Then, with two runners on and two outs, pinch hitter Scarboro punched a single through the middle to drive in two. Those runs ended up being the difference in the 5-3 Tar Heel win.
“I’m not the big power hitter, so I wasn’t trying to swing it out of the park,” Scarboro said. “I was just trying to get the base hit. (The team) got pumped up, and they were all behind me. So we came out on the field and finished it really strong.”
Freshman Sara Buchholz took the circle for the second game of the twinbill and struggled early, giving up a home run to the first batter she faced. But the righthander settled down and would go on to yield just one more run in seven innings of work.
The early deficit was quickly erased by the Tar Heels, as junior Kelli Wheeler hit a lead-off homer of her own in the bottom of the first.
That was the second home run of the doubleheader for Wheeler, who entered the series with the highest batting average in the conference. The team began to click offensively as the game progressed, slugging three more home runs in support of Buchholz for the 8-2 win.
UNC coach Donna Papa credited the power surge to a strong week of practice.
“They were hitting them out on Friday,” Papa said. “The girls just seemed very confident, and I think a lot of times with the momentum you feed off all of that.”
That momentum seemed to carry into Sunday’s matinee, where an RBI single off the bat of Brittany McKinney in the second inning gave the Tar Heels an early lead. Once again, Spingola made easy work of the Cavaliers through the first four innings. She retired 13 batters in a row until Virginia’s Erica Cipolloni broke up the no-hitter with a solo shot to dead center.
This time, though, UNC wasn’t able to claw back. The score remained deadlocked at 1-1 until Virginia pushed across a run in each of the last two innings.
“I really was disappointed today. We just didn’t make the most of our opportunities,” Papa said. “I feel like Virginia had a lot more energy than we did. They came in excited even though they were down two games in the series.
“You have to bring it every day. You have to bring that intensity level all the time.”
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