May 4, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla –
The 21st-ranked Florida State softball team continued its run through ranked teams in the NCAA South Region in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader versus Troy State. The Seminoles (47-14) pounded out 12 hits in the 9-1 win over a Troy State (45-18) squad that came into the game ranked seventh in the NCAA South Region. The win was the ninth straight for FSU and its 10th in-a-row versus teams ranked in the latest NCAA Regional Rankings. The Tribe is now an impressive 24-2 against regional opponents.
Four Seminoles had multi-RBI games and multi-hit games as the Garnet and Gold pounded out 12 hits against two Lady Trojan hurlers. The eight-run win was the largest margin of victory for the Tribe since FSU defeated UAB 9-0 April 11. Sophomore Jessica van der Linden (17-4) retired Troy State in order in four of the six innings as she allowed just two hits in the first five frames and three hits overall. The reigning ACC Rookie of the Year lowered her ERA to 1.24 and picked up her 16th complete game of the season. She struck out one batter and didn’t issue a single walk.
The Seminoles seemed to pick up right where they left off in the bottom of the first after van der Linden set the Lady Trojans down in order in the top half of the frame. After TSU starter Kim Unkenholz (12-6) retired the first FSU batter, she hit Shundra Colzie and then gave up back-to-back singles to van der Linden and Brandi Stuart to load the bases. The senior left-hander came back to retire the next two batters as the Seminoles left the bases loaded as the game moved to the second inning.
After van der Linden cruised through the next two innings, FSU looked to break on top of Troy State in the bottom of the third. ACC Freshman of the Year candidate Tatiana George led the inning off with a double to the gap in left and was sacrificed over to third by Shundra Colzie. That brought up van der Linden with the chance to help her own cause. The sophomore sent a deep foul fly to left that scored George and staked the Tribe to a 1-0 lead. After All-American candidate Stuart singled to move to 2-for-2 on the day, Unkenholz got Kimmy Carter to end the inning.
Troy State evened the game in the top of the fourth as they scored on two hits and a Seminole error to move a 1-1 tie. Senior Becky Brock helped end the threat as she tagged third and gunned the runner out at first for the first two outs of the inning on FSU’s 16th double play of the year. Van der Linden got the next batter to pop up to end the top of the fourth.
Troy State found itself in trouble again in the bottom of the frame as Monique Marier started things off by reaching on a TSU error. Beth Wade then sacrificed her to second before back-to-back walks loaded the bases. That brought up George who had doubled in her first at bat. The freshman singled up the middle scoring pinch runner Skyla Cox putting FSU up 2-1. She was followed by Shundra Colzie who singled to third to extend the Garnet and Gold to a 3-1 lead. After van der Linden drew a walk to force in the Seminoles’ fourth run of the game, Stuart came up with one out and the bases still full of Seminoles. The junior singled in her 43rd and 44th RBIs of the season to put FSU up 6-1 with one down in the frame. The hit set a career high for the ACC Player of the Year candidate with her 74th of the season. New pitcher Christi Curran got TSU out of the jam after loading the bases on a Carter single but fighting back to retire the next two hitters to end the inning.
Curran seemed as if she was going to cruise through the fifth as she retired the first two batters she faced before George came up to the plate. The sophomore was already 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI. The shortstop laced a 2-2 pitch to the warning track in left for her second double of the game. She came around to score on the next play as Shundra Colzie smashed a shot to short that made its way into the outfield and brought George home to score putting Florida State up 7-1.
As the game moved into the bottom of the sixth, Carter sent a one-out triple into the gap in right center. She was followed by Marier. The senior blasted her career-best eight homer over the left field fence extending FSU to a 9-1 lead and ending the game by virtue of the eight-run rule. The home run was Marier’s fourth in the last seven games and she has now knocked in 13 RBIs in her last eight games.
The Seminoles wrap-up regular season play versus No. 10 FAU (55-9) Tuesday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. Florida Atlantic is currently ranked first in the South Region and is sitting one spot ahead of the second-ranked Seminoles. The 2002 senior class will be honored prior to the game versus the Owls.
Florida State opens conference tournament play Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles open up with the winner of the day’s first game between North Carolina and Virginia at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the 2002 ACC Softball Tournament including game times and ticket prices, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.