The Bear’s Perfect Game

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Big Sky Pitcher of the Week Erin Caviness threw a perfect game.

Perfection is reality, at least it was for UNC’s senior softball pitcher Erin Caviness. On Feb. 23, Caviness pitched the first perfect game in the Division I era for the Bears. The senior standout has done more than her part for the team this season.

It was a cloudy and cool morning and the small crowd of 123 in Santa Barbara, Calif. witnessed a masterclass from the circle. Caviness faced the minimum of 21 batters over seven innings, striking out eight.

“It felt like another game, our record isn’t great right now, so it felt good to go out and get a win for our team,” Caviness said.

The Bears were 2-7 headed into the first game of the UC Santa Barbara Tournament. Caviness’s perfect game gave her the third win of the season, having recorded the win in each of the Bear’s victories to that point.

“It was super special to me,” Caviness said.

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Right now, the Bears sit at 4-10 in the season. Caviness is the team leader in ERA (3.86), WHIP (1.00), starts (6), shutouts (2), complete games (4), innings pitched (35), strikeouts (40) and opponent’s batting average (.172).

Caviness was on a roll, but said she did not think about the perfect game until the 6th inning. Once she got out of there the magnitude hit her the most. She said she had been close to maybe doing this or even a no-hitter in the past, but something would always happen in the 6th inning. Either giving up a hit or walking a batter.

“When I looked up after the sixth and saw there were still no hits, and I hadn’t walked anyone. I thought it could happen,” she said.

Currently in her fifth season at UNC she is trying to raise the level of the softball program at UNC.

“I would say that my favorite moment was winning Big Sky last year,” Caviness said.

Last year, the team captured the Big Sky tournament title for the first time and advanced to the NCAA Division I Softball Championships for the first time. Caviness has also been named to the First Team All-Big Sky twice in her career, in 2023 and 2021.

She gave credit and huge props to her coach Dedeann Pendleton-Helm for her part in the perfect game as well.

“It was Coach P’s first perfect game, she calls the pitches, so it was her perfect game too,” Caviness said.

Coach P and Caviness are focused on building the UNC program.

“I feel like we all are starting a new culture at UNC, we’re on the uprise to bring a good name back to UNC softball,” Caviness said.

As the Bears move forward, the Fairfield Inn and Suites Colorado Classic is here. The Bears will make their home debut and play five games at Gloria Rodriguez Field over the weekend. March also marks the beginning of conference play. The first series starts on the 29th as the Bears look to defend their conference title.

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