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Carolina Softball Drops Opening Games To UNI, No. 10 Texas

Posted February 8

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— North Carolina opened the 2014 season with two tough losses at the Louisiana Classic Friday, as Northern Iowa came from behind to win 8-7 and No. 10 Texas took a 7-3 victory in game two.

Jenna Kelly finished the day with two homers and three RBIs on four hits while Kristen Brown had two runs and three RBIs on two hits, including a homer run.

"I'm definitely disappointed with an 0-2 start, but you have to learn from your mistakes," head coach Donna J. Papa said. "Tomorrow's a new day; that's the great thing about a tournament. We have the opportunity to come out and prove ourselves, dig deep and find out who we are."

Game One vs. UNI
The Tar Heels took an early lead, scoring three in the first inning. Aquilla Mateen led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Amy Nece. Brown homered out center to drive in Mateen, making it 2-0. After Amber Parrish singled through the left side and advanced when Kati Causey was hit by a pitch. Elena Covert reached base on an error which brought Parrish home.

Mateen reached base on an error in the second, stealing second before advancing to third on another sac bunt by Nece. Mateen scored on a groundout by Brown, making it 4-0.

Causey hit one long out right center to tack on another run and put the Tar Heels up 5-0 before UNI started making a run in the bottom of the inning. Anna Varriano drew a walk and advanced to second on a single by Julia Hunter. Gina Brown singled and moved to second on a Tar Heel error while Hunter advanced to third and Varriano scored the Panthers' first run. A single by Chelsea Ross brought Hunter home, making it 5-2.

After a quiet top half for the Tar Heels, UNI took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Rikki Alcaraz doubled to right center, moving to third on a groundout. Varriano was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a single by Hunter, which scored Alcaraz. A three-run homer out center gave the Panthers the 6-5 lead.

A homer by Ross in the fifth made it 7-5, but the Tar Heels evened it up after Brown singled to short and Kelly slammed her first homer of the day out center.

The Panthers got the game winner in the sixth as Varriano drew a walk, and Jordyn Brunssen

advanced to second and then scored while pinch running on a Tar Heel error.
Lori Spingola took the loss for UNC, pitching six innings and giving up nine hits and eight runs while tallying six strikeouts.

Game Two vs. #10 Texas
The Longhorns got off to a hot start in game two as Brejae Washington led off the first with a walk, stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error before scoring on a Taylor Thom single to right. Thom then stole second and scored on a double to right by Lindsey Stephens, who advanced to third on a single by Gabby Smith and then scored on a on a sac fly to center by Tiarra Davis.

UNC put one run on the board in the bottom of the first as Mateen drew a walk to start off the frame and scored as Nece reached base on an error and then got caught in a run down heading to second.

In the second, Thom drew a walk and advanced to second as Devon Tunning reached on a fielder's choice. Thom then scored on a single by Stephens, which advanced Tunning to second before she scored on an RBI single by Karina Scott.

After a quiet third and fourth inning, Davis singled to left in the fifth and advanced to second on a single by Erin Shireman. Mickenzi Krpec reached base on a fielder's choice, which moved Davis to third before she came home on a Tar Heel throwing error.

Carolina came to life in the sixth as Kelly sent her second home run of the day out left field. Kendra Lynch's first home run of her Carolina career added a second run for the Tar Heels, making it 6-3 heading to the final inning, but the Longhorn's Shireman tacked on another homer to give Texas the 7-3 win.

Kendra Lynch, Lauren Batten and Ashley Bone each saw time in the circle for UNC. Lynch took the loss, pitching 1.2 innings and striking out one while giving up five runs and seven hits. Batten pitched 4.1 innings, giving up six hits and one run, and Bone tossed the final inning with two hits and one run.

Up Next: Carolina will play Purdue tomorrow at 10 a.m. and then close out play at the Louisiana Classic against the host Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at 3 p.m. Live stats will be available for both games, and live audio and live video are available for the game against Louisiana.

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