May 19, 2000
LOS ANGELES, Calif. –
Florida State’s Leslie Malerich earned her 34th
victory of the season as the No. 24 Lady Seminoles topped No. 15 Iowa, 4-1,
in NCAA regional action at Easton Stadium on the campus of UCLA. With the
victory, FSU improved to 50-25 while the Hawkeyes fell to 45-14.
Leadoff hitter senior Staci Brandon got things started early for the Tribe
with a solid base hit to right field in the first inning. After being
sacrificed to second by Serita Brooks, Brandon scored on a double to center
field by Thursday’s game hero Kimmy Carter. Iowa pitcher Kristi Hanks, the
Big Ten Player of the Year, settled down with two straight strike outs to
retire the side.
The Hawkeyes tied the game with an unearned run in the third-an inning that
saw some unusual plays. With one out and one on, Iowa’s Katie Boney bunted
up and FSU’s Becky Brock couldn’t get to it and the ball fell for an infield
hit to put runners on first and second. Pinch-hitter Megan Atkins hit a fly
ball to short center and Brooks called off FSU second baseman Brandi Stuart,
but she didn’t get to it and the ball fell. Brooks recovered for a force
out at second to shortstop Natalie Bennett. In an attempt to throw out the
runner heading to third, Bennett’s toss rolled into the dugout for an
automatic ground rule double, scoring the run.
Florida State had hits in each of the first four innings, but stranded five
runners. With some help from the Iowa defense, the Tribe took a 2-1 lead in
the fifth inning. Brandon led off with a double down the right field
baseline and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brooks. Carter struckout
swinging, but the pitch was wild and got away from Hawkeye catcher Jessica
Bashor. Once Bashor retrieved the ball, she threw to third to keep Brandon
in check and the toss went over the third baseman’s head, scoring the run
and putting Carter at second base. Carter went to third on a ground out by
Stuart, but was left when Teresa Edenfield struck out swinging.
FSU picked up a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
With one out, Becky Wallace drew a walk and scored on Andi Lyons’ first
triple of the year – a three-base shot to left field. Brooks drove in Lyons
with an infield hit back to the pitcher. In the Iowa seventh, Hanks led off
with a double and later advanced to third, but was left stranded.
Malerich earned the complete game victory, giving up five hits while
striking out five. She improved to 34-14. The Seminoles recorded eight
hits as Brandon, Brooks and Lyons recorded two apiece. Iowa’s Hanks fell to
21-8 with the loss.
The Lady Seminoles will face the Bruins of UCLA, ranked third nationally
and 41-10-1, who eliminated Long Beach State with a 10-4 victory, at 1 p.m.
(EST) on Friday.
“I am proud of how the team stepped up today to beat a very good
Iowa team,” FSU Head Coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “We are really playing
solid team ball right now and we are pleased to be in the winner’s bracket.
UCLA will be a great challenge for our team and we are looking forward to
the game tomorrow.”
The game can be heard live on broadcast.com on the UCLA website —
WP: Leslie Malerich (34-14) LP: Kristi Hanks (21-8)