March 26, 2000
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Sophomore pitcher Leslie Malerich recorded her third
win of the weekend and earned a save as the Florida State softball team came
up big in the final day of the UTC Frost Cutlery Challenge, coming from
behind to top Wisconsin 6-5 and downing host Tennessee-Chattanooga 2-0, on
Sunday at Jim Frost Stadium. With a 4-2 tourney record, the Lady Seminoles
were crowned champions of the Classic. Malerich, who improved to 17-9
on the year, was named the tourney’s Most Valuable Player.
The contest between FSU and Wisconsin was a classic come-from-behind win for
the Lady Seminoles. FSU pitcher Jenn White-Stokes struggled in just one
inning, but settled down the rest of the way. The Badgers took the lead in
the game early with a five-run second inning. With two on and two out,
Wisconsin’s Theresa Mendez drew a walk loading the bases and leadoff hitter
Jade Gosse hit a single to right scoring two runs. Gosse’s single was the
first of three straight hits that produced runs. The Lady Seminoles
responded with two runs off two hits in the fourth inning. With one out,
Kimmy Carter reached base on a walk and went to third on a base hit by
Teresa Edenfield. Kelly Miller walked which loaded the bases and Brandi
Stuart singled to center field driving in Carter and Edenfield.
White-Stokes gave up just three hits in the next four innings and then the
Lady Seminoles went to work at the plate in the seventh, scoring four runs
on five hits. White-Stokes was the first to drive in a run, scoring Stuart,
who led off the inning with a walk and went to third on a single by Natalie
Bennett. Becky Wallace singled to left to load the bases and Staci Brandon
singled, scoring Bennett. There was a force out at home for the first out
as Serita Brooks reached on a fielder’s choice. Carter singled in a score
and Edenfield sacrificed to right field for the go-ahead run. Leslie
Malerich came into the game in the seventh and earned her second save of the
season. Stuart led the Tribe with two hits, two RBIs and one run scored.
Wallace also had two hits for FSU.
The Seminoles struck first against UT-Chattanooga. In the bottom of the
second inning, Brooks drove in Stuart, who reached on an error, while
Edenfield’s base hit scored Brooks. The two runs would be just enough for
the win. Malerich pitched six innings of scoreless softball but in the UTC
seventh, the Lady Mocs threatened. With one out, Carrie Hamilton doubled to
center and scored on a base hit by Talya Truddell, scoring one run. FSU
edged UTC in hits 7-6 and Malerich struck out five batters.
“I am very proud of how the team came out and battled today,” FSU Head Coach
Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “The way we came back against Wisconsin said a lot
about the fight in our team. We played with a lot of confidence against
UTC. I can’t say enough about Leslie (Malerich). She had a great
tournament and really carried us.”
Joining Malerich on the All-Tournament team were Edenfield, Wallace and
Stuart. FSU will open ACC play when the team hosts Georgia Tech in a
doubleheader on Saturday, April 1st beginning at 1 p.m.
GAME ONE FSU 000 200 4 6 9 3 Wisconsin 050 000 0 5 8 0 WP - Jenn White-Stokes (10-7) LP - Andrea Kirchberg (19-7) Save - Leslie Malerich (2)
GAME TWO UTC 000 000 1 1 6 1 FSU 002 000 X 2 7 1 WP - Leslie Malerich (17-9) LP - Beth Alexander (5-8)