Redshirt sophomore first baseman Jenna Kelly — who went 2-for-3 on the day and accounted for two of UNC’s total three hits — said the team worked hard to practice against the drop ball pitch that FSU ace Lacey Waldrop specializes in.
“I thought that it helped me a lot, but I guess it didn’t help enough,” she said. “I just think we didn’t make the adjustments, bottom line.”
The Seminoles, meanwhile, launched an all-out assault on the struggling North Carolina pitching staff, blasting seven home runs that combined for 13 of their 16 total runs in the three-game series.
“They hit the ball all over the park,” Kelly said.
Lori Spingola got the start in the circle for UNC before being pulled after two innings, having given up four runs and three hits in favor of freshman Lauren Batten, who finished the game allowing just one run.
“I think I just lost momentum,” Spingola said. “I just have to kind of trash this weekend and keep confident in what I do best as a pitcher. I can’t let this get to my head.”
Waldrop commanded the game from the circle for FSU yet again, pitching a complete game for the second time this series and being credited with all three wins after pitching 17.1 out of the total 21 innings of the series.
“Lacey Waldrop is a really good pitcher, we knew that going in,” Kelly said. “She’s probably one of the best pitchers in the nation, if not the best.”
Kelly’s statement isn’t far off, as Waldrop leads the conference in nearly every statistical category for pitching, including wins (21), ERA (0.56), and strikeouts (174), while her ERA is the second best of all Division I pitchers in the country.
“It was tough to put people on and then get the big hit when you have a pitcher like Waldrop on the other side that you’re trying to attack,” Papa said. “With her ERA being (0.56), three runs is like 10 runs.”