DURHAM, N.C. – Junior Shannon Bustillos blasted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to drive the Maryland softball team to a 12-11 victory against North Carolina in the second game of the double-header Saturday. The Tar Heels won the first game of the day, 11-5.
Bustillos finished the day 5-for-8 with four runs scored, while senior Candice Beards was 5-for-7 with six RBIs to lead a strong offensive day for the Terrapins. Maryland also tallied four home runs on the day.
Maryland and North Carolina meet tomorrow at 10:00 am in the series rubber match.
Game two – Maryland 12, North Carolina 11
The Terps picked up their first conference victory of the season in dramatic fashion when Bustillos hit a two-run go-ahead shot in the top of the seventh to put Maryland in front, 12-11.
Bustillos’ home run capped off a seesaw battle between Maryland and North Carolina that combined for 23 runs, 21 RBIs, 18 hits and five home runs. The Terps rallied on three separate occasions to earn the win.
North Carolina opened the game with two runs in the first on a costly throwing error by the Terps, but the visitors answered right back with a two-run Hannah Dewey single to tie the game in the second.
After the Tar Heels opened a 7-2 advantage with five runs in the bottom of the second, Jessica Warner crushed a pitch over the center field fence to plate three runs and bring the Terrapin deficit to two, 7-5.
Beards then continued her hot streak in the fourth with her third hit of the game to knock in a pair of runs and tie the game at 7.
The Terrapins were forced to answer again when the Tar Heels stroked a pair of home runs to take an 11-7 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
Maryland was up to the challenge, however, as Juli Strange hit a pinch-hit solo home run to make the game 11-8. The Terps continued to chip away at the lead by scoring two more runs on a Corey Schwartz RBI single and a Tar Heel throwing error in the sixth.
Bustillos then finished the comeback with her two-run home run in the top of the seventh to put the Terps ahead for good and secure the victory.
Game one – North Carolina 11, Maryland 5
Beards went 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs and Bustillos tallied three hits as Maryland fell, 11-5, in the opening game of the day.
Maryland jumped on the board early when senior Amanda McCann opened the game with a leadoff triple down the right field line. After Bustillos reached base on an error, Warner knocked in McCann with a single up the middle.
The Tar Heels answered right back in the bottom of the inning, however, when Kristen Brown scored Aquilla Mateen with a single through the heart of the diamond. North Carolina then used two more hits to take a 3-1 advantage through the first inning.
After three scoreless innings, Maryland regained the lead when Beards connected for a three-run home run – her first of the season – to put the Terps up 4-3. Bustillos and Warner scored on the round-tripper.
Similar to the first inning, the Heels responded with three runs of their own for a 6-4 advantage in the fifth. Amber Parrish did most of the damage with a bases loaded single that scored two runs.
North Carolina scored five runs in the sixth to open an 11-4 lead, before Maryland battled back for one run on an RBI double by Beards that cut its deficit to six.