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The Daily Tar Heel

Softball Lights Up Spartans Early

The Tar Heels decided they liked putting an early lead on the board so much that they did it again.

UNC's anxious offense allowed it to sweep a doubleheader against the Spartans with 8-0 and 6-4 wins Tuesday.

Michelle Semmes and Natalie Anter led the way with their bats, and the Tar Heels received impressive pitching performances from Radara McHugh and Michael Parrott en route to stymieing the Spartans at Finley Field.

In the opening game, UNC started quickly. The first inning saw Beth Olen line a two-out single to center field, scoring Semmes and Anter to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead.

North Carolina (32-17-1) would not look back.

The Tar Heels added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and added four more in the sixth, enough for the them to upend the Spartans via the mercy rule.

"It makes the game a lot easier when you're ahead, especially in the first inning," Anter said. "For the pitching, the defense, and the hitting, a whole lot of confidence is spread throughout the team."

One batter who showed this confidence was Semmes, who put on a

4-for-4 offensive clinic in the opener. With her 343rd total base, she also passed Loren Slade at the top of UNC's career list.

"I didn't know anything about (the record)," Semmes said. "It makes me happy though."

With the offense taken care of, Radara McHugh shut down the Spartans with her arm, allowing two hits and striking out nine in six innings.

"The fact that we got a lot runs helps," McHugh said. "But, it's a personal goal of mine to get a shutout."

Though the Spartans were not shut out in game two, Parrott did her share to hold UNC-G in check.

The sophomore struck out nine and allowed seven hits to push her record to 13-7.

Parrott was aided by North Carolina's offense, which used another big first inning as a catalyst for the 6-4 victory.

UNC was again productive early, pushing home five runs in the opening frame, as the Tar Heels' entire lineup came to the plate.

UNC coach Donna Papa said she was pleased with her team's performance.

Papa said, "Any time you can score first on another team, then you can relax a little more as far as playing the game."

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