Feb. 15, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
The 16th-ranked Seminoles swept their doubleheader with Southern Mississippi (1-4) Sunday winning the second game 9-1 in five innings. Florida State (8-0) used a powerful offensive showing, including three home runs and six extra base hits overall, and another dominating pitching performance by Jessica van der Linden (4-0) to cruise to the five inning victory. The win was FSU’s 32nd straight in the regular season and it is the first time FSU has homered three times in a game since the 2003 ACC Championships when FSU went deep on three occasions in a 10-1 win versus Virginia.
“It was big for us to get a couple of wins today after all the rain,” said senior Beth Wade. “Sometimes it is hard to get up for games when you’ve sat around for two days without knowing if you were going to be able to even take the field. Our team really showed up today after a shaky start in the first inning of the first game.”
“This is a strong hitting team up and down the line-up,” said Brieske. “We are all so strong and anyone on this team is capable of hitting a home run.”
This was the 47th straight doubleheader in which the Seminoles have not been swept and at 8-0, the team is off to its best start since 1994. The last time FSU lost a regular season game was March 14, 2003. The eight RBIs were also a season high for FSU.
On the hill and at the plate, van der Linden was dominant again for the Tribe. The senior, despite allowing her first earned run of the year, picked up her fourth straight win and struck out eight batters in her five innings of work. She now has 43 K’s in just over 22 innings. Offensively in the twin bill, she hit .800, scored five runs, had two doubles, a home run, four RBIs, slugged 1.000 and was on base almost 86% of the time.
The Seminoles got off to a quick start in the first inning off Jessica Holaway (0-2) as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Van der Linden picked up right where she left off in game one driving in the first run of the inning. The senior drove a double into the gap in left center scoring Kim Hoffer who reached on a bunt single. An error put Lesley Palmer on base and brought up one of Florida State’s hottest hitters in Carly Brieske. The Safety Harbor, FL native, who had never hit a homer in her FSU career, hit her second in six games as she hammered a high pitch over the wall down the left field line. The three-run job raised her RBI total to nine, just one shy of her career total coming into the season.
“I am not sure what the difference is for me this year,” said Brieske. “I feel really comfortable in the box and I saw the pitch I hit for a home run really well. We are all off to a really good start at the plate and I am just glad to be part of that.”
The Seminoles plated their fifth run of the game in the third inning and once again it was van der Linden that got things started. The senior drew a walk and moved to third on a double to the right field wall by Palmer. She then scored her fifth run of the doubleheader when she came home on a wild pitch. Elisa Vasquez drove in another run on a sac fly to right plating Palmer with FSU’s sixth run.
For the first time all season a team scored a run versus van der Linden and it came in the top of the fourth. The run came on a delayed double steal where the Tribe threw out the runner at second but a collision didn’t allow Kim Hoffer to get off a throw towards home. Hoffer was in the game when starter Tatiana George was injured on a play in the top of the first.
The Seminoles went on the offensive in the bottom of the fourth with three straight extra base hits including two home runs to start the frame. Beth Wade started the rally when she homered over the left field fence. Carey Galuppi followed with a deep double to right and Katie Fricke brought her home with her first career HR in just her third career at bat at FSU.
“I am not sure what is going with me at the plate so far,” said Wade. “I’m not doing anything different. I am just trying to get good swings on good pitches. Pitch selection is a key and that is something I have been working on.”
With the lead at 9-1, van der Linden went back to work looking to wrap-up her fourth straight win. She got the first two hitters to pop out then walked just her fourth batter of the year. The senior ended the game in perfect fashion fanning her eight batter of the day.
The Seminoles return to action Tuesday afternoon as they welcome in Georgia Southern for a mid-week doubleheader. Prior to the 4:00 pm game Seminole head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf will be honored for recording her 1000th fast pitch win. There is no admission charge for regular season games at the Seminole Softball Complex. For more information on the 2004 Seminole softball team, please log on to the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.