In the teams' next meeting Sunday afternoon, it seemed things had fallen apart.
The Lady Volunteers defeated the Tar Heels 1-0 in the Triangle Classic softball tournament at Walnut Creek Softball Complex on Sunday, eliminating UNC from tournament play.
The Tar Heels had qualified to play Tennessee again after defeating Purdue 6-2 on Saturday night in its first gold-bracket game.
"I'm just really disappointed," UNC coach Donna Papa said. "We really felt like we should be in the championship, and we didn't get the job done."
Unlike in their games on Saturday, the Tar Heels were unable to capitalize on their few scoring opportunities.
One such opportunity came and went in the first inning. A bunt and a steal put UNC's Dionne Streete on third with no outs. Three batters and three outs later, the Tar Heels went back into the field scoreless.
UNC's Natalie Anter had the team's only hit, as Tennessee pitcher Nicole Borg delivered seven strikeouts against the Tar Heels.
"Tennessee, I think, was really focused and really wanted us based on what we did (Saturday)," Papa said.
What they did Saturday was blow out the Lady Vols 13-0.
The Tar Heels (10-2-1) had produced one run in each of their last three games.
"I was waiting for us to break out, and we broke out today," Papa said after Saturday's game.
The Tar Heels put up two runs in the top of the first inning and three in the second.
Lauren Parker snuck across home plate in the third inning when Streete's single eluded Tennessee's infielders.
Junior Kelly Ramsey led the team with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
Five more runs in the sixth inning helped the Tar Heels defeat the Lady Vols. The win boosted the Tar Heels' tournament record to 3-0 and qualified them for gold bracket play against Purdue.
"Everybody executed. We played the way that I felt like this team can play," Papa said.
UNC's senior pitcher Radara McHugh played a large role in that execution. McHugh, who started the game in a school-record streak of 39 scoreless innings, improved to a 0.17 ERA by the end of the night.
McHugh said she was not worried about protecting her streak during that first game against Tennessee.
"I've done it 39 innings before," she said. "I should be able to keep on doing it, and there's nothing that's stopping me from doing it."
Her streak ended at 48 in Sunday's game when Tennessee's Adrianna Wilson hit a grounder that hit brought the winning run in the bottom of the second.
The Lady Vols went on to claim the Triangle Classic championship.
McHugh and senior shortstop Michelle Semmes earned spots on the Triangle Classic All-Tournament team.
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