March 22, 2002
Atlanta, GA –
The 20th-ranked FSU softball team continued play at the 2002 Buzz Classic Tournament Friday afternoon by moving to 2-0 in pool play with a 3-1 win over UNC-Greensboro. The Seminoles hit two first inning home runs, which accounted for all three of their runs and then cruised behind senior Leslie Malerich’s two-hitter. The Tribe has now hit four homers in two games at the Buzz Classic after hitting just 10 in 38 games prior to the tournament.
After hitting two home runs in a five-inning win over Campbell to open the tournament, the Seminoles matched that total in the first inning versus the Spartans. After starter Vanessa Massie got the Seminoles’ lead-off hitter, Shundra Colzie hit her second career homer to get the Tribe off to 1-0 start. Jessica van der Linden followed her by doubling to right center before Brandi Stuart recorded her team-leading fifth home run of the year, this one over the right field fence. After UNCG made a pitching change, new hurler Jessica Vanderploege retired the next two hitters to hold FSU to a 3-0 first inning lead.
The Spartans got back into the game in the bottom of the second when designated player Jennifer Moran took Malerich (18-8) deep over the right field fence to bring UNCG within two runs at 3-1. Florida State looked to add another run in the third when Stuart bunted her way on and then moved over to third with her 33rd and 34th steals of the season. Kimmy Carter then grounded out short and Stuart tried to score but was gunned out at home by Spartan first baseman Amanda Johnson to end the FSU half of the inning.
Although Vanderpolege held FSU off the board the rest of the way, the Spartans had no chance against Malerich. The senior allowed just one infield hit and the home run on her way to her 19th complete game of the season. She also struck out seven more batters to raise her team-leading total to 149 for the year. She is already just 11 shy of matching her 160 K’s from her junior year.
The Seminoles will complete pool play Saturday, March 23 with games against Princeton and Ohio State at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. Game times were pushed back an hour on Saturday due to cold weather. If FSU is able to win Pool Two, they will get a bye into the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are scheduled for Sunday. For more information, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.