March 7, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
The fourth-ranked Seminole softball team closed out Seminole Challenge Tournament play in the same fashion they played most of the weekend. The Tribe shut out their third opponent, run-ruled their third opponent and recorded nine or more hits for the fourth time in five games as they downed UConn (2-8) 8-0. The fourth-ranked Seminoles (21-3) finished second in the tournament at 4-1 and outscored their opposition 34-5.
The Tribe staff didn’t allow an earned run all weekend and the team hit .361 as a unit. Overall FSU had 30 RBIs, seven doubles, three triples and a home run in Seminole Challenge play. FSU pitchers recorded 49 strikeouts and issued just five walks. Florida State’s only loss came in a 1-0, 10 inning defeat at the hands of No. 12 Louisiana at Lafayette (25-2).
Jessica van der Linden went the whole way for FSU as she moved to 2-1 on the weekend with a 0.00 ERA. She struck out seven UConn batters and walked just one as she upped her record to 11-2 on the year. Carey Galuppi, Katie Fricke and van der Linden each had two RBIs in the game and Veronica Wootson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Florida State took a text book lead in the first as Wootson started things off with a single through the right side and she then swiped second. Natasha Jacob sacrificed the speedy leadoff hitter to third and van der Linden brought her home with an RBI shot to center field. The RBI was the third of the weekend for the All-American.
The Seminoles went back to work in the bottom of the second. Beth Wade started things off with a walk and after an out Galuppi went to town versus UConn starter Jessica Gurney (2-4). The sophomore hit the first home run of her career as she sent a deep fly over the wall in left field. Kim Hoffer then drew a leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles from Wootson and Natasha Jacob. New pitcher Michelle Caouette then came in and got the Huskies out of trouble leaving FSU up 3-0 heading into the third.
In the fourth, FSU loaded the bases again with two outs. Caouette issued three walks and mixed in two strikeouts brining up Wootson who already was 2-for-2 in the game. The freshman ripped a shot down the left field line that just sailed foul and then popped out to end the inning as FSU stranded its fifth, sixth and seventh runners of the game.
Lesley Palmer drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and she was followed by Wade who singled into center putting runners at first and second with nobody down. New right fielder LaShaun Davis then dropped down a perfect bunt that UConn proceeded to throw away allowing Palmer to score the Seminoles’ fourth run. Galuppi was walked to load the bases once again for FSU with Wootson at the plate. The Tribe’s top rookie drove the second pitch she saw into center field where it dropped in front of the Huskie outfielder. Wade came around with the fifth run but Davis was gunned out at home trying to score from second. Pinch hitter Fricke then cleared the sacs with a deep double of the fence in center field driving in the sixth and seventh runs of the game for FSU. The pinch hit was Fricke’s fifth in 10 chances and she has five of the Seminoles’ seven pinch hits this year. Van der Linden then ended the game in the fifth as she singled home Fricke with her team-leading 18th RBI of the year.
Florida State will take on Connecticut in a doubleheader at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 9 at the Seminole Softball Complex. Live stats will be available for all of FSU’s contests at the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.