Pitt heads into its next ACC series with some momentum, coming off a series win against the then-No. 11 North Carolina Tar Heels as well as taking one of three from the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers.
The Panthers (9-10, 3-3 ACC) will travel south to Durham, N.C., to take on the Duke Blue Devils (16-5, 2-4 ACC) this weekend in a three-game series. The series opener will take place on Friday at 6 p.m., and the final two contests will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with both of those games beginning at 1 p.m.
The starting pitchers have yet to be announced, but expected to take the hill in one of the outings for Pitt is sophomore ace T.J. Zeuch. In five games started this season, Zeuch has been dominant, posting a 1.15 ERA and an impressive 39-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Duke is led offensively by a trio of hitters all batting above .300, as Mike Rosenfeld (.323), Andy Perez (.321) and Kenny Koplove (.318) lead the way for the Blue Devils. Their rotation is led by sophomore right-hander Bailey Clark, who sports a 1.64 ERA and 34 strikeouts on the year.
After receiving votes in the National Top 25 poll for the first time since 2008, the Pitt softball team (22-6, 4-2 ACC) will host the North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-9, 3-0 ACC) this weekend in the team’s 2015 home opener.
The Panthers are hoping to bounce back from a mid-week 3-1 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions in State College, Pa.
Pitt will likely throw out its big arms against the Wolfpack, led by senior pitcher Savannah King. King has been dominant this year, picking up an ACC Pitcher of the Week honor in February. She currently boasts a 13-2 record with 41 strikeouts.
The team will be led offensively by junior Shelby Pickett, whose .430 average and 26 runs scored leads the team.
Pitt will have its hands full with NC State’s lineup: The Wolfpack has five players with four or more home runs on the season. The Panthers have just one.
The series will take place at Charles L. Cost Field. The first two games will be a double-header on Saturday, with the first one slated for 1 p.m. and the second slated for 3 p.m. The series finale will start on Sunday at noon.
After winning their first two matches of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday in St. Louis, senior wrestlers Max Thomusseit and Tyler Wilps each advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Thomusseit, the second seed in the 184 pound weight class, easily disposed of West Virginia’s Bubba Scheffel in the opening round Thursday afternoon, winning the bout by a score of 14-4. He then defeated Wisconsin’s Richard Robertson in his second round match that evening, cruising to an 11-4 victory.
Wilps’ matches were a little closer than his senior counterpart’s, but nonetheless escaped the two rounds unscathed. The eighth seed in the 174 pound weight class, Wilps finished off a tough battle with Oklahoma’s Matt Reed by a score of 7-4. His final match of the day was of greater ease, as Wilps outscored Ohio’s Cody Walters 5-0 in the third period to win 7-2.
On Friday, Wilps will take on Nebraska’s Robert Kokesh, the top seed in his weight class. Thomusseit will match up against Lehigh’s Nate Brown. If either advance further, the semi-finals will take place Friday at 8 pm, and the finals will kick off on Saturday at 8 pm.