On Thursday UNC's bats were hot, driving in eight runs on ten hits. But Friday proved to be the opposite. Driving in just one run on three hits, the Tar Heels struggled to get any offense going against FSU's star pitcher Lacey Waldrop.
Brown said Waldrop is an imposing figure when she's on the rubber.
“Looking up at the mound at Lacey, you know you’ve got to execute all the little things," Brown said. "She’s one of the best in the country.”
Though the Tar Heels held ACC Player of the Year Maddie O’Brien in check, the other FSU batters hit well and drove in a number of runs. Carrying a 5-1 lead into the 5th inning, the Seminoles opened the gap by garnering four runs to end the game.
The outburst set the team's season-ending fate in stone. And the end of every season also means the end of college softball for an entire class of players.
Lori Spingola pitched her last game in a Tar Heel uniform, going just 1.2 innings while surrendering five early runs. But to Spingola, success is just one of many things she’ll remember about her career at UNC.
"The relationships you build with your teammates is everlasting," Spingola said. "I’ll never forget the laughs we shared on the bus or the time we had together. I have no regrets.”
After reaching the NCAA tournament last season, the team was unable to build on its success this year. But, according to coach Donna Papa, the team has plenty to look forward to next season.
With a top-10 recruiting class coming in that is headlined by two top pitchers, the Tar Heels appear to have a bright future ahead.
“This season’s experience will help us tremendously next year," Papa said. "We’re returning the meat of our lineup, and I know none of our girls want to experience this feeling again.
"We’re already extremely excited for next season."
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