2007 ACC Softball Championship: North Carolina Shuts Out Virginia in Day Two Action
May 11, 2007
"I'm really excited for the bottom of the lineup and the entire team," said Tar Heel head coach Donna J. Papa. "(Emily) Troup has been hitting really well and we finally got her the at-bats to show it, while (Danielle) Spaulding came through with a clutch hit. Today was much more like the team I am used to seeing and the bottom of the lineup had a big part to do with that."
The bottom four batters in the Tar Heel lineup, consisting of senior Anna Evans, freshman Stephanie Murad, sophomore Troup and pitcher and newcomer Spaulding, went 8-for-9 in the winning effort and owned three of the team's eight runs.
With the win, Spaulding picked up her seventh victory of the season (7-1), while also improving the Tar Heels' record to 44-18 on the season. The freshman, who pitched the complete five innings, put forth four full innings of work without a hit before Virginia left fielder Brooke Sorber spoiled the no-hitter with a double in the fifth inning. It was the Cavaliers' only hit of the game.
North Carolina got on the board early with two runs in the second inning. First baseman Jennifer Jacobs reached first on a wild pitch by Virginia junior Whitney Holstun. Murad singled to third base, advancing Jacobs to second, while right fielder Troup, who singled to center field, collected her 10th RBI of the season and gave the Tar Heels a quick 1-0 advantage.
Spaulding kept the bats alive in the top of the second inning for UNC as the rookie singled up the middle, opening the opportunity for Murad to round the bases and advance Troup to third. With two outs, the scoring action was short lived as Cavalier third baseman Abby Snyder sent Cassie Palmer back to the dugout to close out the inning, leaving two Tar Heels on bases.
The Cavaliers showed signs of countering UNC's offensive opening in the bottom of the third inning, loading the bases on errors with no outs but the Tar Heel defense escaped with two outs in the air and a strikeout by Spaulding.
North Carolina continued to dominate ACC Tournament second-day action, picking up an additional five runs on four hits in the fourth inning, improving the gap to 7-0.
Evans singled to the left side and advanced to second on Murad's third attempt sacrifice bunt. Troup doubled to right field, earning her second RBI of the day as the sophomore sent Evans home.
Batting ninth in the lineup, Spaulding tallied another double for the Heels, earning her sixth RBI of the season, second of the game, and sending pinch runner Christine Knauer home. Following one wild pitch, one batter hit by pitch and three walks, North Carolina drove home three more runs before the inning was retired.
In the fifth inning, the Tar Heels' bottom of the lineup did not hesitate to continue swinging. Murad walked to open the inning, while Troup and Spaulding both reached bases on singles to right field and third base, respectively. With Anna Roberts pinch hitting for Ashely Oxendine, Murad scored and Troup advanced to third. Roberts reached on a fielder's choice for the effort.
The Tar Heels advance in the 2007 ACC Softball Tournament and will face the loser of game seven between No. 3 seed Georgia Tech and No. 7 seed Boston College. That contest's first pitch is slated for today at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Fans may watch live coverage of this year's ACC Tournament on ACCSelect.com. For more information on the ACC Spring Championships, visit TheACC.com.