Pitt Softball Gets Win, Baseball Falls Sunday

It was mixed day for Pitt softball and baseball with softball gaining a win over North Carolina State but baseball falling at No. 14 Clemson.

SOFTBALL

RALEIGH, N.C. – The University of Pittsburgh softball team shutout NC State 3-0 in the final matchup Sunday afternoon at Dail Softball Stadium to take the series 2-1.

“We just kept battling,” said head coach Holly Aprile. “The first loss was disappointing but we worked to not let it get us down mentally. We stayed confident, made some great plays and came up with a couple of big hits that got our offense going in the last two games. We also had two really good pitching performances after a bit of a struggle in the first game.”

The Panthers move to 23-12 on the season and are now 5-7 in ACC play, while NC State falls to 17-20 overall and are 3-6 in the ACC.

Pitt posted all three of its runs in the fourth inning, as two came around on a pair of hits and the third on a bases-loaded passed ball.

The Panthers produced just four hits in the game. Sophomore Erin Hershman posted two for Pitt, while redshirt senior Shelby Pickett and freshman Olivia Gray each had one.

Junior Kaitlin Manuel and senior Kathryn Duran each earned a single RBI for the Panthers.

On the mound, senior Jenna Modic and sophomore Kayla Harris combined to shut out the Wolfpack. Modic started for Pitt and left NC State hitless through three innings before being relieved by Harris in the fourth. Harris posted a solid effort in relief, striking out three and walking just a single batter.

Harris finished the weekend with 11 strikeouts and a 2.10 ERA. Modic put away eight batters and posted a 2.80 ERA.

Pitt 3, NC State 0
· It took just one inning for Pitt to defeat NC State and take the series, as the Panthers put up all three of its runs in the fourth to win 3-0.
· Pitt played solid defense in the field and had outstanding pitching on the mound as Modic and Harris held the Wolfpack hitless until the fourth inning and gave up just three total hits.
· In the top of the fourth inning, with one away, back-to-back hits by Gray and Hershman set up runners on second and third for senior Kathryn Duran. Duran dropped down a perfect bunt, allowing Gray to score and Hershman to reach third on the play. With runners on first and third as Duran was safe on the previous play, Manuel hit a high fly ball into foul territory to score Hershman who tagged up. Pitt loaded the bases after a walk and a throwing error by the NC State short stop, setting up Duran to score. The senior crossed the plate on a passed ball to give the Panthers their third run and a 3-0 advantage.
· Pitt’s defense held up in the final two innings as NC State left runners stranded in two of the final three innings of play.

Up Next
· Pitt will return home on Wednesday, April 6 to take on non-conference foe Bucknell. First pitch of the series is slated for 3 p.m.

BASEBALL

CLEMSON, S.C. – A one-run eighth inning lifted the nationally-ranked Clemson Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the University of Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers claimed the series victory, having claimed a win on Friday.

“It was a good baseball game,” said head coach Joe Jordano. “We had a couple of opportunities to extend the lead early and we did not execute the at bats. On the mound, we walked a few guys and that hurt us and ultimately a lead off walk in the bottom of the eighth was the game winner for Clemson. We now look forward to continuing our non-conference schedule against Penn State on Tuesday and hosting a very tough Georgia Tech team next weekend.”

Scoring in the first inning for the fourth consecutive time, the Panthers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Charles Leblanc continued his impressive streak, sending a single to right center. A double from Nick Yarnall down the right field line scored Leblanc, as Yarnall advanced to third on a fielding error by the right fielder.

Aaron Sandefur was hot from the go, retiring seven of the first nine batters faced. The Tigers got the run back in the third when Chris Okey smacked a hard shot to Leblanc to bring home K.J. Bryant, who had singled, advanced to second on a walk and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt from Manny Pazos.

Pazos led off the fifth inning with a single through the left side, advancing to second on a wild pitch before a dropped ball in right field would allow Jacob Wright to head all the way to third, scoring Pazos. The error would prove even more costly for the Tigers as Leblanc singled in the next at bat, scoring Wright and giving the Panthers a 3-1 lead.

Sandefur found his groove, retiring six of seven batters faced in the fourth and fifth innings to retain the Pitt lead. The starter got in a bit of trouble in the bottom of the sixth as he put a pair of runners on with no outs following back-to-back singles from Okey and Seth Better. A walk to Reed Rohlman would load the bases as Jordano opted to remove Sandefur in favor of Isaac Mattson.

Mattson would retire the first two batters he faced but allowed a two-RBI single to Chris Williams to tie the game at 3-3. A fly out to Frank Maldonado would end the inning with the score tied for the second time in the contest.

Pitt went down in order in the seventh as the Panther bullpen called on Friday starter Josh Falk. The righty sat down three of the four batters he faced in the seventh and returned to the bump for Pitt in the eighth.

Falk issued a lead-off walk to Rohlman in the eighth, as the left fielder was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Weston Wilson. A wild pitch brought Rohlman to third before an RBI single by Jordan Green gave the Tigers a 4-3 advantage. Falk would strike out Chris Williams and get Bryant to foul out to end the inning.

Heading to the ninth down by one, the Panthers put all of their cards on the table, pinch hitting P.J. DeMeo, Ron Sherman and Yaya Chentouf. Sherman managed a two-out single to right center but did not advance past the initial base as the Tigers held on for a 4-3 victory.

With the loss, the Panthers fall to 4-3-0 on the season and 5-7-0 in ACC play. Falk was awarded the loss, falling to 2-4 on the year.

Offensively, Leblanc led the way again, going 2-4 with an RBI and run scored, while Pazos added a pair of hits, with a run scored.

Pitt will travel to State College, Pa., for a Tuesday night meeting with Penn State under the lights before returning home for a three-game series with Georgia Tech from Charles L. Cost Field. Friday and Saturday’s action can be seen live on ESPN3.

Notes: The Panthers fall to 2-4 all-time against Clemson … Charles Leblanc has now recorded 15 multiple hit games this season … Manny Pazos posted his first multiple hit game of the season … Aaron Schnurbusch snapped a 13-game reached base streak … P.J. DeMeo snapped a 10-game reached baes streak … Leblanc extended his reached base streak to nine. … both Leblanc and Ron Sherman have now hit safely in four straight outings … Pitt falls to 6-7 on the road and 4-5 in road ACC games … the Panthers fall to 3-6 against teams ranked in the top 25 … Pitt drops to 12-7 in day games and 8-8 in games played on grass … Pitt drops 6-4 in games wearing blue jerseys and 2-1 in one-run games … Pitt is now 0-1 when tied after six and falls to 0-10 when trailing after eight … Pitt falls to 1-8 when being out-hit by the opponent and 7-6 when committing one or less errors … the Panthers fall to 1-2 in the month of April and 4-2 on Sunday games.


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