Jan. 19, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
For the first time this spring, the 20th-ranked FSU softball team conducted a full scrimmage off live pitching. Seniors Elisa Vasquez, Jessica van der Linden and Beth Wade led the way at the plate as all three had hits in the short outing. The Tribe pitching staff also preformed well Monday as van der Linden, Casey Hunter and freshman Amy Harrison each got in at least three innings of work.
“It was nice to see the kids working in a game situation and hitting off of live pitching,” said head coach JoAnne Graf. “At this point of the preseason you always see some good things and some things that need to be worked on but that is no different than any other year.”
Hunter, coming off a season that saw her rank fifth in the nation for ERA, showed she hasn’t lost a step in the off-season. The junior pitched the top of the first inning and allowed just one hit, a two-out single up the middle by first team All-America van der Linden. Van der Linden then came in and pitched the bottom of the inning and worked herself out of a jam after a defensive miscue put the lead runner on but not before newcomer Kim Hoffer picked up an RBI when her sacrifice bunt scored a runner from third.
Hunter set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the second while van der Linden finished the inning with a leadoff walk and then three straight outs including two strikeouts looking. In the top of the third a runner was placed at first but that didn’t bother Hunter who continued to roll as she induced a double play and recorded her second strikeout as she set down her sixth straight hitter.
In the bottom of the third Harrison, a freshman from Chipley, FL, saw her first action. After a walk put runners on first and second, the rookie hurler worked her way out of the inning without giving up a run.
The Seminole offense got something going in the top of the fourth. Tatiana George was placed on first and then swiped second base. George moved to third and van der Linden to second after a walk and a Lesley Palmer sacrifice. Fifth-year senior Wade then came through with a big hit as she singled home George from third. Freshman LaShaun Davis saved another run with a strike from the outfield as she got van der Linden at the plate when the senior pulled up to avoid a useless scrimmage collision with the catcher.
Harrison was impressive again in the fourth as a runner was placed at second this time and then moved to third on another sac. The first-year hurler once again got out of the inning without giving up a run. In the top of the fifth, van der Linden returned to the circle and recorded to more strikeouts to give her five in three innings of work. The game finished in the bottom of the fifth with Vasquez lacing a double to center that rolled to the wall giving the third-team All-America the only extra base hit of the scrimmage.
The Tribe is now just 18 days away from opening the season versus Minnesota and Florida A&M on the first day of the 2004 Seminole Classic. For more information on the 2004 Seminole softball team, or any of Florida State’s athletic teams, please log on to the official athletic website for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com