March 15, 2014
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh softball team (8-13, 0-5 ACC) dropped a pair of games to North Carolina (13-11, 7-1 ACC) on Saturday afternoon in the Panthers’ ACC home opener at Vartabedian Field.
North Carolina took game one 9-0 in five innings behind three home runs, and then won the night cap 8-7 in extra innings. Pitt’s Maggie Sevilla was 3-for-6 on the afternoon, while she, Carly Thea and Tori Nirschl all drove in two runs in game two.
Game One: North Carolina 9, Pitt 0 (Five Innings)
North Carolina’s Kendra Lynch busted the game wide open in the bottom of the first inning with a grand slam as the Tar Heels went on to defeat Pitt 9-0 in five innings.
North Carolina hit three homers in the game, two of which were in the first inning en route to scoring seven runs in the frame which put the game out of reach.
Leading 1-0, the first UNC round-tripper was Lynch’s grand slam which put the Tar Heels up 5-0. Two batters later Jordan Scarboro launched a two-run shot to left center for a 7-0 advantage.
The Tar Heels would tack on a third home run in the second inning as Amber Parrish went yard, and the final run of the game came in the fifth inning on an RBI single from Kristen Brown. UNC out-hit Pitt 8-3 for the game.
Game Two: North Carolina 8, Pitt 7 (Eight Innings)
North Carolina scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning on a Jenna Kelly RBI single and the Tar Heels withstood a rally from the Panthers in the bottom half of the inning to hold on for an 8-7 extra inning victory.
UNC jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Kelly homered off the scoreboard in left field.
Pitt answered in the bottom of the third inning with four runs to take their first lead of the day. Tori Nirschl led off the inning with a walk, which was followed by Jordan Fannin reaching on a fielding error by the UNC left fielder. Two batters later, Sevilla roped a double to right center which scored both Nirschl and Fannin. The next batter was Thea and she smacked her third home run of the season with a laser to left center which gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
The Tar Heels regained the lead in the fifth inning by plating three runs which gave them a 6-4 advantage. The Panthers allowed three walks in the inning and two of those base runners came around to score. The big hit came from pinch hitter Lauren Walker with a two RBI double to left field.
But with the Panthers trailing 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Pitt rallied for three runs which tied the game at 7-7. With one out, Savannah King was hit by a pitch and then Ashlee Sills singled to left. Taylor Henry would line out for the second out, but Katherine Kramer loaded the bases with a walk which brought up Nirschl who provided a two-RBI single to center field. Jordan Fannin followed that up with a bloop single to shallow right which plated Kathryn Duran to tie the game.
Pitt had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but could not score Sevilla who led off the inning with a double, and Pitt would enter its second extra inning game of the season.
UNC struck in the top of the eighth inning with back-to-back one out singles which put runners on first and second for Kelly who smacked a single to right field for the go-ahead run. Kelly was 2-for-4 with four RBI in the night cap.
Once again, the Panthers threatened to tie or win the game in the home half of the frame, but stranded Nirschl and Fannin who led off the inning by reaching safely. Both the Panthers and the Tar Heels left 10 runners on base in the game.
Pitt and UNC will conclude the three game series tomorrow afternoon at Noon.
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