April 12, 2003
Greenville, SC – Florida State softball had scored eight total runs in its last four games before traveling to Greenville, SC to face Furman Saturday. After a 6-0 win in game one, the Tribe exploded for a season-high 12 runs to sweep its sixth straight doubleheader. The 12-0 win in five innings was the 15th in a row for the 14th-ranked Seminoles and equals the seventh longest win streak in school history. It is also the longest win streak by any Seminole team since the 1998 squad won 18 in a row.
Junior All-American candidate Jessica van der Linden threw her fourth straight shutout and increased her scoreless streak to 34 innings as she improved to 12-4 on the year. The Cerritos, CDA native also knocked in a career high four RBIs. Tatiana George led the team at the plate as she went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and a career high four RBIs also.
Other than a Tatiana George double and steal, Furman’s Meagen Johnson (8-8) got out of the top of the first fairly unscathed. Van der Linden matched her and even did one better as she set down the Lady Paladins 1-2-3 with one strikeout to end the first inning.
Brandi Stuart began the Seminoles’ half of the second with a walk putting the leadoff runner on for the first time in the game. Beth Wade popped up her sacrifice bunt attempt and then Lesley Palmer grounded out leaving Stuart on second with two outs. The All-American swiped third for her 29th steal of the year but the Tribe couldn’t plate her as Johnson retired Shundra Colzie for the first time all day as the senior was 4 for 4 in the first game.
Alison McNulty started the second by drawing the first walk of the day by the Seminole pitching staff. She was quickly set down though on a fielder’s choice. The Tribe then cleared the bases as catcher BillieAnne Gay and Stuart combined to pick the runner off at first. The southpaw pitcher then ended the inning in style by setting Sarah Scott down watching strike three.
For the second inning in a row FSU put its leadoff runner on to open the third. Natasha Jacob singled to left over the drawn in infield and then put herself in scoring position by stealing second. Shandra Colzie moved her to third and also reached safely on an error by the second baseman. George’s sac bunt broke the scoreless tie as she put the Seminoles up 1-0. Van der Linden then helped her own cause with a sac fly to put the Tribe in front 2-0. Elisa Vasquez followed suit knocking in her 27th RBI on another sac fly as FSU moved in front 3-0. Stuart next reached on an error and was followed by Beth Wade who singled to center and moved Stuart to third. Palmer came through with a two out RBI as she plated Stuart on a single past third and into shallow left field as the game moved into the home half of the third with FSU up 4-0.
In the home half of the inning, van der Linden allowed her first hit of the game on a bloop single to right center. The ASA National Player of the Year Finalist responded though and got three other hitters on ground outs to the right side of the diamond to move the game into the top of the fourth.
Jacob led things off with her second hit of the game as she looped one down the left field line. Shandra Colzie looked as if she had FSU’s second straight hit but Furman third baseman Katie Morrison climbed the ladder and snared the line drive for the first out. George followed with her second hit of the game moving Jacob into scoring position at second. Van der Linden once again helped her own cause as she cleared the bases with a deep shot to right center for her second triple of the year as FSU jumped in front 6-0. Vasquez knocked in her second run of the day and put the Tribe up 7-0 on a shot that looked like it was headed into right field. Furman’s Joni Lockridge made a diving stab to stop the ball and then tossed it over to first for the second out.
Van der Linden rung up her fourth strikeout to start the home half of the fourth and then induced a pop foul for the second out. The Cerritos, CA native then got out of the frame with a ground out to short.
Tabitha Dease took over inside the circle for the Lady Paladins in the top of the fifth as FSU looked to score an eighth run and sweep the doubleheader. The freshman hurler from Tampa, FL got the first hitter she faced and the lost Palmer on a walk after starting 1-2 on the FSU sophomore. Shundra Colzie then singled into right field moving pinch runner Robyn Larson up to second. That brought Jacob to the plate who was already 2 for 2 with two runs scored. For the third time, the freshman from Texas singled to shallow left this time loading the bases with one out. Shundra Colzie then sent a slow roller through the infield. Furman tried to get the runner at home but Jacob beat the play as FSU moved in front 8-0 and still had the bases juiced with one down. George then came up and recorded her third hot of the day. The sophomore’s triple into the gap in right center cleared the bases and put FSU up 12-0. The four RBIs for George are a new single-game career high for the Fontana, CA native.
The Seminoles return to Tallahassee to complete their four-game series with Florida A&M Tuesday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m. The single game will take place at the Seminole Softball Complex where there is never an admission charge for regular season games.
For the 10th time in 12 years, Florida State will host the ACC Softball Championships. The 2003 tournament will run from May 9-11 and tickets are now available by calling the Seminole Ticket office (1-888-FSU-nole or 850.644.1830) or on-line at www.seminoles.com. For more information on the 2003 Florida State softball team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official home for Florida State athletics on the internet.