April 28, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With an NCAA Tournament bid and ACC regular season title on the line as the season comes to a close, the 21st-ranked Seminole softball team continued to show they are ready to make a run at both titles. Florida State (43-14-0) completed a sweep of Jacksonville State (33-19-0), who was ranked No. 9 in the South Region coming into the twin bill, Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 victory. The win was the fifth in a row for the Tribe and the 12th in their last 13 games. It also raised the squad’s record to 17-2 in the NCAA South Region.
Senior Monique Marier and sophomore Jessica van der Linden carried the Seminoles in game two as they combined to go 4-for-6 with two runs scored and six RBIs. Marier hit the first grand slam of her FSU career and van der Linden set a season-high with 13 strikeouts inside the circle.
Game two started eerily similar to game one for the Seminoles as Jacksonville State once again loaded the bases in the top of the first. Van der Linden (15-4) allowed two hits as the Gamecocks loaded the bags with just one out. The reigning ACC Rookie of the Year came back to strike out the next batter and ended the threat when Kimmy Carter reeled in an easy fly ball to right field.
The Tribe answered back in the bottom of the frame as they went on to load the bases themselves off of JSU starter Breanna Oleman (6-4) but were unable to break through as they left the three runners on as the game moved to the second.
The Gamecocks kept their hot hitting going as two of the first three batters reached via singles in the top of the second. After a one-out walk, Jacksonville State once again had the bases loaded against van der Linden. This time JSU took advantage as catcher Melinda McDonald singled to shallow center scoring Oleman with the first run of the game. After recording her fourth strikeout of the game, van der Linden induced an inning-ending ground out.
Florida State threatened the Gamecocks 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. After Oleman retired the first batter, Shundra Colzie and van der Linden drew back-to-back walks. Brandi Stuart singled to center field to load the bases bringing up FSU’s hottest hitter as of late. Marier, who had just hit her third home run in the last five games in the first game of the twin bill, outdid herself in game two as she blasted a 0-1 pitch over the fence in left field for her first career grand slam.
The senior outfielder now has seven home runs and is already one ahead of here total for all of 2001 when she led the team. After the slam, Marier was 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs in the twin bill. Over the last six games, she had three doubles, four home runs, 11 RBIs and a slugging percentage of 1.278.
The score remained 4-1 until the bottom of the sixth when Florida State continued to add to its lead. Shandra Colzie got on with a bunt single and her sister Shundra Colzie singled to center field putting runners on first and second. That brought up van der Linden who helped her own cause when she doubled to center field knocking in 2 RBIs. The pitcher had a perfect afternoon at the plate going 3-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs.
Van der Linden closed the Gamecocks out on the mound by allowing just one hit over the last five innings and picking up her personal best 15th win of the season. She also set a single season mark with 13 strikeouts as she K’ed at least two batters every inning through the first five frames.
The Seminoles wrap-up ACC play next week as they head to Virginia (44-18, 1-3) and Maryland (30-18, 2-3) for conference doubleheaders. Florida State can wrap-up the ACC regular season title with two wins in those four games but still have a chance to become the first ACC to ever complete the regular season at 8-0. The Tribe will close out the regular season with two home series versus Troy State Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. and No. 10 Florida Atlantic Tuesday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. For more information on Seminole softball, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.