The Pitt softball team faced Duke down in Durham, North Carolina, in the third game of a three-game series on Sunday and was able to snap a seven-game losing streak to notch its first ACC win of the 2019 season. In the back-and-forth affair, the Panthers were able to edge the Blue Devils 5-3 on the strength of a late home run and RBI.
Katlyn Pavlick opened the scoring for Pitt with a two-run double in the second inning that scored Chandler Walter and Taylor Myers. However, Duke cut into the lead when Panthers pitcher Abby Edwards gave up a single and three subsequent walks in the bottom of the frame, bringing the score to 2-1.
After a lull in the action in the third inning, Hunter Levesque extended Pitt’s lead to 3-1 with a single that scored Morgan Batesole. But their lead was short-lived, as the Blue Devils evened the score at 3-3 on an RBI double by Duke utility player Rachel Abboud. Abboud batted in each of Duke’s runs, but the three she accounted for would not be enough.
The Panthers roared back in the seventh with a home run by Alexee Haynes and single by Batesole that scored Sarah Seamans. The Blue Devils had no answer.
Pitt head coach Jodi Hermanek commented on the Panthers’ win after the game.
”The message to this team has been that our glass is half full – remain positive,” Hermanek said. “In six of the last nine games, we’ve been in a winning position in the seventh inning. We are there to finish, and today, this team remained calm and resilient in the seventh inning to come out with the victory.”
While Pitt won the battle, it did not win the war against Duke, which took two of three games this weekend. The first was as hotly contested as the last, as the Blue Devils edged the Panthers 4-3 in extra innings on Friday. They then delivered the visitors an 8-0 beatdown on Saturday. Pitt was swept in its first ACC series of 2019 by Virginia, but two of those games were decided by a single run, as the Panthers put up a fight in each outing.
Sunday’s win puts Pitt at 4-21 overall on the season and 1-5 in conference ahead of the team’s home opener against Ohio. The Panthers will host the Bobcats at Vartabedian Field on Tuesday, and the first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.