BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - The 24th-ranked Virginia Tech softball team will look to break a three-game slide when it travels to Chapel Hill this weekend to face the University of North Carolina at Anderson Stadium. Because of Easter weekend, the two will play the single game on Friday night at 6 p.m., followed by the doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
The Tar Heels are 23-12 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, receiving votes in both national polls. UNC features a high-powered offense that hits .304 as a team with 27 home runs, 36 doubles and 39 stolen bases. Senior Constance Orr leads the attack, hitting .354 with a team-high seven home runs and 30 RBIs. Tisha Mahon bats .354 with 10 stolen bases while six other regulars hit .300 or higher.
Lori Spingola is the main hurler for the Tar Heels as she’s thrown 141.2 of 219.1 innings played this year. The junior and reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year is 14-9 with a 2.52 ERA and 164 strikeouts, but has given up 14 home runs. Ashley Bone (5-2, 3.25 ERA), Orr (1-0, 4.47 ERA), Lauren Fuller (0-0, 5.25 ERA) and Sara Bucholz (3-1, 5.51) are also options for head coach Donna J. Papa.
Tech is 18-6 overall, but 0-2 in the ACC after getting swept at home last weekend by NC State. The Hokies dropped to 24th in the ESPN.com poll and fell out of the NFCA poll. Tech is ranked 24th in the first official NCAA RPI while UNC is 45th.
North Carolina is a perfect 11-0 at home this season … Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera will throw out the first pitch on Friday …Tech is 12-18 all-time against UNC, and has won just one of eight ACC series all-time against the Tar Heels … Tech is 4-7 against UNC at Anderson Stadium, but did beat the Tar Heels 4-1 last year in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on their home field … Courtney Liddle needs six walks to break the career record at Tech …Two Hokies (Bkaye Smith, Lauren Darden) are from North Carolina.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).