June 20, 2001 - by
Florida State Softball Garners Two Easton All-Americans

June 20, 2001

Leslie Malerich and Brandi Stuart were named second team Easton All-Americans when Easton Sports released its postseason awards this week. Malerich was named a third team All-American by Louisville Slugger in May and this marks her second selection to the Easton All-American team. Both Malerich and Stuart were named third team Easton All-Americans in 2000 and they are the only ACC representatives on the 2001 Easton All-American team.

Arguably Florida State’s most valuable player this season, Stuart started all 68 games at second base and led the team with a .361 batting average, .439 on base percentage, .515 slugging percentage, 104 total bases, 73 hits and 22 multi-hit games. She was second in runs scored (49), walks (28), steal attempts (34), stolen bases (30), home runs (5), assists (120) and fielding double plays (7) and tied for third on the team with seven multiple RBI games. Stuart was only the second Florida State player to ever receive NFCA/Louisville Slugger Division I Player of the Week honors after hitting two home runs, batting .500, recording six RBI, scoring five runs, stealing two bases and posting a .952 fielding percentage in 21 chances in leading the Seminoles to a record of 5-0 and the Sunshine State Tournament title (Feb. 21). She also garnered ACC Player of the Week honors Feb. 19 after her play in the Sunshine State Tournament.

The sophomore from Cerritos, Calif. was named to the 2001 Tallahassee Democrat/Florida State Invitational All-Tournament Team after hitting .583, slugging .833 and posting an on base percentage of .615 with three doubles and three RBI. Stuart posted a season high three RBI in games against Kent State and Northwestern and had a game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh against Boston College, which gave FSU the Sunshine State Tournament title. Her six total bases against East Carolina (Apr. 21) and three steals against UConn (Mar. 20) were both season highs also.

Stuart continually raised the level of her play in FSU’s most crucial contests. In SASA games, the alliance from which Florida State receives an automatic NCAA berth, she led the team in batting average (.464), hits (13), doubles (three), total bases (19), slugging percentage (.679), walks (5) and on base percentage (.545). Stuart batted .312 in 2001 NCAA Tallahassee Regional and was second on the team in hits (5), doubles (2), slugging percentage (.438), walks (3) and on-base percentage (.438). She was also named to the 2001 All-ACC Tournament Team after hitting the game-wining homerun to down Maryland in the 11th inning.

Malerich was Florida State’s ace on the mound for the second season in a row and is the reigning ACC Player of the Year. The third team NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-American went a perfect 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in regular season ACC games. She led the team in complete games (4), shutouts (4), innings pitched (26.0), runs allowed (0), earned runs allowed (0) and opponent batting average (.180) in regular season conference play. Malerich has the nation’s 10th best ERA (0.72) and was named to the All-ACC Tournament Team after going 2-1 with a 0.95 ERA in four appearances with two complete games, a shutout, 22 innings pitched, 16 strikeouts and seven walks while holding opposing batters to just a .189 batting average.

At the 2001 NCAA Regional in Tallahassee, Malerich posted a 4-0 record on her way to garnering All-Regional Tournament Team honors. She had a 0.80 ERA for the tournament, started four games, threw three complete games, had one shutout, 21 strikeouts and just five walks in 26.1 innings pitched.

The three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week garnered her first pitcher of the week honors Feb. 12 when she went 2-0 including a seven-inning complete game victory to give the Seminoles the Tomahawk Tournament title. She was named pitcher of the week for a second time Feb. 26 after going 3-1 with a 0.00 ERA, two solo shutouts and one combined shutout in 24 innings of work while striking out 22 batters and allowing only five walks. Malerich was named Most Valuable Pitcher at the FAU/Worth Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla. when she limited the 82 batters she faced to a .146 batting average, held opponents to just a .161 batting average with runners on base and averaged just 1.46 walks and 6.42 strikeouts per game. She was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for the third time May 7 after pitching nine innings and not allowing a run while giving up just five hits, striking out six batters and holding opponents to just a .172 batting average.

Malerich also led the team in ERA (0.21), wins (5), complete games (5), shutouts (4), innings pitched (33.0), home runs allowed (0) and opponent’s batting average (.197) in SASA competition. She pitched a one-hitter against FAMU Apr. 11 and pitched a season high 10 innings in a win against Jacksonville State (Apr. 14). Her 12 strikeouts against Boston College (Feb. 17) was a season high for the junior right-hander and she didn’t issue a single walk in nine of her 30 appearances this season. She also had stretches of 17, 23 and 24 innings where she didn’t allow an earned run.

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