SB: No. 6 Alabama holds on for 4-3 win over Carolina
Posted April 18, 2014
Chapel Hill, N.C. — No. 6 Alabama held on for a close 4-3 win over the Tar Heels on Friday in front of a record crowd of 2,048 fans at Anderson Stadium.
North Carolina shattered its previous attendance record (1,250) by nearly 800 fans and nearly upset the Crimson Tide with a late charge in the seventh inning. Aquilla Mateen was three for four at the plate, while Amber Parrish posted two RBIs on one hit for the Tar Heels.
"I thought tonight was just awesome," head coach Donna J. Papa. "We had a fantastic crowd, the biggest we've ever had, and the atmosphere was awesome. Our girls played an outstanding game and battled really hard. The team had good collective focus, great determination and really good game awareness tonight."
"I'm really proud of how our team battled and competed tonight. Alabama won the game, but collectively it was one of the best games we've played all year. Hopefully we can use this as a spring board going forward into tomorrow and the rest of our ACC schedule," Papa said.
After defeating Georgia Southern 6-4 on Jadyn Spencer's two-run walk-off homer in the first game on Friday, the Tide rolled into its second game of the day, posting three runs on a two-run homer out center by Kaila Hunt and another solo shot by Jadyn Spencer.
North Carolina answered with a pair of runs itself in the bottom half. Aquilla Mateen led off with a single to shortstop, and after Amy Nece drew a walk, Kristen Brown singled to the pitcher to load the bases. Jenna Kelly followed an RBI infield single, driving in Mateen, and Nece came home asAmber Parrish hit a sacrifice fly to left field to cut Alabama's lead to 3-2.
In the second, Danae Hays singled up the middle and scored as Haylie McCleney hit a hard double down the left field line to make it 4-2.
Mateen started the bottom of the third with another single to shortstop, advancing to third as Nece reached on a throwing error by the Tide. After a walk to Brown loaded the bases for the Tar Heels, Parrish singled to left to knock in Mateen to cut Alabama's lead again to just one run, 4-3.
After the Tar Heels' run in the third, both teams were pretty quiet for the remainder of the game. With two outs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, Nece kep the game alive with a single through the right side, but a final fly out ended UNC's chance of a comeback.
Lori Spingola (16-12) had a solid showing for Carolina but was dealt the loss, giving up four runs and five hits while striking out two in four innings. Lauren Batten pitched two innings, giving up three hits, and Kendra Lynch struck out one batter in one inning in the circle.