North Carolina broke open a scoreless game in the fifth inning and went on to defeat East Carolina 5-0 Wednesday evening at the ECU Softball Stadium.

Erin Poepping (12-9) was saddled with the loss after surrendering four runs on three hits with five walks. Brittany Pickett (10-6) picked up the win in relief, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings and striking out five batters.

Tyler King, Rachel McCollum and Tate McClellan notched the Pirates’ three hits while Kiani Ramsey led UNC with a hit, run scored and three RBI. The Tar Heels only mustered five hits, but stole six bases and took advantage of seven walks issued by the East Carolina pitching staff.

After the teams went scoreless through the fourth inning, North Carolina broke through in the top of the fifth. Poepping walked the bases loaded and Ramsey capitalized by driving a double to left field, clearing the bases and putting the Tar Heels on top 3-0. Berlynne Delamora extended the UNC lead to 4-0 with a RBI single before the inning came to a close.

Pickett cruised through the final two innings, allowing just a two-out walk in the seventh frame.

ECU will stay in Greenville for its first American Athletic Conference home series of the season this weekend, hosting UCF. The opening contest is scheduled for Friday evening at 6 p.m.