May 20, 2000
LOS ANGELES – The No. 24 Florida State softball team (51-26)
secured a rematch with No. 3 UCLA in the championship game of the Los
Angeles regional with a 4-2 victory over No. 15 Iowa (46-15), Saturday
afternoon at Easton Stadium on the UCLA campus. FSU will face the Bruins at
3:30 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, May 21st. The Tribe will have to beat UCLA twice
as the Bruins have gone undefeated in the double-elimination tourney.
The Lady Seminoles scored two runs in each of the third and fourth innings
to take a 4-0 lead over the Iowa Hawkeyes. Andi Lyons led off the third
with a walk and was called safe at second on a fielder’s choice by Teresa
Edenfield. With two out and two out, Serita Brooks ripped a triple to deep
center field to score Lyons and Edenfield. In the fourth, Brandi Stuart and
Becky Wallace had back-to-back base hits to lead off the inning. Iowa
catcher Katy Jendrzejewski made a throwing error as Stuart and Wallace
recorded a double steal. Stuart went home on the error while Wallace
advanced to third. Felicia Williams came in to pinch-run for Wallace and
she scored on a single to left field by Lyons.
The Hawkeyes had just one hit and one player in scoring position through
the first three innings. In the fourth, however, Iowa put together a little
run with two consecutive bunt singles by Alicia Gerlach and Jessica Bashor.
With runners on second and third, thanks to steals, and nobody out, Iowa
pitcher Kristi Hanks, who relieved starter Kelly Zeilstra in the fourth
inning, grounded out to shortstop Natalie Bennett, scoring one run. But two
straight outs would strand the other Hawkeye runner and the score remained
4-1 in FSU’s favor.
Iowa took advantage of an FSU error to score another run in the sixth
inning. FSU left fielder Teresa Edenfield errored on a fly ball by Gerlach
to lead off the inning. Gerlach went to second on the play and advanced to
third on a ground out by Bashor. Hanks recorded her second RBI of the game
with a double to right field, but she would be left on the basepaths.
Iowa didn’t go down without a fight. In the seventh, the Hawkeyes had two
on with one out when Becky Brock turned a solid double play to end the game.
Malerich earned her 35th victory, tying her with Toni Gutierrez (1992)
for most victories in a season on the FSU charts. Brooks’ triple gave her
her 98th hit of the year – tying the single-season mark for hits set by
Danielle Cox in 1999. Zeilstra got the loss for Iowa and fell to 24-7.
Hanks was awesome in relief, allowing just two hits while striking out six
in four innings on the mound for the Hawkeyes.
“Obviously I am proud of how the team bounced back after the loss to UCLA,”
FSU’s Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “We got another great performance by Leslie
(Malerich) and some key hits by Serita (Brooks) and Andi (Lyons). We wanted
another shot at UCLA and now we’ve earned it. Tomorrow’s game should be a
good one, since we’ve had a chance to play them once in the tournament.
Once again, we look forward to the challenge.”
123 456 7 R H E FLORIDA STATE 002 200 0 - 4 6 2 IOWA 000 101 0 - 2 6 2
WP: Leslie Malerich (35-14), LP: Kelly Zeilstra (24-7)