Harrell Shuts Down Top-Seeded North Carolina 4-1
May 11, 2012
CHAPEL HILL N.C. (theACC.com) - Jasmin Harrell held the ACC's top-scoring offense to just one run as No. 4 Virginia Tech upset top-seeded North Carolina 4-1 in Friday's second semifinal of the 2012 ACC Championship.
With the win, Virginia Tech (40-18) advances to Saturday's ACC title game at 4 p.m. on ESPN. The Hokies will take on Georgia Tech who defeated Florida State earlier in the day.
"This is a young team that just has found ways to win," said Virginia Tech coach Scot Thomas. "I think we have gotten better as the season has gone on and I am really proud of this team."
Harrell limited the Tar Heel offense, which leads the league in batting average and runs scored, to four hits and one unearned run as the junior pitcher improved to 29-13. She finished the game with eight strikeouts.
North Carolina starter Lori Spingola (31-10) threw a complete game and allowed three earned runs on seven ¬hits and struck out four.
The Hokies have reached the ACC title game four times in their eight seasons in the league.
"I just felt like Virginia Tech outplayed us," said North Carolina coach Donna Papa. "We had opportunities, we had runners on and we didn't score and we didn't take advantage and have quality at-bats, and when they had people on they did. I was confident that our bats would come alive because that's one of the things we've relied on, but we just didn't get it done today. Virginia Tech outplayed us and they beat us."
Leadoff hitter Lauren Gaskill got the Hokie offense going quickly in the first inning. The freshman outfielder reached on an infield hit, advanced to second on a sacrifice from Kylie McGoldrick, and scored on a single from Kelsey Mericka.
After stealing second and moving to third on a passed ball, pinch runner Tisha Mahon crossed the plate after Amber Parrish drove a single to left field as the Tar Heels evened the score in the second inning.
Virginia Tech scored two runs to go up 3-1 in the top of the third, a lead they would not relinquish.
After walking Ally Blake, giving up a hit to Haleigh Dickey, and throwing a pitch to the backstop in the sixth inning, Harrell struck out three of the next four North Carolina hitters to shut down the last chance for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina's loss marks the eighth-straight year that the event host has failed to win the ACC Championship. Florida State was the last to accomplish the feat in 2004.
Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech have met twice previously in the title game. The Jackets won 1-0 in 2005, and the Hokies got revenge in 2007, 2-0.