March 5, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
Thanks to a nine-run fourth inning and a Casey Hunter no-hitter, No. 4 FSU softball (19-2) improved to 2-0 at the 2004 Seminole Challenge Tournament. The Seminoles set a new season high with 16 hits as they exploded for 11 runs in a dominant win over Rhode Island (0-7). Ten Seminoles recorded an RBI and four recorded an extra base hit in the offensive explosion.
Hunter improved to 9-1 on the year as she struck out nine in five innings and did not issue a walk. The only two base runners she allowed to reach came on hit by pitches. The no-hitter was Hunter’s second of the season and the third of her career. Along with Jessica van der Linden’s perfect game versus Penn State earlier in the day, FSU pitchers recorded back-to-back no hitters for the first time in over a decade and they allowed just two batters to reach base in 10 combined innings.
Offensively the top of the order came through once again for the Tribe. Natasha Jacob and Veronica Wootson, who went 6-for-7 versus URI, combined to go 9 for 11 on the day with five runs scored, three doubles, two triples and seven RBIs. Each player slugged at least 1.400 during the first day of Seminole Challenge play. Overall, FSU hit .521 on the day and eight of the tam’s 19 hits went for extra bases.
The Seminoles two hottest hitters from the 8-0 win over Penn State were just as hot in the Rhode Island game. Wootson started the game with a triple to right center and Jacob drove her home for her fifth RBI of the day. The sophomore had five RBIs in 53 starts as a freshman and she equaled that number in three at bats between two games Friday. A walk to van der Linden and an Elisa Vasquez single loaded the bases as FSU looked to break the game open against Rhode Island starter Lee-Anne Stanovich (0-2) but the hurler got the next three hitters to leave the bases full of Seminoles and keep URI in the game at 1-0.
LaShaun Davis looked to start another Seminole rally in the second as she singled with one out. Wootson then continued her torrid hitting as she laced a double to the deepest part of the park in center field. With runners on second and third and two down Stanovich worked out of trouble again. The senior held on to a 1-0 lead while FSU had stranded five base runners in just two innings.
In the fourth, Kim Hoffer recorded her first career triple on a deep drive to the warning track in center field and LaShaun Davis brought her home on a bad-hop single to short. Wootson and Jacob followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. The hit by Jacob was the 11th of the game, tying a season high after just four innings. Stanovich then plunked van der Linden to score the Tribe’s fourth run. The Rams brought in pitcher Katie Halcomb to try and get out of the bases loaded no outs jam. On her first pitch of the game she hit Vasquez to drive in another FSU run. Halcomb walked in the sixth run of the game as URI still had no outs and the bases juiced. Wade’s deep sac fly gave the Rams their first out of the frame but also plated FSU’s fifth run of the inning. Carly Brieske joined the FSU hit parade as her single, FSU’s fifth hit of the inning, drove home another run. Hoffer, who started the inning with a triple, had her second hit of the fourth with an RBI single into shallow center field. With FSU in front 9-0, Wootson got her second hit of the inning as well, an RBI single, and Katie Fricke singled as a pinch hitter to load the bases again. Another walk drove in FSU’s ninth run of the frame before URI finally ended the top of the fourth after nine runs, eight hits, 15 FSU batters and three URI pitchers.
Florida State continues play at the 2004 Seminole Challenge versus No. 12 ULL (22-2) at 11:30 am and St. John’s (7-7) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Both teams went 2-0 in their first day of action at the Seminole Challenge. Live stats will be available for all of FSU’s contests at the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.