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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Sweeps Phoenix, Mountaineers

During the weekend, UNC got back to final scores more to its liking.

The Tar Heels, after a season-opening split to South Carolina in which they could muster only one run, blew through a weekend four-game sweep against Elon and Appalachian State at Finley Field.

UNC's Michael Parrott took the mound Sunday in the second game against the Mountaineers. The righty mixed speeds on her deliveries and struck out 13 in the Tar Heels' 6-1 victory.

Her strikeout total was a personal best and just four off UNC's all-time mark of 17 set by Tracey Brower in 1998.

"I came out, I knew what I had to do. I knew what that team had and knew the batters," Parrott said. "(UNC catcher Natalie Anter) was calling a great game, mixing up and changing speeds."

North Carolina's bats took care of the rest.

UNC opened the contest with consecutive RBI hits from shortstop Michelle Semmes and Anter.

Aiding her own cause, Parrott smashed a two-run double with the bases loaded to highlight a four-run first inning.

In the opener against ASU, Radara McHugh took the hill and did not disappoint the Finley faithful. McHugh struck out six, walked two and allowed two hits in five innings of work in the Tar Heels' 10-0 victory.

UNC was aided by the putrid fielding of Appalachian State, which stumbled its way to six errors. The miscues opened the door for the Tar Heels, who raked in 10 runs in three innings.

"I think everyone is so strong, one through nine," Semmes said. "Everyone feeds off another one getting a hit."

Against Elon on Saturday, UNC inflicted similar damage using the same formula: consistent bats and clutch mound work.

After a 5-1 opening victory against the Phoenix, the Tar Heels' increased their production in the second contest.

UNC slugged throughout a 9-1 shellacking, which included a five-run first inning. Third baseman Kelly Ramsey obliterated a 3-2 delivery for a line-drive, three-run bomb to highlight the barrage.

First innings were highly beneficial to the Tar Heels over the weekend. UNC unloaded 13 runs in the four opening frames they played.

"It gives you an advantage," UNC coach Donna Papa said. "You definitely feel like you are in control, and the other team has to play catch up the whole time. So that's not always a pleasant position to be in."

With the South Carolina split behind them, the weekend domination looks to propel the Tar Heels back to their 2000 form, a year in which the Tar Heels won a team record 47 games.

"I think it prepares us for future competition," first baseman Beth Olen said. "This kind of sets the stage of what we can do."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports

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