May 1, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
Casey Hunter kept rolling through ACC opponents and making a case for ACC Player of the Year and All-America honors Saturday afternoon as she shutout NC State (32-24, 3-6) in an 8-0, six inning win for the second-ranked Seminoles (51-5, 8-1). The victory was the 21st consecutive win for the junior as she moved to 29-1 and 5-0 in ACC play. Hunter went six innings and allowed just one hit. She fanned seven batters and for the fifth time in her last seven starts she did not issue a single walk. Hunter has not allowed a run in ACC play as she picked up her fourth complete game shutout and raised her scoreless inning streak in the conference to 59.2 innings.
“Casey has been remarkable for us this year,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “To win 21 straight games is awesome but to do it the way she is makes it even more amazing. She is rarely allowing a walk and shutting out almost everyone as of late.”
Offensively it was ACC Rookie of the Year candidate Veronica Wootson that continued to cause nightmares for FSU opponents. The California native went 2 for 4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and a home run. The homer was her seventh of the season, one off the team lead. On senior day, Elisa Vasquez had a big afternoon with two hits and a RBI. Her double missed leaving the park by just a couple of inches. Four other Seminoles recorded RBI hits in the run-rule victory.
Florida State looked to get ahead early versus NC State starter Abbie Sims (20-10, 2-3). The freshman recorded the first out of the inning and then walked Natasha Jacob before hitting Jessica van der Linden. Sims issued her second walk of the inning to load the bases for senior Beth Wade. Sims got the senior to pop out for the second out of the frame before walking Tatiana George on four straight pitches to plate the game’s first run. Sims then walked in the second run of the game on another four pitch walk to Carly Brieske to bump the FSU lead to 2-0 before getting out of the bases loaded jam with her first K of the game.
While up 2-0, Florida State had yet to record its first hit of the game. That changed in a big way in the second. After retiring the first batter of the frame, Sims served up a 2-0 pitch to Wootson that the freshman crushed out of the yard just to left of dead center. It was the seventh homer of the year for Wootson who continues to add to her rookie HR record.
NC State put its second runner of the game on base in the sixth as an errant throw allowed Renee LaCroix to reach first. She was moved to second on a sac bunt that also resulted in the second out of the inning. Hunter then closed out the threat on a ground ball to third.
The Tribe looked for some insurance in the home half of the sixth. Brieske reached on an NC State error at short and then Kim Hoffer laid down a perfect bunt and beat out the throw to put two on with just one away. An error on the first baseman on a roller up the first base line allowed FSU to load the bases for leadoff hitter Wootson. The ACC Rookie of the Year candidate drove a shot up the middle plating two more runs as the Tribe extended its lead to 5-0. Jacob then plated the sixth run on a fielder’s choice as NC State tried to get the out at home but were unable to put the tag on LaShaun Davis. The Seminoles moved in front 7-0 on a Vasquez rope to left that just bounced of the top of the fence and back into play for a stand up double.
After wrapping up its doubleheader with North Carolina State today, Florida State will travel to No. 15 Auburn for a doubleheader with the Tigers. The games are scheduled for 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 3. For more information on the 2004 FSU softball team please log on to the official athletic website of Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.