May 4, 2003
Atlanta, GA –
The 12th-ranked Florida State softball team (43-9, 8-0) finished its regular season in style Sunday as they capped off a sweep of defending ACC champion Georgia Tech (35-21, 3-4). The Tribe who won game one 4-0, scored six runs off reigning ACC Rookie of the Year Jessica Sallinger (19-13, 2-3) and cruised to the 6-0 win. The Tribe’s 24th straight victory tied UCLA for the longest winning streak in 2003 and FSU became the first team in ACC history to complete a season 8-0.
The two shutouts mark the fifth time in 2003 that FSU has recorded shutouts in both games of a twin bill and is the worst doubleheader loss Tech has experienced in 2003. The sweep at Glenn Field was the first for Florida State since the 1999 season and marks the first time the Yellow Jackets have been swept at home since April 19, 2001. The Tribe will now enter next weekend’s ACC tournament as the No. 1 seed for the seventh time in 12 years.
Tatiana George hit her second homer of the doubleheader, Elisa Vasquez knocked in the game-winning run with her 41st RBI of the year and Shundra Colzie knocked in two more runs as she went 3 for 5 with three RBIs on the day. All-America candidate Jessica van der Linden (17-4, 3-0) won her 11th straight game and picked up her eighth shutout of the year. She struck out double digit batters for the 12th time in her last 16 starts as she Ked 11 Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech ace Sallinger and ASA National Player of the Year finalist van der Linden each cruised through the first two and a half innings combining for eight strikeouts and no base runners.
The Yellow Jackets got the game’s first hit in the home half of the third on a infield single between short and third to lead off the frame. Van der Linden then Ked her fourth, fifth and sixth batters as she struck out the side and Ked five of the last six batters she faced.
Lead off hitter Shandra Colzie started the fourth with a single to right center, the first hit of the day off Sallinger. George advanced her to second on the sac bunt bringing up van der Linden who grounded out but advanced Colzie to third for the Tribe’s leading RBI producer. Vasquez came through as she singled down the left field line with the Tribe’s first run. The RBI was Vasquez’s 41st of the season. Brandi Stuart then lined a shot to center that was booted allowing Vasquez to move to third and Stuart to advance to second. After walking the bases loaded, Sallinger got out of the jam as she induced a grounder to end the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth van der Linden set the Jackets down in order as she retired her sixth batter in a row. She also raised her K total to seven in the game.
The Seminoles tried to pad their lead in the top of the fifth as Shandra Colzie reached on a two out error and stole second bringing up game one hero George. The sophomore, who came into the game with just two homers in her career, homered for the second game in a row as her two run shot over the fence in right center put FSU in the driver’s seat up 3-0.
Tech looked to scrap its way back into the game as the Yellow Jackets started the home half of the fifth with a hard hit single to third. They then put another runner on as a blooper down the right field line fell into fair territory. The Seminoles took a huge step towards ending the threat on the next play as the Tribe turned a 1-5-3 double play for the first and second outs of the inning. Van der Linden then fanned the final batter of the fifth, her eighth K of the game.
In the sixth, FSU looked for another two out rally. Brandi Stuart drew a walk and stole second. Robyn Larson then drew a walk before Florida State pulled off the double steal putting runners on second and third with two out. Shundra Colzie then blasted a shot off the wall in dead center, 200 feet away. The double cleared the bases and extended FSU’s lead to 5-0.
In the top of the seventh the Seminoles continued to knock Sallinger around and got some help from Tech’s third error of the game. A walk and an error opened the door for Stuart who’s two out double plated another run putting FSU in front 6-0.
Florida State will next host the ACC Softball Championships for the 10th time in 12 years. The 2003 tournament will run from May 9-11 and tickets are now available by calling the Seminole Ticket office (1-888-FSU-nole or 850.644.1830) or on-line at www.seminoles.com. For more information on the 2003 Florida State softball team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official home for Florida State athletics on the internet.