Duke Blue Devils News: Baseball stumbles vs. UNC, softball advances, more

In today's Duke news roundup, we look at a disappointing weekend for baseball and lacrosse but a dominant showing by the Blue Devil softball team.
Duke v Miami
Duke v Miami / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Here is you Duke sports roundup for Monday, May 20, 2024.

Duke baseball stumbles vs. North Carolina

It was a disappointing end to the regular season for the Duke baseball team. After taking game one from rival North Carolina on Thursday, the Blue Devils dropped the final two games to lose the three-game series in Durham.

Friday, the Tar Heels scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tie game and prevail 6-4. The win helped UNC secure the ACC regular-season title.

"First off, congratulations to Carolina on the outright regular season championship," Duke head coach Chris Pollard said. "They have had a great year. I told [UNC head coach] Scott [Forbes] before the game that I feel like they are the most complete club that we have played all year. We have played a bunch of really good clubs. Today was a really good baseball game."

In the game, Alex Stone extended his hitting streak to 11 games after going 3-4. Meanwhile, Zac Morris mashed his 15th homer of the season.

Saturday's game was not as competitive. In a 14-6 loss, Duke surrendered seven runs in the top of the third inning and four more in the top of the fifth.

One of the only bright spots on the day was Stone extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He was 2-4 with two RBI on the day.

Duke finishes the regular season 35-18 overall but just 16-14 in ACC play. The Blue Devils will be the No. 6 seed in the ACC Tournament, which begins this week. They open against No. 10 seed Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Duke will also square off with NC State on Thursday.

Duke softball sweeps NCAA Tournament Regional

Duke softball had a spectacular weekend by sweeping through the NCAA Tournament's Durham regional. The Blue Devils opened with a 6-1 win over Morgan State on Friday that saw the home team score all six of its runs after the fourth inning.

Saturday, Duke dominated South Carolina 8-0 in six innings. It was just a 3-0 lead, though, into the sixth inning when Duke plated five runs in the bottom of the frame to end the game by NCAA run rule.

In Sunday's 10-1 win over the Gamecocks, it was nearly a repeat of Saturday's contest. Leading just 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Duke exploded for eight runs to put the game out of reach in a 10-1 victory to advance to the Super Regional round.

"We are super excited to win another regional at home against a quality opponent," head coach Marissa Young said, "and I'm super proud of the way this team just came out, competed, and continued to get better as the game went on and really separated themselves and showed some dominance. We had outstanding pitching in the circle from Cassidy Curd and Jala Wright, who again closed things out."

Duke now heads to Colombia, Missouri for a three-game Super Regional against Missouri, the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It is the program's third trip to the Super Regionals. The series begins Friday at 2 p.m.

Duke Lacrosse eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Unfortunately, the season has come to an end for the Duke lacrosse team. Falling 14-11 to Maryland on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, the No. 2 seed came up short of its goal of a national title.

It was the final quarter that doomed the Blue Devils. Entering the fourth, Duke led 9-7 but in the last frame, Maryland had a 7-2 edge. The Terrapins scored the final three goals of the game to snap an 11-11 tie. Duke's season ends with a 13-6 overall record.

NCAA and Power Conferences may be headed for a settlement

This week, NCAA athletes are expected to earn a much larger share of the financial pie that they generate for their schools. A vote is set to be held on a massive settlement of a lawsuit that will pay athletes as much as $2.7 million for past damages.

The NCAA is expected to foot the bill for the settlement, which will be paid out over the next decade. However, it is expected that to compensate, the NCAA will cut back on the funding it provides to its individual universities.