Weekend Sports Recap | Pitt teams compete for national titles, ramps up spring seasons


Lucas Zheng | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt junior infielder Sky Duff (3) celebrates a grand slam during Pitt’s first home ACC series win of the 2021 season against Miami University in April 2021.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

With the spring season officially in full swing and warmer weather rolling in, the Panthers are reaching the heart of their schedules. Lacrosse, baseball and softball are still searching for their first conference wins, while several wrestlers and one diver compete for national championships.

Here’s how Pitt athletics fared through St. Patrick’s Day weekend.


The Panthers (10-10, 1-5 ACC) visited Blacksburg, Virginia, over the weekend and lost their weekend series against Virginia Tech (12-6, 2-4 ACC).

Pitt won the first game 4-3 with help from back-to-back home runs from senior outfielder Ron Washington Jr. and senior infielder Bryce Hulett in the sixth inning. But in the second game, junior designated hitter Jack Anderson’s own sixth-inning dinger couldn’t make up for the Hokies’ 15-run outburst in the last three innings, and they lost 22-6.

The Pitt bats went timid in the rubber match, as they left the third and the fourth innings with the bases loaded. They only collected four hits in the 7-1 loss, the one run coming from junior outfielder Kyle Hess’ seventh-inning solo homer.

The Panthers will return home Wednesday and host the Kent State Golden Flashes. ACC Network Extra will broadcast the game at 3 p.m.


The Panthers (10-10, 4-3 EAGL) competed in the EAGL championships on Saturday in Washington, and placed last out of the eight schools with a 193.575 total score. Host George Washington finished with the highest score of the meet, 196.325.

Individually, senior Katie Chamberlain placed second in the uneven bars with a 9.900, tied with NC State senior Meredith Robinson and Towson first year Steph Macasu for the silver medal spot. LIU sophomore Mara Titarsolej won the event with a 9.950. First years Hallie Copperwheat and Sidney Washington were two of the five athletes who competed in the all-around competition and they finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Copperwheat won EAGL Rookie of the Year honors and made the all-EAGL Tournament first team. Chamberlain and Washington made the first team, while first year Jordan Ewing and graduate student Katie Gillings made the all-tournament second team.

Pitt now has to wait and see if it qualifies for the NCAA regional championships starting on March 30. The selection show will take place Tuesday.


Pitt (4-5, 0-4 ACC) lost to No. 14 Virginia (5-5, 1-3 ACC) 17-7 on the road in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday. The Panthers have yet to win a game in the ACC.

Five Pitt players collected goals in the loss, including junior attacker Carlie Leach and sophomore midfielder Maureen McNierney, who scored two goals apiece. But the Cavalier offense proved to be too much for the Panthers. Virginia senior attacker Ashlyn McGovern matched Pitt’s total goal output with seven goals by herself. First-year midfielder Rachel Clark added four goals of her own to put the game out of reach.

The Panthers will return Monday to Highmark Stadium to take on Niagara University at 5 p.m.


Pitt softball (11-12, 1-5 ACC) hosted Notre Dame (22-6, 4-2 ACC) over the weekend, and the Irish swept the Panthers in their first home ACC series. The two teams played a doubleheader on Friday, and Pitt couldn’t get the bats going in the first game, a 7-5 loss, until it was too late.

First-year catcher Rachael Fuerst hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, and sophomore outfielder Cami Compson followed that up with a solo shot in the next inning to bring the Panthers within a run. But the Irish tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh, and first-year infielder Haylie Brunson’s bases-loaded walk wasn’t enough to come back from the deficit.

The Panther offense went completely silent in the back half of the doubleheader. Notre Dame shut out Pitt 11-0 in five innings to sweep the twin bill. The Irish swept the series on Saturday with a 8-2 victory — Compson’s second home run of the series was the only offense for Pitt in that game.

Pitt will host Virginia Tech for its next series starting Friday. The ACC Network will stream all three games of the series, with the first starting at 6 p.m.

Swimming and Diving

Senior diver Amy Read was the only Pitt athlete who competed in the NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships. She qualified for all three events, but did not make it past the qualifying round in any. Read placed 50th out of 51 divers in the 3-meter, 46th out of 47 in the one-meter and 45th out of 46 in the platform.

Pitt will send first-year diver Cameron Cash, junior diver Dylan Reed and senior swimmer Cooper Van der Laan to Atlanta for the men’s championships from Wednesday to Friday.

Track and Field

Pitt took part in two meets at the same time over the weekend — the Stan Romanoski Open at West Virginia and the Hurricane invitational at Miami.

In Morgantown, the Panthers dominated the hammer throw and the steeplechase events. Graduate student Noah Walker won the men’s hammer with a 64.53-meter throw, while the women swept the podium for their hammer throws. Sophomores Foluke Olujide-Ajibade (51.64 m) and Lanie Bainter (48.64 m), along with junior Shannah Mallett (47.02 m), placed first through third, respectively.

Sophomore Emily Brown placed second in the women’s 1500-meter steeplechase with a 5:03.64 time, while graduate student John Higgins and redshirt sophomore Jack Miller took the top two spots for the men in the same event. They finished with 4:19.44 and 4:23.78 times, respectively.

In Miami, first year Caleia Johnson placed third in both the women’s 100-meter and 200-meter, finishing with 11.88 and 23.72 times. Breanna Phillips finished second in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a 1:01.88 time.

Up next, the Panthers will travel to Austin, Texas, to compete in the Texas Relays from Wednesday to Saturday.


Pitt wrestling finished its season by sending six wrestlers to the NCAA championships in Detroit. They placed 24th out of 69 schools.