April 6, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 21st-ranked Florida State softball team (33-13) opened a doubleheader with Florida A&M Saturday afternoon by pounding the Rattlerettes (20-23) 6-0 behind a strong pitching performance by senior Leslie Malerich. Just one game after breaking FSU’s All-Time record for wins with the 91st of her career, Malerich allowed just one hit over four innings and walked no batters in picking her 20th win of the season. She is now 20-9 in 2002 and became just the first pitcher in the 24 years of FSU softball to record three 20-win seasons.
Freshman Tatiana George killed the Rattlerettes once again Saturday afternoon. Her three-run double in the second inning moved her to 4-for-8 with four RBIs in her last two games against FAMU. Brandi Stuart had an RBI triple and Kimmy Carter and Monique Marier each contributed an RBI in FSU’s 33rd win of the year. Freshman Casey Hunter picked up her team-leading third save of the season.
Malerich and FAMU starter Tiya Hines (0-5) made it through the first inning unscathed. Malerich set down the Rattlerettes in order with the final out coming on a strike out against pitcher Hines. Hines faced just four batters in the bottom of the first giving up the first hit of the game to Shundra Colzie, FSU’s second batter. Florida A&M erased her off the base paths though when catcher Ruby Nugent gunned her down trying to steal second.
Malerich went on to retire the side in order again in the top of the second. She once again ended the inning with a strike out as she set down Nicole Campbell swinging for her second K of the game.
The Seminoles struck for their first run of the game in the bottom of the second as junior All-American candidate Stuart led-off by drawing her 19th walk of the season. Stuart proceeded to steal her 38th and 39th bases of the year before Carter’s single to center plated Stuart giving FSU a 1-0 lead. The single was the first of the season for Carter in six at bats versus FAMU. Florida State went on to load the bases on a walk and a hit by pitch before Hines recorded the second out of the inning on a fielder’s choice. That brought George to the plate. The freshman went 3-for-4 in her last game against FAMU. She got the game-winning RBI in the seventh and scored a run in the 2-1 win. George came up big again when her two-out double cleared the bases and staked FSU to a 4-0 lead.
Florida State continued to build on its lead in the third against new Rattlerette pitcher Tenyse Tasby. Tasby entered the game with a 0.51 ERA in 13.2 innings of work versus FSU this season. Shundra Colzie led-off by getting her second single of the game and advanced to second on the second FAMU error of the game. Stuart then laced the first pitch she saw down the right field line for her third triple of the season. It was the first hit of the year for FSU’s leading hitter against Florida A&M. Stuart later came around to score giving FSU a 6-0 lead when senior Marier reached on a fielder’s choice driving in her 18th RBI of the year.
The Tribe completes their season series with the Rattlerettes in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader slated for a 3:00 p.m. start. The Seminoles are next in action Thursday, April 11 when the welcome UAB in for a doubleheader slated for 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. starts. There is no admission charge for all regular season games at the Seminole Softball Complex. For more information on Seminole softball, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.