March 18, 2004
Fullerton, CA –
Florida State’s season-long 13 game win streak came to an end Thursday afternoon in pool play at the Kia Klassic. The Tribe dropped just their fourth game of the season, all by one run, as they fell 1-0 to No. 20 Nebraska (18-9). All-American Jessica van der Linden fought through illness to play and pitched a four-hit gem but Nebraska made a first inning run stand up as third-ranked FSU fell to 32-4 on the year.
Nebraska put the first batter of the game on base versus a recovering van der Linden (15-3).
The infield single and a steal put Anne Steffan in scoring position with nobody out in the top of the first for the Huskers. After a strikeout, another Nebraska single put runners on the corners as NU placed the pressure on FSU right out of the gate. A ground out gave FSU the second out of the frame but it did plate a run for the Cornhuskers. The earned run was just the fifth allowed by van der Linden in 106.2 innings and her first in 53 innings.
The Seminoles got their first hit of the game in the home half of the first as van der Linden dropped a single into center field just behind first base. The senior moved to second on an error by the catcher but Nebraska ace Peaches James (13-4) got the FSU clean-up hitter watching strike three to end the frame.
Steffan’s speed victimized the Seminoles again in the third as the speedy second baseman just beat out a bunt. She moved all the way to third on a sac bunt that resulted in the second out of the inning. The Huskers stranded the run 60 feet away though as van der Linden needed just one more pitch to retire the side on a pop out.
In the bottom of the fourth FSU put its leadoff hitter on for the first time all day but a double play grounder to first erased the base runner and quickly put two outs on the board.
For the third straight at bat, Steffan found a way to get on base. This time she blooped a single behind second base and over the top of a drawn in infield. The Tribe came back again though and kept themselves in the game by ending the inning with no more damage.
The Seminoles moved into the bottom of the seventh with one last chance to even the game or pull out a win. The Tribe sent up its 3-4-5 hitters in hopes of finally solving James. James started the inning by plunking van der Linden who was replaced at first by Tatiana George. It was the first appearance for George since the end of February when she fractured her wrist. A failed sacrifice bunt left FSU with one out in the bottom of the seventh and a new runner standing on first. The Seminoles looked to be in business as Beth Wade golfed a shot that was diving down in left field but a spectacular diving grab robbed the senior of extra bases and possibly saved a run for NU and a ground out ended the game.
Florida State continues play at the prestigious Kia Klassic Tournament when they conclude pool A play versus UNLV Friday, March 19 at noon EST. The game versus the Running Rebels will be available via Game Tracker exclusively at www.seminoles.com. Bracket play will begin either Friday night or Saturday morning. Check www.seminoles.com to see who FSU will play next in bracket action.