March 13, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – To say that the fourth-ranked FSU softball team (28-3) has been hitting the ball well at this weekend’s Florida State Invitational would be like saying the ACC is a pretty good basketball conference. The Seminole sluggers recorded six more extra base hits Saturday night in a 14-0 win over St. Joe’s (5-10) in the gold bracket quarterfinals. The 14-run explosion lifted the team batting average to .407 for the weekend and the Tribe’s slugging percentage is .720 for the team. In just five games, FSU has six doubles, five triples, seven homeruns and an astounding 42 RBIs.
On top of the hitting the FSU pitching staff has not allowed an earned run all weekend and to put the finishing touch on day two, Casey Hunter pitched the first perfect game of her career. The junior struck out nine in the five inning win and raised her overall record to 14-2 on the season.
St. Joe’s starter Katie McCann held FSU at bay in the first but the Seminoles got on track in the bottom of the second. The rally started with a Lesley Palmer walk to open the frame. Beth Wade sacrificed her at bat to move Palmer to second and a ground out moved the FSU third baseman to third. Carly Brieske singled Palmer home to put FSU in front 1-0. Kim Hoffer followed with another single to put runners on first and second. After a double steal moved both runners up, LaShaun Davis singled to right field for the second run of the inning. That brought up Wootson. The standout second baseman yanked a McCann offering over the fence in left for a 5-0 advantage. It was the fourth straight game FSU had hit a homer and was the 23rd on the season. Only one team in the history of FSU softball has ever hit more than 23 homers in an entire season and the 2004 squad already has 23 in just 31 games.
The Seminoles built on the lead in the bottom of the third. Jessica van der Linden started things off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Palmer then doubled her home putting FSU in front 6-0. Palmer scored her second run of the game after advancing on a fly ball out and scoring on a fielder’s choice. Carly Brieske then blasted a double to the warning track in deep center putting runners on second and third. Hoffer brought in another FSU run on a bloop single to shallow left field. Wootson struck again to put the Tribe up 10-0. Her bases loaded, two-RBI single up the middle drove in her fifth RBI of the game. Jacob then tripled down the right field line driving in two more runs and putting FSU in front 12-0 before the game moved into the top of the fourth.
Freshman catcher Lena Sifen got the first hit of her Seminole career and made it a memorable one pinch hitting in the fourth. The freshman knocked in two runs when she laced a double over the head of the outfielder putting FSU up 14-0.
Florida State will play No. 11 Michigan (17-5) at 12:00 Sunday in the gold bracket semifinals. The winner will face the survivor of the other semifinal between No. 19 Nebraska and Texas A&M. Both games will take place at the Seminole Softball Complex beginning at 10:00 a.m. Five other gold and silver bracket games are scheduled for Sunday at Messer Park. For more information on Sunday’s schedule please visit the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.