Feb. 24, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
It has been quite a season for the 11th-ranked FSU softball team as far as honors go. A Seminole player has already been named an NFCA National Player of the Week (Jessica van der Linden) and an ACC Player of the Week (Brandi Stuart) now sophomore pitcher Casey Hunter joins the list. The FSU pitcher was named the Seminoles’ second ACC Player of the Week and Florida State players have now picked up two of the first three conference awards. All of last season, FSU only won the award four times.
“That is great news. It is definitely a surprise,” said Hunter. “I really wasn’t happy with my performance this past week and I know I have to keep improving but there were some bright spots. My teammates really came through for me when I needed them. They are the only reason I got this honor.”
Hunter had a week of firsts as she started three games and appeared in all four of FSU’s contests last week. Not only did the Millstadt, IL native throw her first career no-hitter, she won her first ever start versus a Top 25 team and she struck out 15 batters in a game for the first time in her career. For the week, Hunter reached double digit strikeouts in two of her three starts, at one point she had allowed just one run in 18 innings and for the week she allowed just three hits in more than 22 innings including three games versus Top 25 teams. She posted a near perfect ERA of 0.62 and also held opposing batters to a rock bottom batting average of .045. She held opposing batters to just one hit in 14 opportunities with runners on base and right-handed batters batted just .043 off the Seminole hurler. The week started off in a near perfect fashion for Hunter.
Against Florida A&M, she faced just 24 batters, three over the minimum, as Hunter no-hit the Lady Rattlers striking out 11 and walking only three. Against No. 18 Pacific at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Hunter got the first start of her career against a Top 25 team and she was simply untouchable. Not only did she throw a two-hitter against Pacific but she allowed just one run and set a career high for strikeouts with 15 in the game. Hunter struck out the side three times and at one point she had retired eight straight hitters via the K. After not allowing a single hit in a two-inning relief appearance versus No. 21 Oregon State, the sophomore took the circle versus eventual NFCA Leadoff Classic champions UMass. The right-hander was brilliant again as she suffered the hard-luck loss allowing just one hit and one earned run to the nation’s 25th-ranked team. It was her fourth straight appearance of the week where she allowed two hits or less and for the third time this week she struck out eight or more batters in a game.
The award is the first of Hunter’s career and she and the Seminoles return to action this Wednesday night as they host the Mercer Bears (11-8) in a doubleheader at the Seminole Softball Complex. The games are scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and admission is free at the Seminole Softball Complex. For all the information you could ever need on the 2003 Florida State softball team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official athletic home for Florida State athletics on the internet.