March 11, 2002 - by
FSU Softball Battles Southern Illinois At 6:00 p.m. Tonight

March 11, 2002

“E”-FFICIENT: Sophomore Elisa Velasco may have only hit .231at the Seminole Invitational Tournament but she had two of FSU’s biggest hits. In the Seminole’s opener against Middle Tennessee, FSU was down 1-0 in extra innings. With two outs in the game and a runner on third, Velasco was called in to pinch-hit. She took the first pitch she saw and ripped it down the right field line for an RBI triple which kept the Seminoles alive. Florida State went on to win the game in the 10th and stay alive for a No. 1 seed in pool play. After FSU downed Iowa State 7-0, the Seminoles looked to complete pool play undefeated but trailed Auburn 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh. After the Seminoles closed the gap to 4-3 (see next note) Velasco came up to bat with two outs and runners on second and third. The catcher singled up the middle driving in two runs in getting her first game-winning RBI of the year. For the weekend, she hit .600 with runners in scoring position.

NOT SHUN-ING AWAY: Junior college transfer Shundra Colzie probably had the biggest weekend of her young career at FSU at the Seminole Invitational Tournament. The outfielder hit .500 in eight at bats. She knocked in the first two RBI’s of her career and recorded the first home run of her career at a key moment. With FSU down to Auburn 4-1 in the seventh, Colzie launched a two-run homer to bring the Seminoles within a run and setting the stage for Velasco’s heroics.

SHE STILL THE ONE: Despite an ERA that is a tad higher than where she finished the 2001 season (1.00 this year compared to 0.72 in 2001), senior Leslie Malerich is really having a very strong 2002 campaign. The All-American has allowed an earned run in just three of her last 15 appearances she is coming off of a streak of 44 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run to score. She has won the last nine games FSU has won and she already has amassed 103 strikeouts. She leads the team in ERA, wins (12), appearances (20), starts (15), complete games (12), shutouts (6) and innings pitched (112).

RANDOM NOTES: Despite hitting in the four hole, watch out when junior All-American Brandi Stuart leads off an inning. The Cerritos, CA native hit .456 this past weekend when the bases were empty and for the season she is hitting .568 with nobody on base. For the tournament she reached base 80% of the time as a lead-off batter and for the season she is reaching base 75% of the time when she starts an inning…FSU better win in regulation or they could be in trouble. The Tribe has outscored opponents in the first, second, third, and seventh innings and are even in the fourth inning of games but the Garnet and Gold has been outscored 6-3 in the eighth, ninth and tenth innings of games. Florida State is just 1-2 in extra innings games and was 1-5 when trailing after six innings but they came back to win two games when trailing after six innings at the Seminole Invitational Tournament (Auburn and Middle Tennessee).

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