Softball NCAA Regional ACCtion: Sunday, May 23

May 23, 2010

Tar Heels' Season Ends With 2-1 Extra-Inning Battle Against Defending Champ Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of North Carolina softball team (42-20) lost a hard-fought battle, 2-1, in eight innings against the defending National Champion Washington Huskies (48-6) in the NCAA Tournament's Seattle Regional. Pitcher Danielle Spaulding hurled eight innings and only allowed two runs on six hits. Catcher Ally Blake doubled in pinch runner Tisha Mahon in the top of the seventh inning to force extra innings in the season-ending loss.

The two active leaders in strike outs per seven innings in Danielle Spaulding and Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie, faced off, once again, after meeting during Friday's 1-0 Huskies' win. The current leaders, both seniors, have fanned batters at 11.7 and 11.3 batters per seven innings, respectively, during their careers four-year careers.

Spaulding, who had pitched 112 pitches earlier in the day versus Nebraska, pitched another 116 during the eight-inning game. The senior finished the contest with nine strikeouts against the NCAA Tournament's No. 3 Overall Seed Huskies. The 2010 ACC Pitcher of the Year capped off her terrific senior season with a 21-7 record and 1.21 ERA.

In the top of the first inning, left fielder Niki Williams pulled a home run over the left field fence to give the Huskies the first run of the game. The run was the first that Spaulding has yielded during the Seattle Regional, breaking a 23-consecutive earned run-less innings streak.

Shortstop Christine Knauer hit an infield single, Carolina's first of the game, to lead off the fourth inning. With one out in the inning, Brittany McKinney walked to give Carolina two base runners. Lawrie, however settled in, to retire the next two Tar Heels batters and left the inning unscathed.

Carolina Moves On, 1-0; Spaulding Once Again No Hits Cornhuskers

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of North Carolina softball team (42-19) defeated Nebraska University (30-29), in eight innings, 1-0, behind Danielle Spaulding's seventh no hitter this season and her second of the Seattle Regional. Spaulding pitched her second consecutive no hitter against Nebraska after blanking the Cornhuskers, 1-0, yesterday. Sophomore Kelli Wheeler added the Tar Heels only run on a solo home run in the eighth inning.

The 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year hurled the tenth no hitter of her career and the seventh of the 2010 season. Spaulding is the all-time leader in career no hitters in UNC Softball history.

With today's eight no hit, shutout innings, Spaulding contained the Huskers during this weekend's regional to no hits and no runs in the two games (15 total innings) against Nebraska. In today's game, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Native dominated the Cornhusker hitters to the tune of 18 strikeouts, tying a season-high total. Spaulding only allowed six outs to enter the field of play.

In the bottom of the second inning Nebraska placed two runners in scoring position, but Spaulding struck out left fielder Tori Tyson to end the inning.

Oregon Eliminates No. 8 Georgia Tech From NCAA Tournament

TLANTA - No. 24 Oregon (36-19) scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to defeat No. 8 Georgia Tech (51-11), 4-3, Sunday afternoon in the 2010 NCAA Softball Atlanta Regional. Oregon now advances to next weekend's Super Regional. The Yellow Jackets scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to force extra innings, but a sacrifice fly by Oregon's Ashley Kivett won the game in the top of the eighth.

Freshman Hope Rush (28-8) took the loss for the Yellow Jackets as she was charged with four earned runs on 10 hits and three walks in eight innings. She struck out three batters. After tying the game at three in the bottom of the seventh, Tech had the bases loaded and one out when Oregon relief pitcher Mikayla Endicott struck out a pair of batters to force the extra frames. She then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning giving the Ducks the win. She improves to 4-2 on the season and struck out four of the five batters she faced.

Redshirt senior Jen Yee hit her NCAA-leading 29th home run of the season on Sunday and finished her final year at Tech reaching base at least once in all 62 games. She leads the nation in several offensive categories.

Georgia Tech had a golden scoring chance in the first inning after a double by sophomore Kate Kuzma and single by sophomore Kelsi Weseman put runners at the corners with one out. Jessica Moore came back to strike out both junior Kristine Priebe and Rush to end the threat.