POSTED: 4:21 p.m. HST, Feb 22, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 8:36 p.m. HST, Feb 22, 2014
North Carolina jumped ahead early in its first win over the Hawaii softball team on Saturday. The Tar Heels then pulled away late in the rematch to earn a spot in the Bank of Hawaii Invitational championship game.
In the first meeting, North Carolina catcher Amber Parrish homered in her first two at-bats to help power the Tar Heels to a 9-0 win in five innings.
The Rainbow Wahine took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the second game, but North Carolina rallied for a 9-3 win.
North Carolina will face San Jose State for the tournament championship at 10 a.m. Sunday. UH takes on Saint Mary's in the third-place game scheduled for noon.
In the first meeting between the Wahine and Tar Heels, UNC pitcher Lori Spingola held UH to one hit and struck out 11 in a five-inning complete game.
North Carolina sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first against UH starter Heather Morales and led 4-0 before the game's first out was recorded. Amy Nece opened the scoring with a triple down the left-field line to score Aquilla Mateen. After a single, Parrish hit a two-run homer to center field and Kristen Brown went deep to left one out later to give the Tar Heels a 5-0 lead.
Parrish homered again in the second and Keiki Carlos went in to pitch for UH.
North Carolina added two more runs in the third on two singles, a throwing error and an RBI groundout.
Spingola allowed just three baserunners for the Tar Heels, who recorded their third straight shutout in the tournament.
Carlos made her first pitching start since Feb. 15 of last year in the rematch with North Carolina and was given a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
UH, the designated visiting team, had five singles in the inning and took the lead when Leisha Li'ili'i's grounder through the right side of the infield scored Lindsey Willmon from second. UH loaded the bases and Sharla Kliebenstein was hit by a pitch to drive in another run. With two out, freshman Ulu Matagiese bounced another single up the middle to score Alyssa Villalpando. Jazmine Zamora was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
UNC answered in the bottom of the first with Parrish's RBI single with two out. Consecutive doubles by Kendra Lynch and Brown in the fourth cut the UH lead to 3-2 and the Tar Heels moved ahead with three runs in the fifth.
Mateen's RBI single tied the game and Parrish's line drive to left brought in the go-ahead run.
Darby Rosen added a two-run home run in the sixth to extend UNC's lead to 7-3.