourth, bringing around Haynes and junior McKayla Taylor on a double to left center.
The Tar Heels shook things up in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs to tie the game 7-7. A leadoff single prompted Pitt to switch pitchers as Harris entered to relieve Knight on the mound. However, Harris struggled, loading the bases with another single and a walk.
North Carolina did all of its scoring with two away, scoring five runs that were all credited to Harris.
The Panthers and Tar Heels battled through the next three innings of play each leaving runners stranded in two of the three frames.
In the top of the ninth, a single by Solak put a runner on for Pitt however a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning.
North Carolina hit a walk-off single in the bottom half of the ninth to close out the win.
The Panthers will remain on the road to begin play over spring break. Pitt will stay in North Carolina to take on Elon Tuesday, March 7, before heading to Virginia to participate in its final tournament of the season at James Madison. The Panthers will face East Carolina and the ranked Dukes March 11-12.
Panthers Tally 13 Hits in Nine-Inning Loss to Tar Heels

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