Mendes Provides the Shot in 1-0 Gamecock Win over North Carolina
April 6, 2011
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A two-out home run in the sixth from senior Laura Mendes and a great pitching performance that held the Tar Heels to two hits handed South Carolina a 1-0 victory over North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon at Beckham Field.
Mendes came up with two down in the inning and drove the 2-0 pitch onto the netting over the scoreboard in right center to hand the Gamecocks the lead. The senior collected two of South Carolina's five hits in the contest.
The Gamecocks looked to take the lead in the first, getting runners at second and third with one down after a bunt hit by sophomore leftfielder Hannah Milks and a double by Mendes. But UNC starting pitcher Lisa Spingola got a liner right at the third baseman and a pop to the shortstop to escape the first without any damage.
North Carolina's best chance to score came in the fifth, as Brittany Robinson led off the frame with a single. Pinch runner Amy Nece stole second and moved to third on Brittany McKinney's sacrifice bunt. But redshirt sophomore pitcher Audrey Broyles ended her day with a foul out and a strikeout of the two UNC pinch hitters to strand the runner at third.
Broyles went five innings and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three in the start. Gamecock senior April Borchardt (5-3) picked up the win, tossing the final two and allowing just one hit while fanning one. Spingola (19-10) took the loss, giving up one earned run on five hits. She struck out five.
The win snapped a two-game South Carolina losing streak in the series against their northern rivals and gave Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith her first win over her alma mater.
South Carolina heads to Longwood for a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT.