May 21, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With a 1-0 victory over Cal State Northridge Friday at the Seminole Softball Complex, the No. 4-ranked Florida State softball team shutout its second opponent in as many days and advanced in the winners’ bracket of the 2004 NCAA Division I Softball Tallahassee Regional. The Seminoles, now 59-9, will face undefeated Oregon at noon Saturday. The Matadors dropped to 34-18 and return to the field at 6:15 to face Ohio State in an elimination game.
The Seminoles ran their scoreless streak in the tournament to 14 innings as pitcher Jessica van der Linden gave up just two hits in seven innings with 12 strikeouts. It was the 17th time this season that the senior has struck out 10 or more batters. van der Linden improved to 26-6 on the year, while the Matadors’ Kia Fennell was saddled with the loss as her record fell to 18-10.
The lone run of the afternoon was scored during the top of the first inning. After a walk was issued to leadoff hitter Veronica Wootson, Natasha Jacobs laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Wootson to second. A passed ball moved Wootson before van der Linden plated the only run of the game with an RBI single, her 52nd of the season.
For the next six and a half innings the game boiled down to pitching and defense as the two teams combined to strain 14 runners with nine of them coming in the last two innings. In the bottom of the first, Cal State Northridge loaded the bases only to see van der Linden strike out the next two batters.
After the first, neither team managed to get a runner past second base until the sixth inning. In the top half of the sixth, the Seminoles loaded the bases with two outs, but couldn’t get a ball out of the infield. The Matadors broke up van der Linden’s shot at a no hitter in the sixth when Laura Hovestreydt led off with a single, but van der Linden responded by striking out the next three hitters.
Then in the sixth, both teams had chances to plate runs, but couldn’t come up with the timely hits. FSU’s Beth Wade led off the top of the inning with a double then one out later LaShaun Davis reach on an error, but a great defensive play in left field by the Matadors’ Emilee Moores saved at least one run. In the bottom half of the inning, Cal State Northridge loaded the bases with a hit and two straight FSU errors, but van der Linden ended the game by striking out Hovestreydt.