Tar Heels, Seminoles to meet in ACC softball semifinals Friday

May. 08, 2014 @ 08:09 PM

North Carolina turned in a solid effort against rival N.C. State on Thursday afternoon, but the Tar Heels hope they saved an even better performance for Friday.
 
The fifth-seeded Tar Heels downed fourth-seeded rival and defending ACC champion N.C. State  8-4  in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship and earned a shot at top-seeded Florida State in Friday’s 1 p.m. semifinal.
 
UNC, which lost two of three to N.C. State in their final regular-season series, countered on Thursday with a quality pitching outing by starter Lori Spingola and long-ball heroics from Kendra Lynch, Jenna Kelly and Amber Parrish.
 
Spingola (18-14) worked 5 1/3 innings, struck out eight batters while walking one and held the Wolfpack hitless for the first four innings as the Tar Heels built a 7-0 lead.
 
Lynch and Kelly combined to drive in seven runs, four of which came on Lynch’s grand slam home run in the top of the first inning.
 
Leah Jones hit a two-run homer for the Wolfpack, and Renada Davis also finished with a pair of RBIs.
 
UNC (24-25) got to N.C. State All-ACC pitcher Emily Weiman (28-13) in its first at-bat. After the Tar Heels loaded the bases on an error and a pair of base hits, Kelly put down a bunt single to squeeze home Amy Nece with the game’s first run. Lynch then drove a 3-2 pitch over the fence in right-center for her grand slam and a quick 5-0 lead.
 
UNC upped the margin to 7-0 in the third inning on Kelly’s one-out, two-run homer to dead center field.
 
Spingola held the Wolfpack (34-16) hitless until the bottom of the fifth, when Sara Lippard dropped a single into left field. N.C. State collected two more hits in the inning, including a two-run double by Davis, but UNC avoided further damage with a double play and took a 7-2 lead into the top of the sixth.
 
The Wolfpack wasn’t finished. With one out and one on in the bottom of the sixth, Jones delivered her seventh home run of the season to bring NC State within 7-4. Spingola departed at that point, giving way to Lauren Batten on the mound.
 
Batten got the second out of the inning, and fellow reliever Ashley Bone came on to pick up the third. Parrish then led off the seventh inning with her team-leading 15th home run of the season to account for UNC’s final 8-4 winning margin.
 
As they did against the Wolfpack, the Tar Heels will look to reverse regular-season results when they face Florida State on Friday. The Seminoles took all three meetings when the teams met at Chapel Hill on March 30 and 31, winning by 6-0, 5-3 and 5-1 scores.
 
FLORIDA STATE 11, GEORGIA TECH 5
 
Thursday morning brought news that the ACC’s head softball coaches had voted Florida State shortstop Maddie O’Brien the league’s 2014 Player of the Year.
Very few second-guessed the selection at the time. No one did a few hours later.
 
O’Brien tied two ACC Softball Championship single-game records by homering twice and driving in five runs while leading theSeminoles to an 11-5 victory over eighth-seeded Georgia Tech in the opening quarterfinal game.
 
O’Brien, a junior from Palm Harbor, Florida, highlighted a four-run second inning with a two-run homer as Florida State built an early 7-1 lead. Her three-run shot put the Seminoles in front 11-4 and countered the three runs that the Yellow Jackets (23-24) had mustered in the top half of the frame.
 
O’Brien now has 22 home runs on the year and extended her ACC single-season RBI record to 79.
 
Florida State (48-6) gained the upper hand, even before O’Brien’s power surge, by parlaying six walks and an error into a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Georgia Tech possessed enough of a counterpunch to chase FSU starter and ACC Pitcher of the Year Lacey Waldrop with three runs in the top of the third, but the Seminoles never led by fewer than two runs after the opening inning.
 
Second-team All-ACC pitcher Jessica Burroughs (17-1) picked up the win on the mound for FSU. Burroughs worked five innings in relief, allowing four hits and one run while striking out four. Kylie Kleinschmidt (15-13) started on the mound for the Yellow Jackets and took the loss.
 
Celeste Gomez added two hits and drove in a run for the Seminoles. Alysha Rudnik had two of Georgia Tech’s seven hits, including her 11th home run of the year in the fourth inning.

Box Score

                               2014 UNC Softball
                           North Carolina at NC State
            May 08, 2014 at College Park, Md. (Maryland Softball St)

North Carolina 8 (24-25)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Aquilla Mateen cf........  3  0  2  0   1  0  4  1   0
Amy Nece lf..............  2  1  0  0   1  0  1  1   1
Kristen Brown ss.........  3  2  2  0   0  0  1  2   2
Amber Parrish c..........  4  1  2  1   0  1 10  1   0
 Elly Wagner pr..........  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Jenna Kelly 1b...........  3  2  1  3   0  0  3  0   0
Kendra Lynch rf..........  4  1  3  4   0  0  0  0   0
 Jordan Scarboro pr......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Erin Satterfield 2b......  4  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   2
Kati Causey dp...........  4  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Darby Rosen 3b...........  3  0  0  0   0  2  1  1   0
Lori Spingola p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Lauren Batten p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Ashley Bone p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 30  8 10  8   2  4 21  7   6

NC State 4 (34-16)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Renada Davis ss..........  3  0  1  2   1  2  4  3   0
Kirsty Grant rf..........  3  0  1  0   1  1  0  0   1
Molly Hutchison c........  4  0  0  0   0  0  4  1   1
Hanna Sommer dp..........  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
 Molly Martin pr.........  0  1  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Leah Jones 1b............  3  1  1  2   0  2  3  0   0
Chelsea Tate 2b..........  1  1  0  0   0  0  4  2   0
Sara Lippard lf..........  2  0  1  0   0  1  2  0   0
 Hayley Stowe pr.........  0  1  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Scout Albertson cf.......  2  0  0  0   0  1  1  0   2
 Tyler Ross ph...........  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Lana Van Dyken 3b........  3  0  1  0   0  0  1  2   0
Emily Weiman p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
 Courtney Mirabella p....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 24  4  5  4   2  8 21 10   5

Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
North Carolina...... 502 000 1 -  8 10  0
NC State............ 000 022 0 -  4  5  1
-----------------------------------------

E - Weiman(5). LOB - UNC 6; ST 5. 2B - Mateen(3); Lynch(4); Davis(13);
Grant(8). HR - Parrish(15); Kelly(11); Lynch(7); Jones(7). HBP - Brown;
Sommer; Tate 2; Lippard. SH - Nece(13); Kelly(3). SB - Mateen(18).

North Carolina         IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Lori Spingola.......  5.1  4  4  4  1  8 19 23  93
Lauren Batten.......  0.1  0  0  0  0  0  1  2   8
Ashley Bone.........  1.1  1  0  0  1  0  4  5  20

NC State               IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Emily Weiman........  3.0  5  7  6  1  1 13 16  56
Courtney Mirabella..  4.0  5  1  1  1  3 17 19  87

Win - Spingola (18-14).  Loss - Weiman (28-13).  Save - Bone (2).
HBP - by Spingola (Tate); by Mirabella (Brown); by Spingola (Tate); by Spingola
(Sommer); by Batten (Lippard). Pitches/strikes: Spingola 93/59; Batten 8/3; Bone
20/11; Weiman 56/39; Mirabella 87/58.
Umpires - HP: Craig Hyde  1B: Jim Cooper  3B: Robby Guest
Start: 2:41 pm   Time: 2:33   Attendance:
Weather: 81, Fair, Winds Calm
Game: ACC2