Greenville, N.C. – North Carolina captured its second shutout of the season on Wednesday night, defeating East Carolina, 4-0, to extend its winning streak to seven straight. The win lifts UNC to 12-4 while ECU slips to 8-7.
The heart of the Tar Heel order combined for seven hits in the game, led by Katie Bailiff who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Berlynne Delamora and Kendra Lynch each went 2-for-3 with an RBI, as Delamora added a walk, a double and a run scored. Taylor Wike went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in the two spot, and Destiny DeBerry registered a bunt single.
Brittany Pickett (5-0) hurled six shutout innings for the Tar Heels, allowing just five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Hannah Nommensen came in to close out the game, pitching a perfect bottom of the seventh.
Lydia Ritchie (6-4) tossed the first six innings for East Carolina, allowing all four runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Mary Williams pitched the seventh, giving up a hit and two walks with a strikeout.
UNC attacked early for two runs on three hits in the top of the first. Delamora drove in Wike with an RBI double to the warning track in left field, then Lynch and Bailiff followed with singles to give the Tar Heels a quick 2-0 lead.
East Carolina threatened in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with no outs due in part to a UNC error. However, the Tar Heels got some good fortune, as Tate McClellan left early tagging up from third on a pop up, turning a run into a double play as UNC got out of the inning unscathed.
The Tar Heels added a run in the third, as Wike led off with a single and a stolen base and Lynch sent her home on a sacrifice fly.
Three straight singles by Delamora, Lynch and Bailiff led to a fourth Tar Heel run in the top of the fifth.
The Pirates led off four innings with hits, including a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth, but Pickett held ECU to 1-for-14 with runners on base, including 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and Nommensen hurled a perfect bottom of the seventh to seal up the combined shutout, 4-0.
UNC opens Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend, hosting No. 21 Pittsburgh in a three-game series at Anderson Stadium. The Tar Heels will begin the conference slate on Friday, March 3, at 6 p.m., followed by 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday. All three games will air live on ACC Network Extra.