May 17, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
In 15 trips to the NCAA Softball Tournament, the 21st-ranked Seminole softball team had never faced an ACC school and after Friday’s 7-0 loss to Georgia Tech they hope they won’t ever have to again. The Yellow Jackets (51-16) capitalized on three FSU errors in handing the Tribe (50-18) their worst loss since an 8-1 defeat at the hands of Cal State Fullerton March 15. It has been 97 games since the Garnet and Gold have lost by more than seven runs dating back to April 9, 2000 when Florida State lost 9-0 to Southern Mississippi in Tallahassee, FL.
This is just the sixth time FSU has been held scoreless in 2002 and two of the six have come against the Yellow Jackets. The Seminoles have now lost three of their last four games and four of their last six since facing Florida Atlantic in the last series of the regular season.
After Jessica Sallinger (27-7) retired the Seminoles in order in the first, Tech got to work in the bottom of the frame loading the bases off Jessica van der Linden (16-6) with no outs on two walks and a double. Catcher Lindsay Wood then singled to shallow left field to score the game’s first run as the bases remained full with no one out. The Jackets added to the lead on two infield errors as they moved out to a 3-0 lead and still no outs in the inning. After Leslie Malerich came in to relieve van der Linden, the Seminoles got a force out at home, a pop out to the pitcher before another run scored on a shallow hit to left field. With Georgia Tech now up 4-0, Malerich got the last out of the inning on a pop to second.
The Yellow Jackets added to their 4-0 lead in the fourth as they utilized another FSU error and a walk to put two runners on with one away. Malerich got the next batter on a deep fly to left before Tara Knudsen lined a shot into left field scoring Georgia Tech’s fifth run of the afternoon. She was followed by Lindsay Wood who sent Tech’s fourth double of the game into the gap in right center clearing the bases to put the Yellow Jackets in front 7-0.
Florida State could muster just three hits on the day with two coming off ACC Rookie of the Year Sallinger. Shundra Colzie, Jessica van der Linden and Brandi Stuart were they only Seminoles to have any success at the plate as the team’s overall batting average fell to .171 in two games at the 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional and the Tribe is hitting just .193 in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. Freshman hurler Casey Hunter closed the game out with two innings of shutout ball.
The Seminoles will have to wait to find out who and when they will play next in an elimination game. If Florida Atlantic defeats UTC at 8:00 p.m., the Seminoles will play the Mocs at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. If UTC ousts the Owls, FSU will play the UTC/GT loser at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. For more information on Seminole softball and the 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional, please visit the official website of the Florida State Athletic Department at www.seminoles.com. The regional’s official website contains game stories, box scores, photos, live stats, links to buy tickets and much more.