While the small-ball strategy clearly wasn’t enough to lead UNC to a victory, senior Amy Nece — a rare bright spot in an otherwise lackluster offensive outing by going 3-for-4 in game two — said the idea was to “scratch and claw” at the tough Seminoles.
“We definitely had a plan at the plate, and we stuck with it throughout both games,” Nece said. “I think our plan was working, we just needed to do a better job of execution.”
UNC ace Lori Spingola pitched five innings in game one before being relieved by freshman Kendra Lynch for the final two innings. Lynch continued for the first four innings of game two as well before being replaced by freshman Lauren Batten, who finished out the game.
None, however, could quiet the powerful FSU bats, as the Seminoles launched five home runs in the two games combined, accounting for five of their six runs in the first game and four of their five runs in the second .
“We knew going into this game that it was going to be tough for each batter, ” Lynch said. “I had to stay calm and not let the hype of their record or ranking affect me.”
Florida State’s pitching had a bit more success silencing the Tar Heels, able to shut them out in 12 of the 14 innings of play. Junior Lacey Waldrop pitched the complete-game shutout in game one, allowing just three hits in 25 batters faced. Freshman Jessica Burroughs started game two strong before giving up two walks and two hits in the fourth that led to the only two UNC runs of the day before Waldrop was put back in to close it up.
UNC had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded and one out, down three, but only managed to bring one runner home as Waldrop quickly defused the Tar Heels lone real threat of the day.
“We told our girls it could be the seventh inning by the time we get around on a pitcher or are ready to do some damage and I thought we put ourselves in a great position, all it would’ve taken was one hit, and it could’ve made a difference,” Papa said. “I felt good that we finished that way.”