March 19, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
After winning three games in leading the 22nd-ranked Florida State softball team to the semifinals of the prestigious Kia Classic Tournament in Fullerton, CA, senior pitcher Leslie Malerich was named ACC Player of the Week. The Merrillville, Ind. native pitched five complete games last week including victories over No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 13 Washington and No. 14 DePaul and she posted a 4-1 record for the week.
Malerich started out the week Monday night by not allowing an earned run in a 2-1 win over Southern Illinois. The senior matched a season-high with nine strikeouts and walked just one Saluki batter and was named Player of the Game by the Sunshine Network who televised FSU’s win. She then opened up Kia Classic play in Fullerton, CA with a masterful performance in a 1-0 win over No. 6 Oklahoma. Malerich limited a Sooner squad, which entered the game hitting .304 as a team, to just three hits and she became the pitcher of record in the Tribe’s last 11 victories. The shutout raised her total to seven on the year. Malerich then turned around, as the tournament entered championship play, and defeated No. 14 DePaul. Once again, the senior issued just one walk as the Seminoles advanced to the quarterfinals against No. 13 Washington. Malerich, who was a hard luck loser versus the Huskies in Tallahassee in February, pitched a brilliant game as she led FSU to the tournament semifinals. She walked just three batters while striking out nine on the way to her third victory of the tournament and her 16th of the season. The senior All-American didn’t allow an earned run for 15th time in her last 19 outings and improved her record to 16-7 with a 1.05 ERA.
For the week, Malerich had a strike out to walk ratio of almost 3 to 1 as she Ked 31 batters in her five outings. Every game she pitched was a complete game and she became the first pitcher in FSU history to defeat three different ranked teams in three days.
The Seminoles return home for a doubleheader with the University of Maine Wednesday, March 20 at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf will be honored by the FSU Athletics Department before the game in recognition of her record-breaking 1,125th victory. An on-field ceremony will take place at approximately 4:40 p.m. and admission is free to all regular season games at the Seminole Softball Complex. For more information on Florida State softball, please visit our official site at www.seminoles.com.