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The Daily Tar Heel

Night Stops UNC, Gophers

Minnesota challenged McHugh in a double-header at Finley Field, and McHugh was up to the challenge.

In the first game, McHugh squared off with Gopher pitcher Piper Marten, and McHugh outdueled Marten to lead the Tar Heels to a 1-0 victory.

"I thought Radara McHugh pitched a great first game," UNC coach Donna Papa said.

McHugh struck out seven in a dominating performance. She used her overpowering pitching to get out of a few jams as well.

McHugh faced runners on second and third in the second and fifth innings, but she didn't let them touch home.

UNC catcher Natalie Anter drove in the only run of the first game with a two-out double in the bottom of the first, scoring shortstop Michelle Semmes.

Anter made her presence felt on defense as well, as she picked off one baserunner each game.

"When somebody gets on, I'm just going to do my best to keep them from advancing anywhere," Anter said.

She also tagged out Marten at home in the top of the second inning in the first game.

"I think in the first game we had really good defense," Papa said.

The second game also saw a offensive struggle as Tar Heel pitcher Michael Parrott, with relief from McHugh, battled the Gophers' Angie Recknor.

The game was called during the bottom of the seventh inning due to darkness with the score tied 1-1. The Tar Heels improved to 6-1-1 overall.

The scoreless tie was finally broken during the top of the 6th inning as Minnesota first basemen Hailee Nanchy doubled into center field, scoring Recknor from second.

McHugh replaced Parrott, and the ace got out of the sixth and worked a

1-2-3 seventh inning to give the Tar Heels a chance.

McHugh struck out three more batters, and tallied 12 strikeouts over a combined nine innings of work.

"It takes everybody to do what happened today," McHugh said. "I get credit for the shutout, but the team should too."

Marten, who had replaced Recknor on the mound in the fifth, put away Rosie Gustavson and Quinn Porter in the bottom of the seventh to put the Gophers (6-2-1) one out from a split.

Tar Heel Dionne Streete had different ideas, and she let her bat do the talking. She doubled off Marten, and Semmes stepped to the plate.

Semmes, who was 3-for-3 in the second game, lined a single off of shortstop Shelly Nichols' glove, and Streete streaked to home plate, tying the game.

Anter looked to drive in Semmes, but the umpire called the game before she had a chance to hit.

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"I would have loved to have hit," Anter said.

In games where hitting was clutch, the Tar Heels fell one short of victory.

"I think we showed a lot of character at the end to be down that one run," Papa said. "We could have just folded our tents and gone home."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.