March 21, 2004
Fullerton, CA –
Florida State softball continued to exercise more west coast demons Saturday night at the Kia Klassic Tournament. After beating Fresno State for just the third time in eight tries earlier in the day, the Seminoles took down another west coast power in the quarterfinals Saturday night. Florida State’s 3-0 win over tournament host Cal State Fullerton was just the school’s third win in nine games versus one of the sports most storied programs and it moved FSU (35-4) into the semifinals of the prestigious tournament for the second time in three years. The Seminoles will face No. 9 Washington at 11:00 a.m. PST Sunday.
Casey Hunter (19-1) went the whole way for FSU and recorded eight strikeouts in the win. Beth Wade, Jessica van der Linden and Veronica Wootson all recorded RBI’s for the Tribe in the shutout victory. The shutout was FSU’s third in five games at the Kia Klassic and the team now has 17 on the year.
Both Cal State Fullerton and Florida State put their leadoff hitters on base in the first. The Titans were unable to advance the runner against Hunter in the top of the inning but in the bottom of the frame Natasha Jacob moved the runner on a sac bunt. van der Linden plated the run on her second RBI single of the day, both up the middle. FSU added to the lead after a Lesley Palmer sac fly moved van der Linden to third. Wade ripped a single down the left field line putting the Tribe up 2-0. The RBI was Wade’s team-leading third of the tournament.
For the second straight inning Fullerton singled to open up the inning as starting pitcher Candace Baker (4-11) ripped a shot through the right side of the infield. After her second K of the game, Hunter issued a free pass to put two on with just one away. The Seminoles got the second out on a soft liner to short but in an attempt to double up the runner at first, the ball was thrown away allowing Baker to move to third. The Titans tried to plate the run on a delayed double steal but the runner was thrown out at second ending the inning before Baker could reach home plate.
Carly Brieske started the second with a single to the right side of second base and advanced to second on a passed ball. Kim Hoffer’s perfectly executed sac bunt moved the sophomore to third base. LaShaun Davis drew a walk to put Seminoles on the corners before Wootson singled home FSU’s third run of the game on a shot through the right side. Baker got Jacob on strikes before the freshman hurler walked van der Linden on four straight pitches to load the bases with two away. Lesley Palmer got herself in a 0-2 hole before working the count full but the junior was unable to get her shot through the right side of the diamond and Fullerton escaped the second with just one run scoring.
The Titans recorded their third single of the game in the third inning but once again they were unable to turn the hit into a run. Hunter picked up her fourth strikeout and the game moved into the bottom of the third with FSU still leading 3-0.
Fullerton looked to mount a comeback in the fifth. After starting the inning wither her sixth K of the game, Hunter issued a walk and then gave up a hit to put Titans on first and second with one away. The Seminole hurler came back and got Monica Tatlinger swinging at strike three but a wild pitch moved both runners up a base. The sophomore got herself out of the jam on a pop up back to the mound.
Florida State worked itself out of a big inning in the bottom of the fifth. A bunt single by Jacob and a throwing error by CSF put runners on second and third with no outs. The Seminoles tried to score a run on a wild pitch but Jacob was tagged out on the play. The threat came to an end on a ground out to first and a strike out looking.
Florida State continues to chase its first ever Kia Klassic Tournament title Sunday at 11:00 a.m. PST versus Washington. Live stats for the game will be available exclusively at www.seminoles.com.