May 29, 2004 - by
No. 4 Softball Faces No. 7 Washington At 4:00 pm On ESPN2

May 29, 2004

Listen To FSU Live At The WCWS

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It seems like today’s meeting between Washington and Florida State has been in the cards for some time now. The two teams met at the 2004 NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA in late February. Florida State handed UW its fourth-worst loss of the year in the 7-1 victory. The teams were then slated to meet in the Kia Klassic semi-finals in Fullerton when FSU’s travel plans caused the Tribe to leave the tournament before the teams could face off. That won’t be a problem Saturday when the squad’s square off in a World Series elimination game. The Huskies hold a 4-3 edge in the all-time series but FSU has won three of the last four. Every meeting between the teams has been in a tournament setting and only one of the seven games was played at either team’s park (UW beat FSU 6-4 in Tallahassee in 2002).

The last time the teams played (2004 NFCA Leadoff Classic) the Tribe pounded out eight hits, two home runs and a double in the 7-1 win. Seven different Seminoles had hits including All-American Veronica Wootson who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a walk. Lesley Palmer and Beth Wade each went yard while Palmer led the team with three RBI. Jessica van der Linden was dominant in the circle that afternoon. The senior allowed one run, one walk and she fanned 14 Husky batters. van der Linden struck out Rita Roach and Sarah Hyatt three times each and fanned Dena Tyson and Amanda Oleson twice as well.

The 4-2 loss to Cal was just the 11th of the season for Florida State. In fact, FSU has lost back-to-back games just once this season when the Michigan Wolverines took a doubleheader (2-1, 1-0) from the Tribe in Ann Arbor on May 8th, making the Tribe 9-1 in games right after a loss. The Seminoles have indeed responded after a loss, hitting a combined .312 in the nine wins after a loss (excluding the second game of the Michigan doubleheader). Natasha Jacob has led the charge in the effort, hitting .458 with 11 hits, including five extra-base hits, while driving in a team-high 11 runs and scoring six of her own. As a team, FSU has out hit its opponents 73-20 in those nine games and outscored them 43-7. Of those 73 FSU hits, 10 were doubles, three triples and six home runs while just two of the opponents’ 20 hits were for extra base hits with two doubles. The Seminole pitching has also bounced back in a big way, recording six shutouts while holding opponents to a .098 batting average. Jessica van der Linden hasn’t allowed a run when pitching in the game right after a loss. In five appearances, she went 4-0 with a save. In her 25 innings pitched, including four complete game victories, she gave up just three hits, no runs, walked two and struck out 43 and held her opponents to .038 batting. Casey Hunter has gone 5-0 in those games, including two shutouts. In 35 innings of work, she has allowed 17 hits, seven runs, none of which were earned, walked eight and struck out 42.

Florida State’s WCWS opening loss to Cal may not have been that remarkable when you consider that the Bears have now beat the Seminoles 10 of 11 times but the way they did it was a little surprising. The 4-2 loss marked the first time all season that FSU had lost a game by more than one run. It was also the first time FSU lost a game when the Tribe homered (29-0 coming into the WCWS) and it was just the second time all season FSU lost a game when either team homered (33-1 coming into the WCWS). When the Tribe put up two runs against Cal in the first inning, it wasn’t a rare occasion. Losing the game was however. FSU has scored first in 56 of its 72 games this season. In those 56 games in which the Tribe has scored first, FSU is 51-5. In 33 of those games, FSU has scored in the first inning and is 30-3 in those contests.

JU	2	2
LSU	4	3
ULL	1	0
NEB	1	0
UVA	5	4
AUB	1	0
MICH	2	1
MICH	1	0
EMU	6	5
ORE	1	0
CAL	4	2

Maybe it is something about the first base dugout at Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium but when the Seminoles are the visitors they win. The last time FSU traveled to the WCWS they opened the tournament versus No. 1 seed UCLA as the visitors and downed the mighty Bruins and Keira Goerl 2-1 in nine innings. The Seminoles switched dugouts for the next game and then lost to, guess who, Cal 1-0. In the Tribe’s first loser bracket game of the tournament they beat Nebraska 4-3 playing out of the visitor’s dugout. The Seminoles then moved back to the third base line to take on mighty Arizona in the semi-finals. Despite taking Jennie Finch and the Cats to 11 innings, the Tribe’s run ended with the team sitting in the third base dugout. This year the Seminoles, playing as the home team dropped their opener to Cal 4-2. The good news is that FSU will be back in the dugout it loves so much when the face Washington in an elimination game this Saturday afternoon.

When Jessica van der Linden hit a two-run homer of Kristina Thorson in the bottom of the first inning Thursday night, it pushed FSU’s season total for extra base hits to 137. That ties the most extra base hits ever hit by a Seminole squad in a single season. Hitting a school record 42 homers helped the Seminoles tie that record but it is still amazing they got there considering they aren’t close to the record for either doubles or triples in a season. The 2001 squad, which also has 137 extra base hits, holds the single season doubles record with 93. This year’s team has just 68 doubles, 27 off the record. The 2004 Seminoles have 27 triples, which is six short of the team record set by the 2002 squad. The four top teams in Seminole history, as far as extra base hits go, have all some since 2000. The only team in that era not to rank among the top five was the 2003 team.

In the preseason, on picture day in fact, the Florida State coaches and players made an agreement that if the team made it to the College World Series, the coaches would dye their hair school colors garnet and gold. So in keeping their word, the Florida State coaches are sporting a new look this week. Assistant Coach Louie Berndt went “garnet” while Assistant Coach Eve Gaw went “gold.” Head Coach JoAnne Graf is really stylin’ with a full head of braids!

With her two-run homer in Thursday’s game vs. Cal, Jessica van der Linden recorded her 54th and 55th RBIs of the season, setting the FSU record for single-season RBIs. She went into the game tied for first place with 53 RBIs with former Seminole Kimmy Carter who set the mark in 2002 – the last time the Tribe reached the CWS. van der Linden’s 161 career RBIs also ranks first in the FSU records book.

Cal recorded a double, triple and homerun in Thursday’s game, marking the only time this season that Jessica van der Linden has given up more than two extra-base hits in a game. The only other time she has given up more than one extra-base hit in a game this season was when she allowed two doubles in a 6-5 loss to Eastern Michigan – which was the last time she gave up an extra base hit all together. Until Thursday, van der Linden had not given up an extra base hit in postseason play this year and only one run.

* Cal’s nine hits Thursday were the most hits Jessica van der Linden has given up not only this season, but last season as well. It’s the most hits she has allowed since the 13 hits by Cal State Fullerton in an 8-1 FSU road loss on March 15, 2002.

* FSU’s two hits vs. Cal are the fewest hits the Tribe has recorded in a game this season and the fewest since FSU had just two hits in a 2-1 loss at Ga. Southern in its second game last season on February 1, 2003.

FSU tied as many runs as the Seminoles have ever scored against Cal with Jessica van der Linden’s two-run homerun in the first inning of Thursday’s game. Before that, FSU had recorded a 2-1 win over Cal in an NCAA Regionals game in 2001 and fell 3-2 to the Bears later in that same regional. In two previous CWS meetings with the Bears, FSU didn’t score at all, making the contest the first time the Tribe has put up runs against Cal in Oklahoma City. With the 4-2 win on Thursday, Cal has now managed four runs against the Tribe four times.

Did you know that four runs are the most FSU has scored in a CWS game and the Seminoles have done it twice with a 4-1 win over UNLV (1990) and a 4-3 decision over Nebraska (2002). Six runs are the most an opponent has put up against the Tribe at the CWS and that was in a 6-2 loss to Arizona in 2002. In seven CWS appearances, FSU has now lost its first game five times but have gone two and out just three times.

FSU in the College World Series:
Record 5-13 - Seven Appearances

1987 L 0-4 Cal State Fullerton
L 0-1 Central Michigan
1990 W 1-0 Fresno State
L 1-4 Oklahoma State
W 4-1 UNLV
L 1-3 UCLA
1991 L 0-1 UCLA
W 1-0 UNLV
L 0-3 Fresno State
1992 L 0-3 Cal
L 2-4 UMass
1993 L 2-5 Oklahoma State
L 1-2 UConn
2002 W 2-1 UCLA
L 0-1 Cal
W 4-3 Nebraska
L 2-6 Arizona
2004 L 2-4 Cal

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