Grant Fitzgerald Staff Writer
RALEIGH — With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning North Carolina pitcher Lisa Norris was facing a full count against Florida State's Kaleigh Rafter. With one runner on base Rafter hit her first pitch foul. The second pitch she hit even better but it was foul again.
Danielle Spaulding fell short of her 14.6 strikeout per game average Saturday afternoon but then again the game lasted only five innings. In the first game of a three-game series No. 13 North Carolina plastered Virginia Tech with an 8-0 mercy rule victory en route to a sweep of the Hokies.
North Carolina softball coach Donna Papa knew her team could do better. For two games Saturday her team struggled to put away an overmatched Boston College Eagles team due to errors and sloppy play. The outcome of those games were 6-2 and 3-1 respectively but Papa didn't think the team was playing up to its usual standards.
To say that the North Carolina men's swimming team broke a few records at the ACC championships during the weekend would be an understatement. After ending both Thursday and Friday in fourth place No. 16 UNC surged on Saturday to seize third place behind champion Virginia and second-place Florida State while breaking more than 10 school records along the way.
Imagine running a hilly 6K course in 20 minutes. Then imagine running that course with the clogged nose and sore throat of a sinus infection. Brie Felnagle managed to do both early Saturday and still finish third overall with a time of 20:23:00. Felnagle led the women's team to a sixth-place finish overall in the 2008 ACC cross country championships.
The North Carolina women's cross country team has a history of pulling off great late-season success. With two weeks off until the ACC Championships they are preparing to renew that tradition. Despite a dominant first-place overall run from senior Brie Felnagle and an impressive 15th-place finish from junior Lauren Holesh in Saturday's pre-nationals competition the Tar Heels could not pull out a better overall team finish than 20th.
Cross country might not seem like a team sport but try telling that to the North Carolina men's cross country squad. It was a controlled pace set by junior runner Zack Dawson accompanied by an excellent team effort that propelled the Tar Heels to a first-place finish this weekend at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone coach Michael Whittlesey said.