March 23, 2002
Atlanta, GA –
Although it took until 9:30 p.m. to decide the final pairings at the 2002 Buzz Classic, the 20th-ranked FSU softball team finally got its opening round opponent Saturday night. The Seminoles opened championship bracket play late Saturday night by facing UCF (29-9-0) for the first time in the school’s history. Florida State (31-12-0) recorded 13 hits and got monster outings from Tatiana George and Brandi Stuart in downing the Golden Knights 10-2 in six innings. The win advanced FSU to the quarterfinals versus Troy State Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
The Tribe scored three runs in the first inning for the third time at the Buzz and the team got its eighth and ninth home runs in the last five games as they ended their day with a six inning win. Jessica van der Linden (10-3) allowed just two hits in the win as she moved to 3-0 at the Buzz. Offensively, George went three-for-three with three RBIs and a homer in her most productive night as a Seminole while junior All-American candidate Brandi Stuart went three-for-four with her third homer of the weekend and three more RBIs.
After the disappointment of losing to Ohio State in 11 innings and going from the No. 1 seed in the tournament and having a bye to playing a Saturday night game, the Seminoles shook off the rust early and went right at the Golden Knights. George led off the bottom of the first with her second career home run and the Seminoles eighth of the tournament. After Shundra Colzie drew a walk and was moved over to second, the junior stole third and came around to score on Brandi Stuart’s RBI single. Stuart proceeded to steal second and scored when Monique Marier laced a shot to center to give FSU a 3-0 lead in the first.
The Golden Knights got back into the game in the top of the fourth when they scored two runs on their only two hits of the game to move within a run at 3-2. The Garnet and Gold answered back in the bottom half of the inning. Beth Wade singled solidly up the middle and she moved over to second on Becky Brock’s ground out. George then singled past the shortstop driving in Wade and putting FSU up 4-2. After Shundra Colzie drew a walk moving George to second, van der Linden sent another single through the left side to plate George and move FSU back to a three-run lead at 5-2. Stuart gave the Tribe a 6-2 lead with her hit that dropped in between the center and right fielders scoring Colzie from second.
The lead grew to 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth when George’s single through the right side of the infield plated Beth Wade who reached on an error earlier in the inning. The RBI was George’s third of the game, which is a new career high for the freshman. Shundra Colzie then knocked in Wade on an infield single to move the game moved to the sixth with the Tribe in the lead at 8-2.
Stuart put the Tribe in front 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth when she hit her third home run of the tournament. The junior from Cerritos, CA cleared the fence in right field and extended her team-leading RBI total for the weekend to seven. She is hitting .526 and slugging 1.000 in five games at the Buzz Classic. She has also hit three home runs and knocked in seven RBIs. Sophomore Elisa Velasco ended the game by knocking in Kimmy Carter with a single up the middle.
The Seminoles next opponent will be Troy State in the quarterfinals Sunday, March 24 at 9:00 a.m. If FSU is able to win advance past Troy State, they could have a semifinal date with ACC foe North Carolina waiting for them. For more information on Seminole softball, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.