March 25, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
It wasn’t a by the book win for FSU but the fourth-ranked Tribe did improve to 36-4 on the season due to a 5-1 win over Florida International (17-18) Thursday night. The Seminoles got home runs from two unlikely sources in Natasha Jacob and Julie Tiggis, which provided all the run support FSU starter Casey Hunter (20-1) would need. The junior hurler pitched seven solid innings and struck out eight batters as she picked up her 20th win of the season.
Tiggis and Jacob hit back-to-back homers in the fourth breaking open a 1-0 game. It was the second time this year FSU players went yard on back-to-back at bats. The last time was versus Southern Miss, February 15.
Veronica Wootson started the home half of the first with a walk and a steal to and FIU starter Kendra Laminack (10-8) then walked her second straight batter putting Jacob on the open base at first. Both runners moved up a base on a double steal putting two Seminoles in scoring position but FSU could not take advantage. Laminack got the next three batters all via strikeouts to end the threat.
Hunter opened the second with two strikeouts, which were sandwiched around an FSU error. With a runner on first and two away Hunter completed the perfect frame with her third K of the inning and her fourth of the game.
Florida State put its leadoff runner on again in the second as Elisa Vasquez was hit by a pitch and was awarded first base. A sac bunt by Carly Brieske moved the runner into scoring position. Kim Hoffer followed with a single up the middle once again putting runners on second and third for FSU for the second straight inning. The Tribe attempted to plate the game’s first run on a suicide squeeze but FIU read the play and got Vasquez at home for the second out. Laminack then recorded her fourth strikeout of the game as FSU stranded two more runners, their third and fourth
The Tribe had to adjust its defense in the third as Tiggis was inserted at first base and Wade moved to second. The move was needed because Wootson was removed from the game due to six stitches in her forearm that was gashed on a slide into second. The stellar freshman returned to the game in the seventh.
In the bottom of the third, FSU once again put the leadoff batter on as Jacob reached on an error and was awarded second base as the errant throw wound up in the FIU dugout. Jacob came home on another Golden Panther error. The Panthers got Jessica van der Linden on a ground out to short but as soon as the throw went to first, Jacob broke for third. The throw sailed past third and Jacob trotted in with the first run of the day. Lesley Palmer followed with the first hard hit ball of the day as she lined a shot over the head of the left fielder and off the fence for a stand-up double. The Tribe couldn’t plate the run though as the Tribe stranded another runner in scoring position.
Hunter allowed her first free pass of the game to start the fourth as FIU looked to get the run back that they gave away in the third. The Golden Panthers had no such luck though as Vasquez gunned the runner down trying to swipe second and Hunter got an out on a line drive that was snared by Palmer at third and a ground out to second base.
Laminack’s third walk of the game put the Tribe’s leadoff batter on base for the fourth consecutive inning and she was then moved into scoring position on a perfect Kim Hoffer sacrifice bunt. Brieske moved to third on FSU’s second out of the inning, which brought up new first baseman Tiggis who entered the at bat with just six at bats all season. Tiggis looked to be out but a dropped foul ball extended her at bat with two outs. On the next pitch she yanked the Laminack offering out of the park clearing the wall in left field. The two run homer was just the second career hit for Tiggis. Next batter Jacob had a first of her own as she followed Tiggis’ homer with one of her own over the wall in right. The home run was the second of Jacob’s career but the first she has ever hit out of the park.
With FSU in front 4-0 errors cost the Seminoles in the top of the fifth. The Golden Panthers started the inning by breaking up Hunter’s no hitter and then FSU committed two errors, which allowed FIU to cut the lead to 4-1 and keep two runners in scoring position. Hunter was able to get out of the inning with no more damage.
In the bottom of the fifth, FSU tried to turn two walks into a two out rally versus new FIU pitcher Nicole Barrett. They did just that as Hoffer’s infield single pushed another run across the plate as FSU increased the lead to 5-1.
Florida State completes it doubleheader with FIU immediately following game one. Live stats and a live audio broadcast for the game will be available exclusively at www.seminoles.com.