TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lacey Waldrop threw a two-hit shutout and Maddie O’Brien provided enough offense to lead top-seeded Florida State over fourth-seeded North Carolina, 3-0, Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2013 ACC Championship at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, Fla.
Waldrop (22-7) limited the North Carolina offense, which entered the game hitting .307, to two hits. She finished with five strikeouts and one walk to lower her league-leading earned run average to 1.43. The win was her 14th complete game of the year and her fifth shutout.
With the victory, Florida State (41-15) advances to the ACC Championship for the 17th time in program history and the fourth time in the last five years.
Florida State took advantage of North Carolina (39-19) defensive miscues in the third inning to get on the board. Alex Kossoff reached base and advanced to second on a throwing error by Constance Orr. Center fielder Aquilla Mateen then misplayed a single from Victoria East, allowing Kossoff to score the game’s first run. After loading the bases with two outs, North Carolina’s Lori Spingola struck out Morgan Bullock to end the threat.
A home run from Maddie O’Brien in the fifth gave the Seminoles late-inning breathing room. With one runner on base and two out, O’Brien smashed her ninth home run of the season over the right field wall on the first pitch of the at-bat from Spingola to give Florida State a 3-0 lead.
The Tar Heels’ best chance to score came in the second inning, when the offense put two on base but was unable to push a runner across the plate.
Spingola (29-13) gave up three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts in her 29th complete game of the year in the loss.
Florida State center fielder Morgan Bullock extended her hitting streak to 14 games and has now reached base safely in 20 straight, the longest mark on the team this season. East, the Seminole leadoff hitter, went 2-for-3 on the day as the only batter for either team to tally multiple hits.
The victory for the Seminoles sets up a rematch of the 2006 ACC Championship game, when NC State defeated the Florida State, 4-1, to win the conference title. The 2013 Championship is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.