CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (seminoles.com) – Another rough offensive performance by the Florida State University softball team resulted in a 4-0 loss to North Carolina on a chilly afternoon at Anderson Stadium, giving FSU a winless weekend in the ACC.
The Seminoles (16-17, 2-4) produced only three base hits in the wintry climate, as UNC starter Lori Spingola (18-8) picked up her third straight victory this weekend. FSU kept it within two runs and gave itself a chance in the late innings, but a key two-out home run by Ally Blake to left field in the sixth inning broke the game open for the Tar Heels (22-12, 5-1).
Kirstin Austin, Shayla Jackson and Robin Ahrberg each recorded singles for the Seminoles. Pitcher Sarah Hamilton made an early relief appearance and pitched well overall, allowing two earned runs on the day.
Three Seminoles were left on base in the top of the first as they couldn’t take advantage of the bases loaded. With one out, Jackson hit a two-strike pitch up the middle for a single, then moved to second base on an opposite field single by Ahrberg. Two batters later, Ashley Stager worked the count for a walk and a quality at-bat, but a groundout to shortstop Logan Foulks ended FSU’s threat to score.
North Carolina struck early when Kelli Wheeler hit a leadoff home run to right center in the first inning, making it 1-0. FSU’s Hamilton then entered the game with one out in the first inning and forced a strikeout and popout to keep the Seminole deficit at bay.
Stager walked again to lead off the fourth inning, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch to put a runner in scoring position with one out. However, a strikeout and a sharp lineout by Kristie McConn prevented the Seminoles from crossing the plate after Elisha Elliot made a nice basket catch on McConn’s hard liner.
UNC added an insurance run in the fifth as Haleigh Dickey hit a single off the centerfield wall, then advanced to second on the relay throw to home plate. Later in the frame, Faulks and Brittany Robinson had consecutive walks to load the bases, but Hamilton forced an infield fly to Brittany McKinney and struck out pinch hitter Chelsey Butler to prevent the game from breaking wide open.
The Seminoles face Mercer in a mid-week doubleheader at home on Wednesday, March 30, at JoAnne Graf Field. First pitch for game one is 4 p.m., with the second game expected to start at approximately 6:15 p.m.