February 16, 2001 - by
17th-Ranked Seminole Softball To Host Sunshine State Tournament

Feb. 16, 2001

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The 17th-ranked Seminoles started the 2001 campaign with an impressive
outing against Georgia Southern in Statesboro. The Noles gave up no runs and only
one walk in the series sweep. FSU downed the Eagles 8-0 and 4-0 on the way to their
sixth straight series win dating back to the 2000 season. Florida State recorded 16
hits in the two games and batted .314 as a team against Georgia Southern.
FSU continued their hot start to the 2001 campaign when they hosted, and
won, the 2001 Tomahawk Bash. Florida State opened the tourney with a familiar foe as
cross-town rival FAMU made their first trip of the year to the Seminole Softball
Complex. The Noles extended their season-opening shutout streak to 20 innings as
they recorded their third straight shutout with a 1-0 win. The win marked the first
collegiate victory of freshman Jessica van der Linden’s career. The Seminoles then
advanced past Tennessee-Chattanooga as Brandi Stuart went 2 for 3 and Leslie
Malerich got her second win in a complete game three-hitter.

FSU next faced Florida International who entered the game undefeated
with a 6-0 record. The Seminoles were two-hit by Golden Panther starter Vanessa
Wilson but entered the top of the sixth with a 1-0 lead. The Seminoles were unable to
hold on as first baseman Shannon Carey blasted her second homer of the tournament
and led FIU to the 2-1 victory. Florida State entered the final day of the Tomahawk
Bash as the second-seed and were scheduled for a rematch with the Mocs of Tennes-see-
Chattanooga. In a game reminiscent of the 2-1 loss to FIU, the Noles entered the
sixth inning with a 2-0 lead but a two-run homer by a first baseman, this time it was
UTC’s Angela Brewer, evened the game. Freshman van der Linden came in in relief
and allowed just one hit over four innings and Monique Marier’s RBI triple in the
bottom of the tenth plated Serita Brooks as the Seminoles advanced to the champi-onship
with the 3-2 win.

FSU had a chance to avenge their only loss of 2001 in Sunday’s final as FIU
cruised past FAMU 9-0 in the day’s first game. Leslie Malerich took the mound for the
Noles as she went for her third win in three outings. Kimmy Carter started the Noles
off on the right foot when she doubled home Serita Brooks in the first inning to stake
FSU to a 1-0 lead. Natalie Bennett put Florida State up 2-0 in the second when her RBI
single plated Brandi Stuart but the Seminoles felt like it was deja vu all over again in
the fourth when the Golden Panthers got two runs to even the game 2-2. The
Seminoles made sure the result wouldn’t be the same though when Brandi Stuart
scored the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth on an FIU error.
Malerich shut Florida International down the rest of the way and picked up her third
straight complete game victory of 2001.

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