Panthers cinch series win over Tar Heels

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Panthers cinch series win over Tar Heels

Kayla Harris on the mound against North Carolina over the weekend. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Kayla Harris on the mound against North Carolina over the weekend. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Kayla Harris on the mound against North Carolina over the weekend. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Kayla Harris on the mound against North Carolina over the weekend. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

By Ashwini Sivagenesh / Staff Writer

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Pitt sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko’s bat was golden for the Panthers’ softball team this weekend.

In game one of a three-game series against North Carolina, Zeremenko knocked off her first of three homers on the weekend. She brought in fellow teammates Jenna Modic and Shelby Pickett for runs and played an integral part in the Panthers’ unbelievable series win over the Tar Heels.

Saturday started at Vartabedian Field with a split doubleheader with Pitt (18-9, 2-4 ACC) taking the first victory 7-3, and North Carolina (14-14, 3-3 ACC) taking the second victory 13-3. Pitt captured the series with an 11-3 win in the last game.

The first game’s triumph marked the 200th career win for Pitt head coach Holly Aprile.

UNC only made it on the board after a three-run homer in the sixth in game one, but it was too late to catch up as Pitt already had two runs during the third.

Pitt freshman Olivia Gray sealed the victory with her first career home run and brought the final score to 7-3.

Game two started with UNC taking the lead and plating three runs in the first inning. Neither team showed any progress until the Tar Heels brought home another run during the top of the fifth.

Those runs foreshadowed a crushing defeat for Pitt when the Tar Heels picked up another nine during the top of the sixth. UNC’s Berlynne Delamora had a three-run homer to start the inning, followed by a back-to-back home run and a two-run homer, bringing the score to 13-0 by the middle of the inning.

Pitt tried to recover, as Zeremenko got her second homer of the series, followed by a double from Gray that brought in Erin Hershman, but the day ended with a 13-3 loss for Pitt.

During the last game of the series Sunday, UNC got on the board early once again with two runs, but the Panthers were not bowing out. They crushed the second inning, scoring eight.

Junior Kaitlin Manuel hit a grounder for Pitt’s first two runs of the game. Alexis Solak then plunged one over the right field wall for a three-run homer.

Modic responded with a high fly ball over the wall, bringing in another two runs, immediately followed by the last Zeremenko homer of the weekend, making the score 8-1 at the end of the inning.

North Carolina put up another two runs during the top of the third, ending with a score of 8-3.

Pitt got another run in the fourth, but the Panthers shortened the game to five innings after sophomore McKayla Taylor hit a double to bring in two more runs. The final score, 11-3, marked a series win for Pitt.

The Pitt Women’s Softball team’s next game will be a series at home against Virginia starting 4 p.m., March 25. The game will be aired live on ESPN3.

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