Softball: Pitt swept by North Carolina

Pitt softball remains winless in conference play as the team suffered a doubleheader sweep against an ACC opponent this past weekend.

The Panthers (8-13, 0-5 ACC) lost their home opening series against the UNC Tarheels (13-11, 7-1 ACC) in the shortened series. Pitt was held scoreless in the first game and a come-from-behind rally fell short as the Panthers lost in extras.

Game One: UNC 9, Pitt 0 (5 Innings)

UNC began the game with a bang as the Tarheels went on to score seven runs on four hits in the opening frame before scoring two more runs on their way to a 9-0 victory.

The first two UNC batters logged back-to-back singles against Pitt starting pitcher Savannah King (5-9). King proceeded to hit the next batter to load the bases before getting two force-outs at home plate.

With two outs, the Tarheels took control of the pace of the game. UNC’s designated player Kati Causey reached base on a fielder’s choice and the Tarheels were able to score their first run. The following batter, Kendra Lynch hit a grand slam to right field to put UNC up 5-0.

As the Panthers began attempted to get one more out to limit the damage in the first inning, UNC hit a second homerun of the inning. Two batters after the grand slam, Jordan Scarboro hit a two run shot to left center to put UNC up 7-0.

UNC wasn’t finished scoring as Amber Parrish hit a solo home run off of pitcher Alexa Larkin in the top of the second adding on an eighth run to the score. The Tarheels final run came in the fifth inning with a two out RBI single from Kristen Brown.

The Tarheels outhit the Panthers 8-3 while Pitt also had two errors. Larkin struck out eight UNC batters over four innings in relief.

Game Two: UNC 8, Pitt 7 (8 Innings)

UNC jumped out to an early lead against the Panthers as Pitt’s rally fell short.

The Tarheels scored the winning run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by Jenna Kelly. Kelly was able to bring home her teammate with a two-out single to right field.

Alexa Larkin started the game for Pitt gave up a three run homerun to Kelly in the opening frame to give UNC an early 3-0 lead.

For the first time this weekend, the Panthers struck big against UNC pitcher Lori Spingola in the third inning.

Tori Nirschl walked followed by Jordan Fannin reaching base on an error by UNC’s left fielder. Two batters later, Maggie Sevilla hit a double to right center that plated two Pitt runners to put Pitt on the board and only down one run. Proceeding batter Carly Thea homered to left center to give Pitt a 4-3 lead.

The score would remain that way until the fifth inning when UNC would go ahead 6-4. The first of the three runs scored by the Tarheels was when Larkin walked a UNC batter with the bases loaded. Pinch hitter Lauren Walker smacked an RBI double to left field to score two more runs for UNC.

UNC would take a 7-4 lead in the top of the sixth when Jordan Scarboro scored from an RBI single by Amy Nece.

Pitt responded in the bottom half of the inning when the Panthers were able to score three runs to tie the game at 7. The Panthers loaded the bases when Savannah King was hit by a pitch, Ashlee Sills singled to left and Katherine Kramer walked. With Nirschl at the plate, the Panther hit a two-run single. The next batter Fannin singled to left that scored the tying run.

The Panthers had a chance to win this game in the seventh inning but were unable to score. Sevilla led off the inning with a double. With the winning run at second with no outs, Sevilla was left stranded as no Panthers were able to bring her home.

UNC scored the winning run after tallying three singles in the top of the eighth which put the Tarheels up 8-7.

Pitt had a second opportunity to win the game when the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth reached base. But UNC was able to strike out two of the final three Pitt batters as the runners were left on base.