TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - North Carolina topped Florida State 5-4 in an exciting ACC contest Saturday at JoAnn Graf Stadium, improving to 4-0 in conference play and 22-10 overall.
The game, which lasted 5 hours and 37 minutes do to a nearly three-hour rain delay, saw 12 hits from FSU but 15 runners left on base, while Carolina had just six left on base and six hits to take the win.
Amber Parrish's two hits, including a two-run homer in the fifth, highlighted the close contest between the preseason first and second-ranked ACC schools.
Kristen Brown struck out but reached first on a passed ball to lead off the second. She advanced to second on a walk to Amy Nece, and then both advanced on a groundout by Jenna Kelly. With runners on second and third, the game was rain delayed for almost three hours due to severe thunderstorms. When play finally resumed, Kati Causey pinch hit a single to left to score Brown and advance Nece to third, who then scored on a passed ball to put the Tar Heels up 3-0.
Florida State's Morgan Bullock led off the bottom of the second with a single to left and then stole second. After Bailey Schinella drew a walk, Victoria East singled and advanced to second on a Tar Heel error, which drove in Bullock for the Noles' first run.
FSU struck again in the third, led off by a single to center from Kelly Hensley who advanced to third on a double to right center by Maddie O'Brien. Bullock singled to right center and advanced to second on the throw while Hensley came home to make it 3-2, UNC.
In the fifth, Dickey singled to center, and Aquilla Mateen advanced to second on an FSU error while pinch running for Dickey. Parrish hit her third homer of the year over left to bring home Mateen, padding the Tar Heels lead by three.
Tisha Mahon singled to short, and Satterfield and Dickey each drew a walk to load the bases in the top of the sixth, but the Tar Heels weren't able to add any more runs. In the bottom frame, FSU's Courtney Senas and Maddie O'Brien hit back-to-back solo shots out left and left center, decreasing Carolina's lead to 5-4.
UNC didn't add any runs in the seventh, but the Noles came close in the bottom half, loading the bases on a single, fielder's choice and a walk. With two outs on the board, Lori Spingola fanned her ninth batter of the game to secure the victory.
Spingola (13-8) pitched all seven innings, giving up 12 hits and eight walks in addition to striking out nine.
Due to the continuing inclement weather Saturday, game two of the series will now be played Sunday at 10 a.m. before game three at noon. Follow live stats here, and follow game and weather updates on Twitter - @UNCSoftball.
The Tar Heels will head to Campbell on Wednesday, March 27, before returning to Chapel Hill for another conference series with Virginia Tech. Carolina will face the Hokies at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 29, and hold a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30, at 1 and 3 p.m.