Feb. 4, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
It was quite a day for freshman Carly Brieske. After collecting her first-ever double and RBI in her first at bat of the season in game one, the firsts continued to come for the Safety Harbor, FL native. Brieske collected her first career game-winning RBI in her first start as her two-run double brought FSU (3-1) back from a one-run deficit in the bottom of the tenth to beat Auburn (2-5) 3-2.
“It was really exciting for me tonight. I used to play with her (Auburn pitcher Kristen Keyes) so it was especially exciting to be facing her,” said Brieske. “I just went up there and was taking big swings and things were working out for me.”
The Seminoles collected six hits but committed three errors and stranded 12 base runners allowing the Tigers to remain in a 1-0 game through seven innings. Junior Jessica van der Linden pitched eight innings and allowed only one unearned run while striking out 10 Tiger batters. Junior Casey Hunter relieved van der Linden in the ninth as she picked up her third win of the season and second of the day. The Illinois native is now just one win shy of matching her career win total in just four games this season.
Just as they did in game one, Florida State took a 1-0 lead early on. In the second inning, newcomer Lesley Palmer recorded the first hit of her Seminole career belting a lead-off double to the gap in right. After she was sacrificed to third by Beth Wade, freshman Carly Brieske continued her big day by driving Palmer home with a deep sac fly to right.
Van der Linden made the one-run lead stand up into the ninth before an FSU error opened the door for a Tiger comeback. With the Auburn lead-off hitter reaching via a fielding error, the Tigers advanced her with a sacrifice and then brought her home on Anne Norton’s two-out, RBI single to left tying the game.
Casey Hunter, who relieved van der Linden in the ninth, got the Seminoles out of a big jam in the top of the inning as the Tigers used a walk and an FSU error to put runners on second and third with no outs. The sophomore struck out the next two hitters and then got a pop foul to end the inning and the Tigers threat.
Auburn threatened again in the 10th and this time they capitalized. Just as they did in the seventh, the Tigers rallied with two outs but this time they took their first lead of the day. After an infield hit, Hunter got the next two batters she faced bringing up left fielder Paige Jones. The sophomore, who came into the twin bill leading Auburn in RBIs, slammed the first pitch she saw to deep center plating Ashley Griffin from first.
With only three outs remaining for FSU, the Seminoles mounted a comeback as Palmer led-off the inning with a walk. After Bryttani Lindheim reached safely on a fielder’s choice, she and pinch runner Robyn Larson moved to second and third on a wild pitch from starter Kristen Keyes (0-4). That opened the door for Brieske’s heroics. On a 3-2 count, the freshman knocked a single into right scoring both runs and giving FSU’s its first series sweep of the season.
“I knew everyone was counting on me in the bottom of the 10th. I came up and had confidence in myself. I knew I could do it and I was glad I could help us get a win,” said Brieske.
Florida State continues its home schedule at the newly-renovated Seminole Softball Complex this weekend at the Seminole Classic Tournament. Florida State opens play Friday, February 7 at 4:00 pm versus Oregon and will then face cross-town rival Florida A&M at 6:00 pm. For more information on the home opener and all the information you could ever need on the 2003 Florida State softball team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official athletic home for Florida State on the internet.