May 11, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -
North Carolina's Danielle Spaulding tossed a one-hitter to lead North Carolina to an 8-0 five-inning victory over Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship Friday (May 11) at JoAnne Graf Field. With the loss, the Cavaliers are eliminated from the tournament and finish the season with a 17-39 record. The Tar Heels improve to 44-18 with the victory.
Spaulding had a no-hitter until fourth-year left fielder Brooke Sorber (Alexandria, Va.) doubled down the left field line with one out in the fifth inning. Spaulding improves to 7-1 on the season with the complete-game victory. She walked four batters and struck out three.
North Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. With one out, Jennifer Jacobs struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch on strike three. Then with two outs, Stephanie Murad just beat the throw to first on a single to third base. Marissa May, who pinch ran for Jacobs, scored on Emily Troup's bloop single to left center. Murad made it 2-0 when she scored on Spaulding's single up the middle.
The Cavaliers had a great opportunity to score in the third inning, but couldn't take advantage of a pair of UNC infield errors and a bases loaded no-out situation. Fourth-year Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) led off with a walk and third-year Whitney Holstun (Escondido, Calif.), who pinch ran for Salmiery, reached second on a throwing error by UNC shortstop Anna Evans on first-year third baseman Abby Snyder's (Cantonment, Fla.) grounder. Holstun was safe at third when Murad dropped a throw from Evans on fourth-year left fielder Brooke Sorber's (Alexandria, Va.) fielder's choice grounder that loaded the bases. Spaulding got out of the jam by inducing a foul out to first, a strikeout and a fly ball to center field.
North Carolina broke the game open with five runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Evans led off with a single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice. She scored on Troup's double to right field and then Spaulding hit a RBI double to left to make the score 4-0. Cassie Palmer drove in the fifth run with a ground out and Casey Testa added a RBI single. Evans closed out the scoring in the inning with a bases loaded walk. UNC added its eighth run of the game in the fifth inning on Anna Roberts' RBI ground out.
Holstun took the loss in the circle for the Cavaliers to fall to 6-6 on the season. She threw the first 3.1 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk. First-year Nicole Koren (Warminster, Pa.) relieved Holstun in the fourth and went one-third of an inning. She gave up two runs on one hit with three walks. Second-year Karla Wilburn (Del Mar, Calif.) pitched the final 1.1 innings and was charged with one run on two hits with one walk.
The bottom three hitters in North Carolina's lineup ¬- Evans, Troup and Spaulding ¬- went a combined 7-for-7 with five RBI and three runs scored.
First-year first baseman Kelly Haller (Leesburg, Va.) was 0-for-2 in the game, but finished the season with a .409 (61-147) batting average. It is the fourth-highest single season batting average in school history and only eight points shy of Kristen Dennis' school record of .417 in 2002.