But as the Tar Heels continue to fight their struggle to bring the base runners to home plate, Papa said she could not be prouder of her team’s defensive play
“Defensively, we were really solid. We made every play defensively, we didn’t have any errors and I thought we did a great job,” she said.
“I’m really thrilled with where we are defensively. I think up until last week we were top five in the country defensively and I think Lori (Spingola’s) had some really good outings.”
Spingola threw 93 strikes Wednesday and used her pitching speed to shut out the Camels.
“I think Lori did a great job. She kept them to only a few hits,” senior Haleigh Dickey said.
Dickey, a veteran who has dealt with the frustration stemming from hitting woes feels confident her team will come out of its slump, and she said it begins with calming her teammates down.
“One thing I’ve experienced a lot is putting pressure on myself,” Dickey said. “Being in the heart of the lineup, you tend to think that you have to be the one to get the hit. You have to be the one to score the runners.”
“And nine times out of 10 when you put that kind of pressure on your shoulders, you don’t succeed.
So I just try to tell the girls to relax and it will come.”
Fellow veteran Constance Orr registered two RBIs and said that after a difficult weekend at Florida State, her main focus was regaining her confidence.
“I was just using it as a little mid-week game to boost my confidence back up to get ready for the ACC series,” she said.
“My first at bat I wasn’t really thinking about much and just wanted to put the ball in play.”
And though Orr said she felt her team became complacent after its three quick runs in the first inning, she also recognized that this is one of the most talented teams she has been on in her five years at UNC.
With some more individual work with the hitting coaches and a squad that respects her and Dickey, Orr said her loyal squad will not be stopped once they start rolling.
“Our team respects me and Haliegh very well,” Orr said. “I think anything we say they’re on board — no matter how crazy it is sometimes.”