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Softball shutout in weekend series at North Carolina

Virginia lost three games to North Carolina, each ending in an 8-0 run rule in five innings

<p>Senior pitcher Lacy Smith and the Cavaliers couldn't keep up with North Carolina offensively this weekend.&nbsp;</p>

Senior pitcher Lacy Smith and the Cavaliers couldn't keep up with North Carolina offensively this weekend. 

The Virginia softball team suffered three losses against ACC foe North Carolina this weekend at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill. 

Game 1: Virginia 0, North Carolina 8

North Carolina (22-13, 11-4 ACC) defeated Virginia (16-21, 5-10 ACC) 8-0 in the series opener Saturday afternoon. The game ended in a five-inning run rule after the Cavaliers were unable to come up with any runs. North Carolina junior pitcher Brittany Pickett pitched a shutout, holding Virginia to just two hits for the day. 

For the Cavaliers, senior infielder Lacy Smith doubled in the first, but three consecutive strikeouts followed to leave Smith in scoring position. Virginia’s other hit came from senior catcher Olivia Gott. Gott played well defensively, throwing out two Tar Heels attempting to steal second in the fourth inning. 

North Carolina took to the board in the second with a two-out double and two singles that brought in a pair of runs. The Tar Heels extended the lead in the following inning, scoring another pair on a home run, double and single. Four more runs came in the fifth to give North Carolina an eight-run lead. A two-run single was followed by a walk-off double by senior outfielder Kiani Ramsey.

Virginia freshman pitcher Aly Rayle pitched two and one-third innings and took the loss, giving up eight hits and four runs before being replaced by senior Erika Osherow in the bottom of the third. 

Game 2: Virginia 0, North Carolina 8

The Tar Heels earned another pair of wins Sunday, scoring eight runs in each and finishing the series in a three-game shutout against Virginia.

Pickett earned the win on the mound for North Carolina, allowing just a single hit by Virginia sophomore infielder Hayley Busby in the first at-bat of the game. 

After scoring one in the bottom of the second, the Tar Heels rallied in the fourth inning, adding seven runs to the board. A pair of singles and four walks combined to score three, and with the bases loaded, Lexi Godwin hit a grand slam to make it an 8-0 game. 

Senior pitcher Allyson Frei pitched three innings and earned the loss for the Cavaliers, giving up five runs on five hits.

Game 3: Virginia 0, North Carolina 8

Another five-inning game ended in a shutout, with Virginia unable to produce offensively. Smith and Osherow each plated back-to-back singles in the top of the first, but the inning closed with two left on base. The Tar Heels, however, took to the board early in the same inning on six hits. Three singles, two doubles and a home run by sophomore catcher Megan Dray brought in a combined four runs for North Carolina. 

A solo shot by Pickett made it a 5-0 game in the third. Following up in the next inning, the Tar Heels brought in a sixth run off of two singles, a walk and a pop fly. Another pair of singles and walks in the bottom of the fifth led to the 8-0 run rule. 

Freshman pitcher Hannah George earned the win for the Tar Heels, allowing just three hits and shutting out the Cavaliers in five innings. Rayle took the loss in the circle after giving up four runs on four hits.

Virginia next travels to play Longwood Tuesday at 6 p.m.