March 13, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
The fourth-ranked FSU softball team wrapped up the second overall seed in the Florida State Invitational Tournament by virtue of its 9-0, five inning win over Central Michigan (9-9). The Seminoles (26-3) finished a perfect 4-0 in pool play and tied with Nebraska with a +32 run differential. The Huskers took the top seed by virtue of their 34 runs scored compared to 33 for FSU. The Seminoles open bracket play tonight at approximately 7:30 p.m. versus St. Joe’s.
Jessica van der Linden (13-2) allowed just one hit and one walk in five innings of work and also knocked in one of Florida State’s six RBIs. Beth Wade went a perfect 2-for-2 with a homerun and two more RBIs in win. Elisa Vasquez also knocked in two RBIs and posted another extra base hot for FSU with a double. In four games at the Florida State Invitational, FSU now has 12 extra base hits.
Despite knowing they had already clinched the pool a title, FSU knew run differential was going to determine its seeding so they attempted to put some distance between themselves and Central Michigan in the third inning. As usual, Veronica Wootson got the rally started as she bunted to get on base and her speed caused yet another defensive miscue. Natasha Jacob then laid down a perfect sac bunt but also beat out the throw to put runners on the corners. Jessica van der Linden then gave FSU a 1-0 lead on a foul out to deep left field. Jacob proceeded to swipe third and come home on a wild pitch to put the Tribe up 2-0. Lesley Palmer, whose reputation for the long ball is getting around the tournament, was walked bringing up Wade. FSU’s leading homerun hitter added to her total as she jacked her second of the tournament and her sixth of the year. The homer was FSU’s 22nd of the season, which is already the third highest total in a season in 20 years of Florida State softball.
In the top of the fourth FSU was back at it. Kim Hoffer started with a leadoff walk and LaShaun Davis then beat out a sac bunt to put runners on first and second. Wootson then followed by moving the runners to second and third with her own sacrifice. Central Michigan starter Amber Puchalski then got out number two on a popped up slap and ended the threat on a hard shot to right field.
In the top of the fifth, FSU started the inning with back-to-back singles from Palmer and Wade. Vasquez then cleared the bases with a double into the gap in left putting FSU in front 6-0. A misplayed sacrifice put runners on the corners with nobody out. Kim Hoffer was then walked to load the bases and all three Seminoles came around to score on an RBI ground out and two wild pitches putting FSU in front by a commanding 9-0 score.
Florida State continues play at the 21st annual Florida State Invitational Tournament versus Central Michigan at 2:00. Bracket play will begin at 5:00 p.m. where and when FSU will play tonight has yet to be determined. For more information on tonight’s schedule please visit the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.