March 31, 2001
Atlanta, GA – After beginning conference play with a 7-0 win over ACC-foe Georgia Tech, the 16th-ranked Florida State softball team was unable to hold on to a 1-0 lead and sweep its first conference series of the 2001 season. Jen White-Stokes allowed a sixth inning solo home run and freshman Jessica van der Linden gave up a game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth as Georgia Tech improved to 19-14 and 1-1 in conference and FSU fell to 33-6 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC.
After opening the doubleheader with a convincing victory, the Seminoles looked like they would pick-up right where they left off when Serita Brooks opened the top of the first with a single to right field. Brooks then stole her 27th base of the year and Kimmy Carter advanced her to third on a sacrifice bunt. Brooks then gave the Noles a 1-0 lead when she scored on an illegal pitch by Tech pitcher Erin Voeltz (10-8).
White-Stokes seemed to be in control as she looked to pick-up her 12th win of the year and had allowed just two hits through six and two-thirds innings. Yellow Jacket senior Erin Howley, who’s error in the first game allowed a Seminole run, came up with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and sent a 210 foot shot over the right field wall to even the game at 1-1.
After Georgia Tech stranded the winning run at third in the bottom of the seventh, the game remained tied as the Seminoles entered their fourth extra innings game of the year. After two strike outs in a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, Georgia Tech looked to capture the series split in the bottom of the inning. Seminole reliever van der Linden (10-2) retired Tech junior Jamie Frost on a ground ball to second and then came up against Yellow Jacket freshman Tara Knudsen. Knudsen, who was I for 5 on the day and entered the game hitting .275 on the season, took the southpaw’s offering deep to left field to give Georgia Tech its first conference win of the season and ending the Noles nine game win streak.
“We just didn’t do enough of the little things correctly in the second game today,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “I give Georgia Tech a lot of credit for coming back after being down but I was a little disappointed in the way we executed.”
Florida State returns to action Sunday, April 1 when it faces the Georgia State Panthers (26-14) in a doubleheader schedule for a 12:00 p.m. start. The Seminoles will resume their road trip next weekend when they continue conference action against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.