Feb. 26, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
After scoring just one run in its last 14 innings at the 2003 NFCA Leadoff Classic, the FSU softball team (12-5) broke out of its mini-slump piling 11 runs on the Mercer Bears (11-9) in just five innings Wednesday. Five different Seminoles recorded RBIs and starter Casey Hunter raised her record to 9-3 on the season as she registered her fourth shutout in the 11-0 win.
Six Seminoles recorded hits in the game but junior Elisa Vasquez was the only Nole to have a multi-hit day as she went two for 3 with a triple, three runs scored and an RBI. Brandi Stuart knocked in two runs on her extra base hit and pinch hitter Carey Galuppi also knocked in her first two RBIs of the season.
Hunter got off to an uncharacteristic start as she walked two of the first five batters she faced but got out of the inning without any damage on a weak ground out. The Seminoles worked a couple of two-out walks of their own off Mercer starter Stephanee Finger (4-2) but like the Bears, were unable to capitalize in the bottom of the inning.
Mercer drew its third walk of the game in the second as Hunter moved within just one walk of matching her season high of four. But just as she did in the first, the sophomore got out of the inning with out a Bear scoring.
The wheels started to come off for Mercer in the bottom of the frame though. It started with a Vasquez single to third. Carly Brieske then attempted to sacrifice Vasquez to second. Fingers looked to cut down the lead runner but her throw sailed into center and then scooted through the center fielder’s legs allowing both runs to score. Beth Wade then doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a Natasha Jacob walk, Shandra Colzie singled to left scoring Wade and putting FSU up 3-0. A Tatiana George sac then moved the runners to second and third. After recording the second out of the frame, NFCA 1st Team All-American Stuart rocketed a shot into left field clearing the bases but was thrown out at third as she attempted to stretch the double into a triple.
Just as she did in the first two frames, Hunter gave up a walk and registered more strikeouts. She matched her season-high with her fourth walk and then struck out her fourth batter to keep the score at 5-0.
The Seminoles built on their lead thanks to more good hitting and more Mercer errors. Sophomore Lesley Palmer reached after the Mercer first baseman bobbled the throw and Vasquez then got her second big hit as she drove in another run on her triple to right and scored on an errant throw to the plate. The game moved into the fourth with the score 7-0.
In the fourth, Hunter started quickly striking out the first two hitters but a single and an error gave Mercer runners on the corners. Hunter got the final batter on a ground out as she kept the shutout in tact and the game moved into the bottom of the fourth.
The Seminoles attacked new pitcher Chris Mattice in the bottom of the frame. George led off with a single to right and van der Linden got hit to put runners on first and second for Stuart. The senior walked to load the bases bringing up Palmer. Florida State, which entered the game 1 for 28 with the bases loaded in 2003, continued its struggles as Palmer reached on a fielder’s choice and the score remained 7-0. Another fielder’s choice upped the Tribe to 1 for 30 with the sacks covered. They did however extend their lead as pinch hitter Julie Tiggis was hit driving in her first run of the season and another runner came home on a passed ball. Pinch hitter Carey Galuppi then knocked in the first two RBIs of her career getting FSU into double digits as the score moved to 11-0.
After the cancellation of the second Mercer game, the Seminoles return to action Friday, February 28 at 5:00 p.m. as they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Seminole Challenge Tournament play will begin immediately following that game as the Bulldogs open up with Syracuse University. The Orangewomen were a late addition to the tournament and due to their addition, the FSU schedule for the weekend has changed. The Tribe will play the same number of games at the same times but instead of facing Mississippi State at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, they will play Syracuse.
For more information on the 2003 Florida State softball team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official athletic home for Florida State athletics on the internet.