Sportswrap: Softball and women's track crowned ACC champions, men's lacrosse advances in NCAA tournament

Ana Gold and Cassidy Curd were instrumental in Duke softball's ACC Championship.
Ana Gold and Cassidy Curd were instrumental in Duke softball's ACC Championship.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of May 5-11:


Duke took home the ACC Championship this week, defeating Boston College, No. 23 Clemson and No. 13 Florida State in its run. The Blue Devils were the first ever program to play in two extra inning games in the same ACC tournament, needing 10 innings in both the quarter- and semi- final rounds. The championship week was characterized by outstanding run prevention, with the pitching staff only allowing 6 runs in 27 innings, headlined by senior ace Jala Wright’s 10-inning shutout and her career-high 17 strikeouts. Up next, No. 10-seed Duke (47-6, 20-4 in the ACC) welcomes Morgan State for the double-elimination regional stage of the NCAA tournament. -Myles Powicki

Track and field

Duke has won the women’s ACC Outdoor Championship for the second year in a row. In a meet that ran Friday through Sunday, the Blue Devils showcased power on the field and on the George C. Griffin Track in Atlanta. Saturday began and ended with relays, gold medals in the 4x100m and the 4x400m bookending Duke’s performances. Lauren Tolbert carried Maddy Doane, Megan McGinnis and Meredith Sims to a first-place finish in the 4x400m after cleaning up in the 400m dash just a few hours earlier. The men’s team, for its part, held first place at the meet until Saturday, when its shortage of sprinting talent held it back to seventh place. Duke now looks to the NCAA East Regional starting May 22. -Sophie Levenson

Men’s lacrosse

No. 2-seed Duke handily defeated Utah in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, using a 7-1 first-quarter run to jumpstart a 19-7 victory against the Utes. Graduate attacker Dyson Williams led the way with five goals, while his classmate Josh Zawada chipped in four of his own to highlight a dominant offensive performance. The Duke defense was also stout, with freshman goalkeeper Patrick Jameison recording 11 saves. The win advances the Blue Devils (13-5, 1-3 in the ACC) to the tournament’s quarterfinal round, where they will face No. 7-seed Maryland on May 18 in Hempstead, N.Y. -Ryan Hamner

Women’s golf

Duke has done it again, with the program punching its ticket and advancing to the NCAA Championship for the 34th time. The Blue Devils tackled cold and windy conditions in order to achieve a second-place finish at the NCAA Regional in Cle Elum, Wash. The team led after one round of play and achieved top-two finishes in subsequent rounds. Graduate student Emma McMyler and sophomore Andie Smith both finished in the top seven individuals at the competition, and Duke was the only team across the six regional competitions to feature all five golfers in the regional top twenty. The Blue Devils now prepare to round out their postseason run at the NCAA Championship in Carlsbad, Calif., beginning Friday. -Ryan Kilgallen


It was a week of ups and downs for the No. 9 Blue Devils, who won a big-time road game against No. 6 East Carolina in the midweek before dropping games Friday and Sunday to lose their weekend series against a punchy Georgia Tech group. Duke (34-16, 15-12 in the ACC) struggled to overcome a significant deficit in the first game of the series, falling 11-8 to the Yellow Jackets. In the second, emerging star AJ Gracia set the freshman home run record in a high-scoring 14-10 victory for the visiting Blue Devils. However, the last game of the series saw heavy back-and-forth scoring before the squad from Durham faltered in the last three innings to fall 8-6. Now, Duke looks ahead to a midweek game against Charleston before taking on rival No. 11 North Carolina in the final weekend series of the regular season. -Martin Heintzelman

Women’s lacrosse

After sneaking their way into the NCAA tournament, the Blue Devils fell in a 16-11 defeat to No. 8 Loyola Maryland. While the two teams were neck-and-neck for a majority of the contest, a 5-0 run from the Greyhounds in the fourth quarter gave them the necessary edge for the victory. Senior attacker Katie DeSimone led the way for Duke (10-9, 4-5 in the ACC) with five goals and one assist, while goalie Kennedy Everson had 11 saves. With their season over, the Blue Devils will look to regroup in hopes of better performances next spring. -Mackenzie Sheehy

Men’s tennis

The Blue Devils (20-10, 9-3 in the ACC) ended their NCAA Team Championships run Saturday, getting swept by No. 4 TCU 4-0. The No. 1 doubles team in the country — Garrett Johns and Pedro Rodenas — lost for the first time since March 3, and they both lost in singles as well. Last week, No. 13 Duke defeated both UNC Asheville and No. 20 Alabama in the Durham Regional, advancing to the team’s second straight Super Regional. However, Johns and Rodenas will compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in Stillwater, Okla., beginning May 21. -Ranjan Jindal


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