Lucas Zheng | Staff Photographer
Baseball and softball both won their respective series against UNC this weekend. Baseball took two of three games from the Tar Heels, while softball swept its opponents from Chapel Hill in three games. Elsewhere, Felix Wolter highlighted the Virginia Challenge Track and Field meet for Pitt, winning the decathlon.
Pitt baseball won its series against UNC this weekend 2-1, taking both games of its double-header on Saturday.
Game one finished with a final score of 6-2, with the Panthers out-hitting UNC 10-9. The offense was led by senior outfielder Nico Popa, who had a homerun and two RBIs, and junior outfielder Ron Washington Jr., who contributed a home run and an RBI.
Game two, on the other hand, was a defensive battle. The Panthers ended up on top by a final score of 3-2. Both teams combined for only 10 hits and all five runs were scored in one inning. Redshirt senior David Yanni ended up with the game-winning hit in the third inning with a single to center that scored two.
Carolina opened game three with five runs in the top of the first and Pitt responded with four of its own in the bottom. UNC then scored four more in the top of the seventh. The Panthers responded with three more. The Tar Heels had the lead going into the bottom of the ninth and despite Pitt getting a rally going, UNC managed to close the game out. The final score was 10-9, with the teams combining for 25 hits.
Pitt improved its record to 20-11 overall at the conclusion of the weekend. Its next series is one of massive importance in the ACC. The Panthers will travel to face No. 7 Louisville for a three-game set starting Friday.
Pitt softball also came up with a series win over UNC this weekend. In game one, the Panthers won 6-5, thanks to a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore outfielder EC Taylor started it off with a single past the shortstop. Then sophomore infielder Kayla Lane hit a home run to score both her and Taylor. With two outs and the game tied up, senior outfielder Hunter Levesque ended it with a walk-off home run.
Game two did not even need a bottom of the seventh. The Panthers took a 5-3 lead in the fourth and managed to hold on for the rest of the game. The contest ended with a final of 6-4 in Pittsburgh’s favor. Pitt managed to out-hit UNC in game two with 10 hits to UNC’s eight. Redshirt senior pitcher Brittany Knight was credited with the win. She did not give up a single earned run against any of the 15 batters she faced.
Pitt completed its sweep of UNC in game three, winning 11-7. The Panthers were down going into the bottom of the sixth, but rallied for nine runs.
Pitt improved its record to 14-25. The double against Akron — originally scheduled for Tuesday — was cancelled so the Panthers will not be back in action until this Friday, when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, for three games against Boston College.
Track and field
Pitt track and field competed in the Virginia Challenge this weekend, finding much success.
Wolter, a senior, had a stellar performance this weekend. He recorded the second-best score in the NCAA this season for decathlon, winning the event with a personal best score of 7,950 points. His road to a 7,950-point win included wins in the 400-meter dash, 100, discus, long jump, pole vault, shot put, high jump and 1,500.
Senior Kollin Smith also recorded a couple of victories. He placed first in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.16 seconds — a school best — and first in the long jump with a jump of 7.72 meters — a personal best.
The final highlight of this weekend’s track and field meet was Junior Eddita Pessima’s first place in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.72 seconds.
The track team’s next meet will be the Kentucky Open, which starts on Friday, April 30.