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The Daily Tar Heel

Softball Tops FSU, Wins Invitational

While construction has been delayed on the state-of-the-art field, the Tar Heels used this weekend to address another complex: beating Florida State.

North Carolina beat the 17th-ranked Seminoles 3-2 in eight innings Sunday at Finley Field.

The game, part of the Tar Heel Invitational, gave the Tar Heels

(24-16-1, 1-2 in the ACC) some revenge after losing 2-0 and 5-0 to Florida State in a conference doubleheader Friday. The win also gave them some confidence.

"We had just dropped two," North Carolina shortstop Michelle Semmes said Sunday. "So we wanted to prove to ourselves that we could compete with them, that we could beat them."

The first step in that proof was scoring a run, which the Tar Heels could not accomplish in 14 innings Friday. Kelly Ramsey took that onus on her shoulders in the second inning Sunday with a home run over the 222-foot sign in right-center field.

After seven innings, though, the game was tied 2-2. The Seminoles (39-7, 3-1) had scored both of their runs because of two Tar Heel throwing errors on steal attempts, which gave UNC pitcher Radara McHugh (15-9) a sickening case of deja vu.

On Friday against Florida State, she took a no-hitter into the sixth only to be done in by two infield errors.

"You definitely think about that," McHugh said. "But I think that (Sunday), we had a little more fight."

After a scoreless seventh, the game went into extra innings. Because international rules were in effect, each team started its inning with a runner on second.

After McHugh struck out Kimmy Carter to end the Seminoles' eighth inning, the Tar Heels had a chance for the win. With a runner on third and one out, Semmes stroked a single to right field to win the game.

"I felt like I was due for a hit. I just wanted to hit it hard," Semmes said.

"The losses on Friday to FSU were disappointing, so we made some changes in our lineup," UNC coach Donna Papa said. "This win gives us a lot of confidence. It's a good springboard."

In the next game, the Tar Heels fell to East Carolina 4-1.

Michael Parrott (9-7) took the loss against East Carolina, as sloppy infield play once again did in UNC.

Still, the Tar Heels were champions of the Invitational. With a 5-0 win against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, they were 2-1 overall, equal to Florida State. And the win against the Seminoles on Sunday gave UNC the tiebreaker.

Against Florida Atlantic, McHugh was dominant again, pitching a four-hit shutout and striking out six. Her support came from Natalie Anter, who drove in three runs with two timely, run-scoring hits.

"I was happy with the way we played this weekend," Papa said. "We had some total team wins."

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

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