Feb. 14, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Ninth-ranked Florida State (6-3) exploded for 11 runs, 12 hits, 10 RBIs and three doubles against Middle Tennessee in its opening game of the 2003 Sunshine State Tournament. The 11-0 victory marked the second time this season FSU has scored double digit runs in a game and improved the Tribe to 2-0 lifetime versus the Lady Blue Raiders (0-2).
Four Seminole hitters accounted for 10 of FSU’s 11 runs Friday afternoon while Tatiana George, Brandi Stuart, Jessica van der Linden, Bryttani Lindheim and Elisa Vasquez combined to go 11 for 13 with three doubles, nine runs scored and all 10 RBIs. Casey Hunter recorded her second shutout of the year as the sophomore moved to 5-2 on the season.
For the eighth time in nine games in 2003, Florida State took an early lead. The Seminoles scored three runs in the first as the first four hitters reached safely. Reigning ACC Player of the Week Stuart picked up her fourth RBI of the year on a bases loaded walk and junior catcher Vasquez’s two-out, two-RBI single was the big hit of the inning for FSU.
The Seminoles were back at it in the top of the second as they piled on four more runs and did their best to chase Blue Raider starter Muriel Ledbetter (0-1) from the game. The second inning started off well for the Middle Tennessee hurler as she retired the first two hitters she faced. Natasha Jacob then drew a two-out walk and went on to steal second. George then drew Ledbetter’s fifth walk setting the stage for van der Linden, who came into the game hitting .562 and singled her first at bat. The junior All-America candidate doubled to left field clearing the bases and upping her RBI total on the year to three. Stuart then recorded her second hit in two innings as she singled to center field knocking in the Tribe’s sixth run of the game. Stuart stole second and third and came home when catcher Leah Grothause’s throw bounced off the arm of Lesley Palmer and ricocheted into center field.
After taking a break from scoring in the third, FSU started adding to its lead again in the fourth inning. George started things off when she singled to shortstop for her second hit of the game and was followed by van der Linden who reached on an error by the MTSU second baseman, which advanced her to second and moved George to third. Pinch hitter Bryttani Lindheim laced a double to right center knocking in her first two RBIs of the season. Lindheim then came in to score on Vasquez’s double, which brought in her third RBI of the game and put FSU up 10-0.
The score moved to 11-0 in the top of the fifth as FSU put together another two-out rally started by George. The red-hot sophomore singled to second base and advanced to second on an error. Van der Linden then recorded her third hit of the game, a single up the middle, bringing in the junior’s third RBI of the game to finish the scoring for the Tribe.
Florida State continues play in the 2003 Sunshine State Tournament versus Iowa State (3-4) this evening at 6:15 pm. Florida State will complete tournament play versus the same two teams tomorrow at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm at the Seminole Softball Complex. For more information on the Sunshine State Tournament and 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 on the internet.