Seton Hall 1, North carolina 0 (8
Seton Hall 1, North carolina 0 (8 in.)May 20, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. With the score tied, one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Seton Hall senior first baseman Laura Taylor ripped a walk-off single to right to down North Carolina, 1-0 and hand the Tar Heels their fourth-straight shutout loss, Friday (May 20) at Alumni Field.
The Pirates loaded the bases with back-to-back singles and a walk from the top three in the order, setting up Taylors first hit of the game. Senior Pirate pitcher Megan Myer (27-5) tossed 8.0 innings of two-hit ball, striking out eight and equaling her own school records for single-season strikeouts (242) and wins (27). North Carolinas Crystal Cox (20-19) allowed six hits - including three in the final inning - and struck out five in 7.1 innings of work.
Meyer held North Carolina hitless through the first seven innings, allowing just one Tar Heel on base through seven with a walk in the first inning. North Carolina hit back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the eighth, but an infield fly doubling the runner off first base ended the threat.
North Carolina struggled at the plate until the eighth inning when freshman first baseman Jennifer Jacobs recorded the Tar Heels first hit of the game, a laser off the third basemans glove to put one on with one out. Junior designated player Erica Ennis looped a lazy ball over the third basemans head on the first pitch of the next at-bat to put runners on first and second. A bizarre infield fly double-play ensued in the next at-bat when sophomore catcher Theresa Nicholas stepped up to the plate. Nicholas hit a high fly ball near the second base bag, invoking the infield fly rule. Jacobs and Ennis remained on their bases but the ball glanced off the Pirate second basemans glove and trickled towards the outfield. Jacobs took off from second as the ball was scooped up by Seton Hall junior shortstop Katie Pierce. Pierce fired the pill wide to third in an attempt to catch Jacobs and the Tar Heel trotted safely to the bag. With the ball in the dirt along the Seton Hall dugout, Ennis hesitated, then broke to second base, but Pirate third baseman Lindsay Trottier threw across the diamond to the first baseman who tagged Ennis out as she attempted to return to first for the inning-ending double play.
Cox struck out the first Seton Hall batter in the bottom of the eighth, but Pierce and junior designated player Caitlyn White managed back-to-back singles followed by an eight-pitch walk for senior second baseman DArcy Djakalovic to load the bases. Taylors single to right was the third hit of the inning, handing UNC its fourth-straight shutout loss.
North Carolina sophomore shortstop Anna Evans drew a two-out walk in the top of first but Seton Halls Meyer struck out the next batter to record the third out.
Seton Hall put two on in its half of the first when White singled up the middle and stole second base, forcing North Carolina into intentionally walking Taylor. Trotter fouled out to left field in the next at-bat to end the threat.
Seton Hall managed a hit and a walk in the second inning and a hit and a stolen base in the fifth, but strong defensive plays by UNC sophomore third baseman Joslin Higgins and a diving catch by sophomore centerfielder Whitney Gelin kept the Pirates at bay.
Q U O T E S North Carolina head coach Donna Papa On the overall game & "I thought it was a well-played game by both teams. I think both pitchers did a great job. When it gets to extra innings, all it takes is that one hit. I'm of course disappointed because we lost to Seton Hall last year in extra innings. We we're looking at this game to be a revenge game. I thought we ran ourselves out of the inning before we got two hits."
On the recent offensive struggles & "We haven't been able to put any runs on the board. The last four games have been zeroes we just haven't been able to score. We just need to put the ball in play find a way to get it done whether it's ugly or pretty. All we need is for just one person to start it. We're a team that feeds off that one person stepping up and getting it done. We got it going in the eighth inning, but it was killed by our base running mistakes."
Seton Hall head coach Ray Vander May On the pitching & "Megan (Meyer) was able to move the ball around and change speeds a little bit and threw okay. She actually wasn't in control of her strike zone as much as she normally would be, but she did a fine job."
On the lack of offense & "Their pitcher was very good. She shuts her opponents down, but North Carolina hasn't been able to get many runs for her. The same thing happened last year. (Crystal Cox) went sixteen innings against Baylor and shut them down but she didn't get any support. She went 11 innings against us last year she is very, very good."
Senior pitcher Megan Meyer On the game & "I was just moving my pitches in and out, hitting my spots and just trying to keep the hitters off balance."
On pitching in a tight game & "Im used to it, but I know that my team will score eventually so my job is to just keep them in the game. Our team gets very determined in close games. We pick each other up and do whatever it takes to get that win."
Senior first basemen Laura Taylor On winning close games the entire season & "We have a great pitcher and she keeps us in every ball game this season. Everything is always close and we just need to put runs on the board. Sometimes we do it early, sometimes we take a little time we like the drama."
On her last at-bat & "I was really concerned with putting the ball in play because the bases were loaded. I just wanted to see the ball and hit it wherever it was pitched. If it was inside, I wanted to turn on it. If it was outside, I wanted to go with it."
N O T E S " Seton Hall owns a perfect 2-0 record against North Carolina in NCAA competition. The Pirates again needed extra innings to defeat UNC in last season's NCAA Regional, in Waco, Tex., nipping the Tar Heels 1-0 in the 12th stanza.
" Seton Hall is 13-0 in one-run games this season.
" North Carolina has been held scoreless in four consecutive games, spanning 29 innings.
" North Carolina owns a 6-14 record in neutral-site games.
" Senior pitcher Megan Meyer matched her own single-season record for strikeouts, registering eight against North Carolina to bring her season total to 242. Former-Pirate ace Misty Beaver ranks third on Seton Halls' single-season strikeouts list with 185.
" Meyer also matched her single-season wins record with her 27th tally this year. Meyer also boasted 27 wins in 2004. Tied for third on Seton Halls' single-season wins list are Misty Beaver and Christina Shanko with 20.
" Meyer has pitched 47 consecutive innings for the Pirates, spanning six complete games. During that stretch, she has allowed just four run.
" The Seton Hall shutout was the 21st for Meyer this season.
" Senior Lauren Taylor has earned at least one RBI in nearly half of Seton Hall's games this season (22/46). She has also tallied a hit in 32 of those 46 games.
-- Courtesy Michigan