SB: UNC eliminated from ACC's in loss to FSU
Posted May 9
College Park, Md. — North Carolina's 2014 season came to a close Friday as the Tar Heels were eliminated from the ACC Softball Tournament by top seed Florida State. The Seminoles will advance Saturday's ACC championship game after defeating UNC 9-1 in five innings in Friday's semifinal game at the University of Maryland.
"It's definitely disappointing losing today," head coachDonna J. Papa said. "I thought we came out in the first inning and did some great things. Aquilla Mateen got on, was an agressive base runner and then scored for us, which was a great way to start the game. We had other opportunities in the game, but we weren't able to execute. I'm proud of our seniors. We fought in this tournament and certainly wanted to win it, but we need to do a better job of executing in situations when we have opportunities to score. Hopefully we learn from this for the future and learn what it takes to be a championship team."
After claiming a solid 8-4 victory over NC State in the quarterfinals Thursday, UNC looked to be just as sharp at the start of Friday's game as Aquilla Mateen started things off with a bunt single to third. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amy Nece, then moved to third on a passed ball before scoring as Kristen Brown reached first on a fielder's choice. That run would ending up being Carolina's only score of the game as FSU's ACC Pitcher of the Year Lacy Waldrop would surrender just two more hits to close down the Tar Heels in the next four innings.
FSU evened it up in the bottom half of the first as Tiffani Brown drew a walk, advanced to second on a ground out by Maddie O'Brien and then scored on a double to left by Kelly Hensley.
The Seminoles broke open the game in the second though as Celeste Gomez and Courtney Senas each belted two-run homers to put FSU on top with a 5-1 score.
After a quiet third and fourth for both teams, FSU tacked on another four runs in the fifth. Victoria East reached base on a fielder's choice and then scored as Bailey Schinella doubled and advanced to third on the play.
Gomez followed with an RBI single to center, which knocked Schinella in for the second run. After Bella D'Errico came in to run for Gomez, she advanced to second as Alex Kossoff reached on a throwing error. Ellie Cooper came in to pinch hit and singled through the right side, advancing to second on the throw as D'Errico scored. Tiffani Brown's RBI single to left drove in Kossoff for the final run as the Noles wrapped up the 9-1 win with the eight-run rule to advance to Saturday's championship.
Lori Spingola (18-15) was dealt the loss in her final appearance for Carolina, pitching the first 1.2 innings while giving up four hits, five runs with one strikeout. Kendra Lynch worked 2.2 innings in the circle, giving up three runs and four hits with two strikeouts, and Lauren Batten entered for the final frame, surrendering the last run to FSU.
North Carolina finishes the 2014 season with a 24-25 overall record, recording its first season below .500 since 1997. The Tar Heels were 14-11 in regular-season ACC play.