Feb. 25, 2001
Boca Raton, FL –
After dropping its first two games of the FAU/Worth Invitational, the 16th-ranked Florida State softball team (16-3) avenged one of its opening day losses and won its third straight game with a 2-0 win over the University of Illinois. (11-6). The win puts the Seminoles in the championship game where they will face host team FAU who defeated FSU 2-1 in 10 innings on the first day of competition.
“I think we really fought had as a team today and Leslie gave us another strong performance on the mound,” said head coach JoAnne Graf. “We were able to get some timely hitting and Leslie once again limited an opponent to just two hits. When you limit your opponents chances like Leslie does it really gives you a huge advantage especially versus a good team like Illinois.”
The game was a classic defensive pitchers duel for the first three innings as Illini freshman pitcher Amanda Fortune (3-3) and Malerich matched each other out for out until the top of the fourth. Serita Brooks led off the inning with a bunt single and then swiped her seventh base of the season to put herself in scoring position. Kimmy Carter then advanced Brooks to third as she beat out a bunt to put runners on the corners with no outs. Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week Brandi Stuart then singled to shortstop to plate Brooks with the eventual game winning run.
The Seminoles added an insurance run in the seventh when Robyn Gauger doubled to left center and scored pinch runner Leah Armstrong from first base. It was Gauger’s second double of the tournament and she now has six RBI’s and is hitting .444 at the Worth Invitational.
The Seminoles will face FAU (9-4) in the championship game at 3:00 p.m. The Owls hold an all-time 4-2 series lead over the Seminoles and defeated FSU in 10 innings on Friday.