March 30, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
The fourth-ranked FSU softball team took the field for the first time in five days and showed no rust. The Tribe run-ruled its 15th opponent of the season as they scored 12 runs on six hits in a 12-0 victory over Florida A&M (22-25) at the Lady Rattler Complex. The victory improved Florida State to 38-4 on the season and the Tribe has now won 19 of its last 20 games. The 12 runs were the second most scored by FSU this season.
Casey Hunter (21-1) allowed just one hit in four innings and she walked just one batter as she picked up her 13th straight victory. The Seminole hurler has not lost a game since the end of February. Beth Wade led FSU with two hits, two runs and two RBIs as she singled and homered. Kim Hoffer recorded two RBIs as well and Lesley Palmer had two hits on the night.
After retiring the first two hitters in the top of the first, FAMU ace Danielle Brown (12-9) walked Jessica van der Linden on four straight pitches. She then went 3-0 to Palmer before the senior ripped a 3-2 pitch over the head of the Lady Rattler left fielder. The double plated van der Linden from first putting FSU in front 1-0 and was Palmer’s team leading 11th of the season.
Brown started the second like she finished the first as she continued to have trouble finding the zone. Eight of her first nine pitches were balls as the Tribe put runners on first and second with nobody out. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and both came in to score on a ground out and a throwing error.
Wade led off the fourth inning by sending her eighth homer of the year over the fence just to the left of dead center. The senior is now two bombs away from tying the single season record for Florida State.
Florida A&M put their first base runner of the game on in the fourth as Ruby Nugent reached on a bunt single. She then stole second as the Rattlerette’s looked to cut into the 4-0 lead. Hunter got the next two batters before walking clean-up hitter Mo Mattingly. The junior hurler got out of the fourth unscathed though as a ground out to first ended the inning.
An error and a stolen base put Natasha Jacob in scoring position to open the fifth and FSU capitalized. van der Linden followed the steal by dropping a single into center field which brought home Jacob with FSU’s fifth run of the night. Brown walked the next batter she faced putting two on with nobody out. Wade promptly recorded her second RBI of the game on a single to right. The RBI was Wade’s 26th of the year as she continues to add to her single season career high. A walk by new pitcher Mattingly loaded the bases as FAMU continued to search for the first out of the inning. The new hurler recorded a force out at home before a Hoffer walk scored another run for the Tribe. Mattingly’s next pitch plunked pinch hitter Katie Fricke as another run came around to score. The Rattlerettes continued to shoot themselves in the foot as an errant throw on a force out at home allowed two more runs to score and FSU went in front 10-0. Florida State’s 11th run came home on another mistake as a passed ball allowed LaShaun Davis to score from third. Another wild pitch allowed Wootson to come home from third with FSU’s eighth run of the fifth inning.
Freshman hurler Amy Harrison came in to try and end the game for FSU in the fifth. The Chipley High School star started the inning with a strikeout and then got a fly ball out. With the Tribe just one strike away from wrapping up the win, the stadium lights shut off plunging the teams into total darkness. After an 18 minute delay, Harrison was unable to end the game as she lost Eria Williams after starting out 0-2 before the delay. The freshman did get the next batter though to end the fifth and the game.
Florida State returns to action Saturday, April 3 as they open conference play at the Seminole Softball Complex versus No. 24 Georgia Tech. The doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. and pits the last two ACC Tournament champions and the only two nationally ranked teams in the ACC. For more information on the 2004 FSU softball team, please log on to the official athletic website of Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.