After posting an impressive 12-0 home record at Anderson Stadium this season, the North Carolina women’s softball team gave up its unblemished home record Saturday afternoon in its sole loss in a three-game series with ACC rival Virginia Tech.
Ace pitcher Lori Spingola struggled more than usual in a disappointing 7-6 loss to the Hokies, and 29-year head coach Donna Papa had several disagreements with the home plate umpire throughout the course of the game.
In a day celebrating “Donna Papa Bobble Head Day” in which actual bobble heads of the iconic coach were awarded as prizes for audience trivia questions, the long-time UNC head coach was certainly in the spotlight for some part of the afternoon.
With several questionable balls and strikes going in Virginia Tech’s favor during the crucial final innings of Saturday’s first game — a timespan in which the Hokies broke up a 5-5 tie and took a lead they’d never relinquish — Papa wasn’t all smiles as her likeness on the bobble head suggested.
A close call at first base for the final out of UNC’s first and only home loss put an exclamation point on an altogether venomous relationship between Papa and those in blue.