May 15, 2002 - by
2002 FSU Softball NCAA Postseason Media Guide Available On-Line

May 15, 2002

Complete Notes For The NCAA Regional in PDF Format
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Complete Updated Postseason Bios in PDF Format
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Check out how FSU fared versus its regional field:

FAU 4 FSU 2 |
FSU 3 FAU 2 |
FAU 5 FSU 0 |
FSU 7 Georgia Tech 3 |
FSU 4 Georgia Tech 2 |
Georgia Tech 2 FSU 0 |
FSU 5 Auburn 4

Complete Stats (5/11/02) in PDF Format

NCAA Tallahassee Regional Bracket in PDF Format
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Florida State will make their 15th appearance in an NCAA Regional this weekend. This is the sixth time that Tallahassee, Fla. has been the site of a regional. The Seminoles hold an all-time NCAA regional record of 25-19, for a .568 winning percentage. Acting as the host in Tallahassee, Fla., FSU holds an all-time record of 11-7 (.636).

When Florida State hosts a regional, the Seminoles are 2 of 5 in advancing out of the region to the Women’s College World Series. The last time the Seminoles hosted and advanced to the WCWS was in 1993.

Dating back to 1986, Florida State has only missed postseason play twice. They failed to qualify for a regional berth in 1997 and 1999. The Seminoles made an appearance in the NCAA regionals a team high 11-straight years from 1986 to 1996. With a berth in 2002, FSU has made the postseason in three consecutive seasons.

In past postseason games, here is a look at how Florida State has fared against teams from the conferences represented in the 2002 NCAA Regional at Tallahassee, Fla.:

Atlantic Sun Conference: 1-0
Defeated FAU 2-0 in 2001 at Tallahassee, Fla.
Southeastern Conference: 1-1
Defeated Florida 6-2 in 2001 at Tallahassee, Fla.
Lost to South Carolina 2-1 in 1989 at Tallahassee, Fla.
Atlantic Coast Conference: 0-0
Southern Conference: 0-0


RECORD: 59-11
BID: Automatic
COACH: Joan Joyce
ALMA MATER: Chapman College
All-Time vs FSU: 6-6-0
LAST MEETING: FAU 5-0 (5/7/02)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: FSU leads 1-0; last meeting 2001, FSU defeated FAU 2-0

NOTES: This season’s NCAA bid marks Florida Atlantic’s fourth straight appearance in the postseason…the No. 1 seeding in 2002 is the highest seeding ever for the Owls…senior Nikki Myers leads the Owls in both ERA (0.63) and batting average (.374) and is one of 10 finalists for National Player of the Year honors…senior Heather Wright is close behind with a .368 batting average…the Owls 60 wins in the 2002 season is an NCAA Tournament best…the Owls have now won the Atlantic Sun conference six straight times.

RECORD: 46-19
BID: At-Large
COACH: Patrick Murphy
ALMA MATER: Northern Iowa
All-Time vs FSU: 1-2-0
LAST MEETING: FSU 4-1 (3/7/98)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

NOTES: Alabama is enjoying their fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance…the Crimson Tide are led by freshman Ashley Courtney who boasts a .410 batting average and Jackie McClain who leads the team in home runs (8) and is second in batting average (.390)…Courtney, who hails from Vero Beach, Fla., and teammate Jackie Wilkins, a freshman from Miami, Fla., will be returning to their home state for the first time since joining the Alabama softball team.

RECORD: 49-17
BID: At-Large
COACH: JoAnne Graf
ALMA MATER: Florida State

NOTES: Florida State is hosting its second straight regional…the 2002 NCAA Tournament bid marks their 15th NCAA postseason appearance…the Seminoles have made five trips to the College World Series, the last in 1993… during the 2002 season sophomore, catcher Elisa Velasco has had the greatest success against Tallahassee Regional teams, batting .543 in the five games she played…Florida State recorded its most-ever wins in a regional last season as they went 4-2 and came within one pitch of going to the 2001 WCWS (see note ‘California Dreaming’)…the 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional marks the first time FSU has been placed in a regional with a fellow ACC team.

RECORD: 38-25
BID: At-Large
COACH: Tina Deese
ALMA MATER: Florida State
All-Time vs FSU: 2-6-1
LAST MEETING: FSU 5-4 (3/9/02)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

NOTES: This marks the Tigers first ever tournament appearance…one of six Southeastern Conference teams to receive a bid…finished with a 15-15 record in SEC games…led by senior Ashley Moore, who is batting .349 and pitcher Kristin Keyes, who sports a 1.73 ERA…Keyes will be returning to her home state for the regional as she hails from Clearwater, Fla….Auburn’s first ever win over a ranked team came in a 2-1 decision over Florida State May 2, 1997.

RECORD: 49-16
BID: At-Large
COACH: Kate Madden
ALMA MATER: SW Missouri State
All-Time vs FSU: 5-26-0
LAST MEETING: GT 2-0 (5/11/02)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: FSU and GT have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

NOTES: In just her fifth year of coaching, ACC Coach of the year Kate Madden brings the Yellow Jackets to their first ever NCAA Tournament…the Jackets return to Tallahassee, where they won the 2002 ACC Softball Championship for the first time ever last weekend…ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP Jessica Sallinger leads the Yellow Jacket with a 1.17 ERA and a record of 25-7…sophomore Tara Knudsen leads the Jackets at the plate and finished first in the ACC in home runs (16) and total bases (140).

RECORD: 42-13
BID: Automatic
COACH: Frank Reed
ALMA MATER: Western States
All-Time vs FSU: 0-4-0
LAST MEETING: FSU 3-2 (10) (2/11/01)
NCAA TOURNAMENT: The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

NOTES: Though in his first year as head coach at Chattanooga, Frank Reed led the Mocs to their their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals…the Mocs are lead by pitcher Beth Alexander who has a 1.10 ERA and 10 shutouts…offensively, Melissa Ramirez has a .400 batting average and Jill Crawford has hit 11 home runs in the 2002 season for UTC…Florida State swept the season series the last time these teams met in 2001 at the Bash Tournament in Tallahassee (4-1, 3-2).


Opponents at this weekend’s NCAA Tallahassee Regional may want to keep an eye on Seminole sophomore Elisa Velasco. The catcher from Hesperia, CA has started 47 games this season and appeared in 53 mainly as a part of a battery with pitcher Jessica van der Linden. In 11 at bats, she is hitting .545 versus Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech and Auburn. She has three RBIs on six hits and she not only leads the team in batting average against this group but her on base percentage of .583 also leads the squad. She hit .800 with runners on base, went .500 as a pinch hitter and was a perfect 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position. With two outs, Velasco was 3-for-3 and all three of her RBIs came in two-out situations. She also advanced runners successfully six times in seven opportunities. Add to that a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and the sophomore could be in for a big weekend.


Florida State and Auburn should be used to facing one-another in the postseason by now. In less than a year, the two schools will have played four times in NCAA Tournaments. The series started May 26, 2001 when the Seminole baseball team took two games from the Tigers (10-6 and 9-6) in a regional. The schools met again in the 2001 NCAA Soccer Tournament with FSU downing the Tigers 1-0 in a first-round meeting in Clemson, SC. This is, however, the first time the two softball teams have met in the postseason.


Of the 17 teams Florida State has played more than once in 2002, only two schools have an edge in the series and one of them is 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional opponent Florida Atlantic (2-1). The Garnet and Gold have a .500 or better record versus 15 of those teams, which includes NCAA Tournament teams like No. 1 seed Texas (1-1), No. 4 seed Washington (1-1) and Tallahassee Regional and ACC foe Georgia Tech (2-1).


Despite being one of the nation’s toughest regions, Florida State had more success against regionally ranked teams in the Midwest than any other in the country. Five of the 10 teams ranked in the final regional poll in the Midwest are in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament (Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Louisiana-Lafayette). The Garnet and Gold posted a phenomenal winning percentage of .800 against teams ranked in the top 10 in the Midwest with a 4-1 record. The only other region where they were nearly as good against the top 10 was their own South Region as the Seminoles went 12-5 for a winning percentage of .706.


As well as FSU did against teams in the Midwest and South Regions, the team really struggled against SEC teams in the Central Region. That isn’t a good sign with an opening day date with Auburn and a potential second-round match versus Alabama. The Seminoles got one of just two SEC wins versus the Tigers with the other coming against the Gators. Overall, FSU posted a 2-4 record versus the Southeastern Conference and a 1-3 record versus SEC teams in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.


When the NCAA announced its 2002 Tournament field, Seminole softball followers probably felt there were quite a few familiar faces in the dance and they are right. Fifteen of FSU’s 2002 opponents are playing in regionals around the country this weekend. The Tribe has 10 wins in 2002 versus those 15 schools including three wins over No. 1 seeds and one win over a No. 2 seed. They defeated Region Two’s No. 2 seed DePaul and No. 4 seed Princeton, Region Four’s No. 1 seed Texas and No. 2 seed Oklahoma and Region Six’s No. 1 seed Washington. In their own region, FSU is 4-3 versus their opponents with wins over No. 1 seed FAU, No. 4 seed Auburn and No. 5 seed Georgia Tech.


Recent Team USA National Camp invitee Brandi Stuart had a spectacular season in her third campaign wearing the Garnet and Gold. She was among the leaders in the ACC in runs scored (58) and triples (7) and was 3rd in batting average at .413 in the regular season. Stuart stole a career high 50 bases in 55 attempts, which was good for 2nd overall in the ACC. She slugged a career best .698 with 50 singles, seven doubles, seven triples and 10 home runs. Her 10 home runs tied a team high for homers in a season and she has 17 for her career. She is the only player in FSU history to appear on the career leaders list in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and steals. Stuart finished the regular season with a career batting average of .368, which is the highest career batting average in FSU softball history. With her outstanding play, Stuart became just the second FSU player to ever be invited to the USA National Team Camp.


If there is one common-denominator to advancing to the College World Series, it has to be winning your first game at regionals. This has always been the case with Florida State. The Tribe has reached the World Series five times and in four of those regionals, they won their first contest. The only time the Seminoles lost a first round game in a regional and then advanced to the College World Series was in 1993. Florida State lost to Kansas 1-0 in game one and then bounced back and defeated Iowa (5-3) and Kansas twice (5-0, 2-1). In 1987, 1990, 1991 and 1992, FSU won their opening round match and moved on to Oklahoma City. Winning your first game is not a guarantee though as Florida State has failed to reach the WCWS the last three times they have won their first game (1996, 2000 and 2001).


The Seminoles have gone undefeated in a regional four times in 14 attempts. Here is a look at who they have swept in those regionals and when they were played:

1987: FSU defeated Adelphi 1-0, 3-1
1990: FSU defeated Texas A&M 5-0 and SW Louisiana 4-3, 2-1
1991: FSU defeated SW Louisiana 1-0 and Oklahoma State 2-0, 4-3
1992: FSU defeated UNLV 4-0 and SW Louisiana 1-0, 1-0

The Seminoles have gone without winning a single game in a regional five times and only once has it happened as the host school. Florida State was swept by South Carolina 2-1 and Louisiana Tech 3-1 in Tallahassee in 1989.


While the Seminoles posted an impressive 10 wins versus NCAA Tournament teams including three wins against No. 1 seeds, the five other teams in this weekend’s regional also fared very well against the NCAA Tournament field. No. 1 seed FAU posted a 14-5 record against the NCAA Tournament field including two wins over No. 2 seed Oklahoma, three wins over No. 3 seed Minnesota and two wins against No. 4 seed Iowa. Alabama played an amazing 37 games versus the NCAA Tournament field and went 19-18. They recorded wins over No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 2 Georgia. Georgia Tech went 8-10 versus the NCAA field with their biggest wins coming against No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 FSU. Sixth-seed UTC was 3-5 with a win over a Ohio State team that is a No. 3 seed and defeated both FSU and GT. Auburn posted a 7-20 record against NCAA teams including a win over No. 1 seed LSU and three wins over Tallahassee Regional No. 2 seed Alabama.


Florida State has played three of their regional opponents seven times in 2002. Here is a look at the players who have had the most success against the field.

Vs. Auburn (1-0)

Shundra Colzie went 2-for-3 with a walk, one run and two RBIs in the only meeting against the Tigers in 2002. She sparked a four-run, seventh inning, come from behind victory by hitting a two-run home run at the Seminole Invitational. Colzie had a 1.667 slugging percentage versus Auburn…Jessica van der Linden pitched 6.0 innings allowing only three earned runs and striking out three Tiger batters in a no decision and at the plate, she went 1-for-2 with a triple, a run scored and one RBI. The sophomore also had a slugging percentage of 1.500 against Auburn…Elisa Velasco went 1-for-3 with two huge runs batted in. Her seventh inning single scored the tying and winning runs for the Seminoles. It was the second come from behind victory that they recorded in the Seminole Invitational…Leslie Malerich came in to pitch the seventh inning for Florida State and picked up the victory setting the Tigers down in order and striking out one batter.

Vs. #12 Florida Atlantic (1-2)

Elisa Velasco hit .600 (3-for-5) against the Owls, recording an RBI and a base on balls…she recorded eight putouts in eight chances without committing an error…Shundra Colzie went 2-for-5, batting .400 and scoring two runs versus Florida Atlantic…Monique Marier batted .333 (3-for-9) with a walk…Beth Wade compiled a .300 batting average and played stellar defense in the series. In 17 chances, she had 16 putouts, one assist and did not commit a single error…Leslie Malerich recorded the lone win for the Seminoles against FAU in 2002. Overall, she pitched 10.1 innings, allowing only three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out nine batters.

Vs. Georgia Tech (2-1)

Elisa Velasco accumulated a .667 batting average, going 2-for-3 at the plate…in the field, she recorded 10 putouts in 10 chances with no errors…Brandi Stuart was impressive at the plate going 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored…she drew five walks and was a perfect three for three in stolen bases…Shundra Colzie hit .429 at the plate with a home run, two runs batted in and three runs scored…she slugged .857 while drawing three walks and collecting one stolen base…Jessica van der Linden earned a victory in 6.1 innings of work, allowing only two earned runs and four hits, while striking out 11 Yellow Jackets…at the plate, she went 3-for-9 and scored two runs…Leslie Malerich went 1-1 with a save versus Georgia Tech, pitching 14.2 innings in three appearances…in her two complete games, she compiled 10 strike outs…defensively, Beth Wade did not commit an error in 29 chances, she accumulated 28 putouts with one assist.


The 2001 softball season saw the Seminoles return to their rightful place amongst the nation’s softball elite and host one of the nation’s most exciting NCAA Regionals. Not only did FSU have one of the most successful regular seasons in the history of the program but Florida State was tabbed as one of only eight No. 1 seeds in the nation. FSU joined Arizona, UCLA, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford and Notre Dame as the top seed in their region.

The Seminoles had a dream run in the Tallahassee Regional playing in front of large, enthusiastic crowds and reaching the Regional Championship by eliminating state rivals Florida and Florida Atlantic. FSU came into the final day of play needing to defeat 6th-ranked Cal twice to earn a trip to the Women’s College World Series. After defeating the Bears 2-1 in the early game, FSU took a one-run lead on Cal in the 10th inning of the championship. The Seminoles had the Bears down to their last strike before Cal was able to get a game-winning two-run double to advance to the WCWS.

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