No. 4 Seed North Carolina Beats No. 5 Seed NC State, 7-1, in ACC Softball Championship First Round

May 14, 2010

BLACKSBURG, Va.—ACC Pitcher of the Year Danielle Spaulding threw 6.2 innings of no-hit softball before surrendering a home run in the top of the seventh inning, but guided No. 4 seed North Carolina to a 7-1 victory over No. 5 seed NC State tonight in front of 582 fans at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Va.

The victory improves the Tar Heels to 40-17 (11-10 ACC) and advances them to tomorrow’s second semifinal game where they will play top-seeded Georgia Tech, which beat No. 7 seed Boston College, 8-0 in five innings, earlier today. The Wolfpack fall to 28-27 (9-12 ACC).

Spaulding hit one batter and did not allow a hit, a home run to NC State junior catch Alyssa Allbritten, until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. By that time, North Carolina already built itself a seven-run lead, thanks to four-run and three-run innings in the fourth and fifth innings. Spaulding, who struck out eight batters, improved to 19-4.

The top-four hitters in North Carolina’s lineup—senior shortstop Christine Knauer, senior right fielder Anna Roberts, junior designated player Brittany McKinney, and Spaulding—combined to go 7-for-14 at the plate with five runs batted-in. Additionally, junior third baseman Brittany Robinson and sophomore left fielder Kelli Wheeler, along with McKinney, each hit home runs.

The Tar Heels’ three home runs were one shy of tying a league single-game championship record four home runs, last tied in 2005.

Senior Lindsay Campana started for NC State and was tagged with the loss to fall to 17-12. She pitched the first 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out four batters. Sophomore Stephanie Call came on in relief to work 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two punch outs.

North Carolina returns to the diamond tomorrow, Saturday, May 15 at 3:30 p.m. to face Georgia Tech. The game will be video-streamed live via ACC Select on theACC.com. USA Softball Assistant Coach Barbara Jordan and Jerry Massey have the call.

2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship
Tech Softball Park; Blacksburg, Va.
#5 NC State vs. #4 North Carolina Postgame Quotes

North Carolina head coach Donna J. Papa

Opening Statement: “We’ve really worked on hitting the last few weeks and trying to get as many swings as we can. Our assistant coaches are pitchers and they’ve done a good job in getting us prepared for the ACC Championship. Our mindset was really good coming in.”

On coming back out to play after a 47-minute delay for lightning: “It gave us an opportunity to relax, and then we just came out focused. I think it’s tougher on the pitcher to come out, and we’ve seen [NC State senior pitcher Lindsay] Campana. We just came out and got good pitches to hit.”

North Carolina senior pitcher Danielle Spaulding

On taking a no-hitter into the seventh innings with two outs: “I didn’t really think about it. She hit a good pitch. [It was] a low-rise ball on the inside and [NC State junior catcher Alyssa Allbritten] turned on it.”

NC State coach Lisa Navas

Opening Statement: “It’s a tough loss. It meant a big game for us, but we didn’t do what we needed to do.”

2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship
Tech Softball Park; Blacksburg, Va.
#5 NC State vs. #4 North Carolina Postgame Notes

  • North Carolina advances to tomorrow’s semifinals to play No. 1 seed Georgia Tech at 3:30 p.m.
  • The game was delayed 47 minutes in the bottom of the third inning due to lightning.
  • Three shutouts marked the first day of action at the 2010 ACC Softball Championship.

North Carolina …improves to 39-17 (11-10 ACC). …improves to 11-14 all-time against NC State and 1-4 against the Wolfpack in the championship. …improves to 21-32 all-time in the ACC Championship. …hit three home runs, one shy of the ACC Softball Championship single-game record. …won its first game of the championship for the third consecutive season. …senior pitcher Danielle Spaulding took a no-hitter into the seventh inning with two outs before surrendering a home run to NC State junior catcher Alyssa Allbritten. …Spaulding improved to 19-4 this season. …1-2-3-4 hitters went 7-for-14 at the plate with five runs batted-in.

NC State… …falls to 28-27 (9-12 ACC). …falls to 14-11 all-time against North Carolina and 4-2 against the Tar Heels in the championship. …had one hit, which came on a home run from junior catcher Alyssa Allbritten.