Long Beach State Keeps It Close But North Carolina Prevails 7-5
Long Beach State closes the Judi Garman Classic at home tomorrow at 9 a.m.
North Carolina (9-7) got on the board first with a solo home run from pitcher Kendra Lynch in the second inning, but Long Beach State (11-8) answered back with a solo home run from Haley Tobler, tying the game at 1-1 after two innings.
Still tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Long Beach State escaped a jam, as the Tar Heels had two on with one out, forcing a pitching change for the 49ers. Cielo Meza walked the next batter, loading the bases, but struck out Kiana Sherlund, and then Tobler pulled back a long fly from Berlynne Delamora from over the wall, saving the grand slam and keeping the game tied.
The Tar Heels continued to put the pressure on, however. A two-run home run gave North Carolina the lead once more in the fifth inning, but Long Beach State answered with a two-run bottom half as well. Tierra Falo drew a leadoff walk, and after a single from Hannah Cookson, Darian Tautalafua brought in both runners with a double to tie the game at 4-4.
The narrative continued however, as North Carolina again took the lead, capitalizing on an error from Tobler in left field to bring home two runs.
The Beach was only able to pull back one run in the bottom half on a solo home run from Lauren MacLeod. Then for the third inning in a row, North Carolina pushed across a pair of runs, making the score 7-4.
Long Beach State threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Nichole Fry doubled with one out to put a runner on, and singles from Tautalafua and Julia Lombardi kept the pressure one while pulling the Beach to within two. Lynch was able to finish off the complete game however, getting the win despite allowing 10 49er hits on the day.
Long Beach State will play one more game as part of the Judi Garman Classic, hosting Wisconsin tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. in the LBSU Softball Complex. The game will be the home opener for the Beach.
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