NC State softball dropped its midweek matchup to the Campbell Camels 4-1 on Wednesday, March 15 at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
In a solid pitching matchup, the Wolfpack (7-17) just couldn’t keep up with the Camels (17-8). Pitchers from both teams competed the entire game, limiting much offense from developing, but the Camels took advantage of the few chances they had to ultimately emerge victorious.
Following a scoreless first inning, the second frame emerged as the defining stretch of the game. After Campbell pitcher Isabella Smith struck out the side for the second time in the top of the inning, redshirt junior right-hander Aisha Weixlmann began to show signs of trouble for the Pack.
Campbell’s first two batters quickly hopped on base, and with two runners on and no outs, Allyiah Swiney powered a single to bring both home. After Swiney stole third, Savannah White hit a sacrifice foul out that scored Swiney to bring the score to a 3-0 Campbell lead.
Weixlmann regrouped after the second inning, keeping the Camels scoreless for the next three innings and facing the minimum number of batters in the third and fourth. In the fifth, the Camels threatened again with two runners on base, but smart defense helped alleviate the problem and kept the score at 3-0.
Despite Weixlmann's best efforts up to this point, the Pack’s bats remained quiet. In the fourth inning, graduate center fielder Rebecca Murray got on base via a fielding error, but NC State was unable to capitalize. Later in the fifth, NC State got its first hit of the game when junior catcher Haley Haislip pushed a single across. However, the Pack was unable to score any runs with Smith continuing to power the Camels along.
As the game moved into the sixth, NC State had a chance to make it interesting — the Pack scored its first run of the game when a passed ball at home allowed freshman third baseman Nadia Sykes to cross the plate. However, that was all the red-and-white was able to do as two quick outs helped the Camels escape the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Campbell catcher Lindsey Hunt drew a walk and eventually made her way to third over the course of the following at-bats. Then, a sacrifice fly helped bring her home to give Campbell a security run, extending the lead to 4-1.
Heading into the seventh inning, the Pack had its last chance to make a comeback. However, NC State’s offensive woes continued as all three batters were quickly rung out.
Even though the Wolfpack’s bats were unable to get going for a majority of the night, most of that can be attributed to the excellent play of Smith. By the end of the game, she finished with a staggering 12 strikeouts while only allowing one hit.
On the other side of the field, Weixlmann had a solid day as well. Even though she allowed four runs — three of which came in the second inning — she finished the game with six strikeouts. She was critical in helping slow down Campbell after an alarming second inning to help give the Pack opportunities to get back into the game.
The Pack will be back in action on Friday, March 17 when it takes on Boston College in a three-game series at home. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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