April 6, 2001
Chapel Hill, NC –
The 17th-ranked Florida State softball team continued conference play Friday and used a two-out sixth inning rally to improve to 2-1 in ACC play and 36-6 on the season with a 2-0 win over the University of North Carolina (22-14-1). The Seminoles got two-out RBI singles from Brandi Stuart and Jen White-Stokes and a complete game three-hitter from junior Leslie Malerich (14-2) to send the Tar Heels to their first conference loss of the season.
“There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes when your conference schedule is as few games as ours is and I was very happy that we were able to pull out this victory against a very good team and pitcher today,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “The Tar Heels gave us all we could handle but Leslie did a great job and once again we got clutch hits when we needed them.”
The Seminoles were unable to get anything going against UNC ace Radara McHugh after stranding runners at second and third in the opening frame. From the second to the sixth inning, McHugh (13-9) retired thirteen straight Seminole batters on five strikeouts and the junior from Tulsa, OK held FSU hitless for the game’s first five and two-thirds innings. In the sixth, senior Serita Brooks reached on a North Carolina error and catcher Kimmy Carter walked to give the Noles their first base runners in four innings. After a van der Linden foul out, Brandi Stuart singled to shortstop to break up the scoreless tie and stake FSU to the 1-0 lead. Senior Jen White-Stokes followed with another single to short scoring Cater and giving the Seminoles a 2-0 lead.
Malerich held the Heels off the board the rest of the way and limited UNC to just three hits on the afternoon and took over the conference lead for wins with 14 as she lowered her ERA, the nation’s 10th-best, to 0.47 on the year. The 2-0 victory was her eighth shutout of the year and she now leads FSU with 14 complete games.