May 8, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. – For the second straight year, the Boston College softball team has been pitted against North Carolina in the first round of the ACC Championship. The Eagles appear in front of a national audience for the first time in program history (ESPN3.com) and have the opportunity to take down the No. 21 Tar Heels on their home field just four days after UNC clinched the conference’s regular-season title and top-seed with a 1-0 win on Shea Field. BC was bounced from the 2011 conference tournament by the Tar Heel, 9-0, in five innings.
Last weekend, Boston College suffered a 12-2, five-inning run-rule loss, before earning the second victory in program history over North Carolina, 4-3, to close out Saturday’s doubleheader. Despite BC limiting the ACC’s top offense to just three hits, the Eagles were downed, 1-0, in the Senior Day rubbermatch by a second-inning solo shot from Logan Foulks.
Thursday’s ACC Quarterfinal on ESPN3.com will mark the third meeting between Boston College and North Carolina. The Eagls have been shut out in the previous two showdowns, falling 5-0 during the league’s double elimination format in 2007, prior to last season’s loss.
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ESPN3 – 5:00 p.m.
Live Stats – BC vs. UNC
ACC Championship Central
LAST TIME OUT
A second-inning home run by Logan Foulks provided the only offense for the 20th-ranked North Carolina softball team to escape Shea Field with a win over Boston College, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon. Both sides mustered three hits and had no errors in the final regular-season contest for the teams.
Pitching dominated the game after the homer, as Lori Spingola (30-9) racked up nine strikeouts without walking a batter. Brittany Wilkins and Tory Speer were the only Eagles that reached base. Speer landed a single in left field in the bottom of the second, while the senior catcher hit a single to deep short in the fourth.
Nicole D’Argento was equally impressive. The Ashland, Mass. product one-hit the ACC’s top-ranked lineup and had two strikeouts in 4.1 innings of action. The Eagles did not allow a single Tar Heel to reach base in three of the final four innings.
TRENDING RIGHT NOW
Senior Ali Lynette-Krech’s three-run RBI double coupled with freshman CJ Chirichigno’s second home run provided the offense necessary for BC to defeat UNC, 4-3, on Saturday, May 5. Lynette-Krech has posted a hit and an RBI in BC’s three conference wins this season.
Junior Nicole D’Argento has seven hits in the last six games.
Five Eagles are hitting .300 or greater this season: Nicole D’Argento (.338), Wilkins (.326), Filler (.302), Lynette-Krech (.300) and Maria Pandolfo (.300). Boston College has not had more than three players bat at or above .300 since 2001, when Cara Blumfield led a group of five Eagles with a then-school record .389 clip. D'Argento's average is sixth highest in the ACC, while Wilkins' is 10th.
Rene Delagrammaticas leads the ACC with 12 sacrifice bunts. The Eagles have scored five times when the captain executes a sac bunt. BC has scored 3-of-3 times when the Vista, Calif. native reaches safely on a bunt.
North Carolina (Thursday, May 10 - 5 p.m. - ESPN3.com)
The Tar Heels (40-12, 13-4 ACC) captured its first regular-season title since 2008, third overall, with a 2-1 series win over BC last weekend. UNC has lost only twice since April 6 – once at the hands of the Eagles - registering five run-rule victories since that day. The Tar Heels lead the conference in multiple categories: batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.494), home runs (62) and runs scored (287). The pitching staff, led by Lori Spingola, carries the second lowest ERA in the ACC (2.21). Spingola is 30-9, has a league-leading 299 strikeouts paired with a 1.88 earned run average this year. Four Tar Heels are hitting .300 or greater and three have 10 or more home runs. Logan Foulks (.660) and Kelli Wheeler (.616) top the ACC in slugging, while Amy Nece carries the league’s second best batting average (.374).