The NC State softball team competed in the first round of the ACC Championship as the No. 7 seed, winning 4-2 against No. 10 seed UNC-Chapel Hill. The Pack will advance to play No. 2 seed Florida State in the next round.
The Tar Heels came out ready to play in the first inning, opening the scoring early. Freshman left-handed pitcher Estelle Czech (7 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K, 0 ER), however, did not start as strong as she hit the first batter of the game. The Pack put two runners on in the bottom of the inning but could not bring either in.
Czech came back in the second inning with her first 1-2-3 inning in the game, striking out two of the three batters to leave UNC scoreless. The Pack had a similar offensive inning to the first, with one hit, two runners left on base and no score.
UNC doubled its lead in the top of the third off an error, but the Pack finally responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Redshirt junior left fielder Sam Russ (2-3, RBI, BB) scored on a single by redshirt senior right fielder Tatyana Forbes (2-4, 2 RBI) to make the score 2-1 at the end of the third inning.
For UNC, the fourth inning was not successful for offense or defense. Two easy outs by the NC State defense and another strikeout by Czech brought the top of the inning to a close. The bottom of the inning was a long one for the UNC defense, who switched pitchers twice in the inning.
NC State scored three of its four runs in the fourth inning. The first was by freshman utility player Gracie Roberts (0-0, R) on an RBI walk by Russ, with the second by redshirt senior outfielder Brigette Nordberg (2-3, 2B) on another RBI walk by graduate shortstop Randi Farricker (0-3, RBI, BB). The final run of the game was scored by redshirt senior center fielder Angie Rizzi (1-3, BB) on an RBI single from Forbes.
With Czech pitching an amazing game across all seven innings and the Pack being able to overtake UNC in the fourth despite the NC State offense not being as dominating as it could have been, this game will hopefully be a good warmup for the quarterfinals against No. 2 seed Florida State.
The quarterfinal matchup against Florida State will be played Thursday, May 13 with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.