May 4, 2002
Tallahassee, FL –
Senior All-American Leslie Malerich picked up her 99th career victory in a dominant performance Saturday afternoon as she four-hit Troy State (45-17) in a 7-2 Seminole victory. The win in the first game of the twin bill moved No. 21 Florida State (46-14) to 23-2 in the South Region and gave FSU a season-high eight game winning streak. The Tribe has now won 14 consecutive regional games and their last nine wins have come against teams ranked in the top 10 in the region. Troy State came into Saturday’s doubleheader ranked No. 7 in the NCAA regional rankings.
Seniors Kimmy Carter and Monique Marier each had two hits and an RBI on the day. Jackie Hirschfeld, Tatiana George, Shandra Colzie and All-American candidate Brandi Stuart each drove in a run as the Seminoles moved closer to their 15th 50+ win season.
The Seminoles threatened to take an early lead as Trojan starter Cassie Wilkenson (14-7) issued three walks to load the bases with just one out. That brought up senior Carter and her team-leading 43 RBIs. The catcher laced a shot to right plating George and putting FSU up 1-0. Wilkenson got out of the inning by retiring the next two batters she faced to get out of the bases loaded jam down just 1-0.
Florida State looked to build on its lead in the third inning. After recording the first out of the inning, Wilkenson walked Stuart for the second time in two at bats and Carter then followed with a bunt single. The All-American candidate then stole third, her 48th of the season, and Carter advanced to second on the throw down to third. That brought up Marier who bounced a single through the middle scoring Stuart to give FSU the 2-0 lead. The run was the 68th of the season FSU has scored in the third inning while allowing just eight all year. After recording the second out of the inning, FSU loaded the bases again on an infield hit by senior Becky Brock but Wilkenson retired the side with her fourth strikeout of the game.
The Tribe once again threatened to add to their 2-0 lead in the fourth. George led off the inning with a single through the left side and was moved to second on Shundra Colzie’s bunt single down the first base line. Jessica van der Linden then moved the runners over to second and third on her sacrifice bunt which brought up Stuart with runners on second and third. Stuart launched a deep foul ball to right that scored George on the sacrifice. Colzie also came around to score on the throw home from first that missed the mark putting the Garnet and Gold up 4-0.
After freshman Amanda Floyd replaced Wilkenson in the bottom of the fifth, Marier doubled to left center to lead the inning off. Pinch runner Skyla Cox replaced Marier at second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Floyd next walked Beth Wade on four straight pitches before pinch hitter Hirschfeld singled to center field scoring Cox. Shandra Colzie walked to load the bases before Wilkenson returned to the circle for the Lady Trojans. She promptly walked George scoring Colzie to put the Seminoles up 7-0 and within one run of ending the game. Wilkenson came back to get the next two batters before walking Stuart to load the bases once again bringing up Carter with the bases juiced. The senior grounded out to second to end the threat.
After hitting the second batter she faced in the first frame, senior All-American Malerich didn’t allow another base runner until the fifth when she walked lead-off batter Kami Merrott. The senior’s bid for her third career no-hitter came to end one batter later that when Christi Curran’s single to left broke up the no-no. For the afternoon, Malerich walked just one batter, struck out one Lady Trojan and picked up her 27th complete game of the season.
The Seminoles wrap-up regular season play versus No. 10 FAU (55-9) Tuesday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. Florida Atlantic is currently ranked first in the South Region and is sitting one spot ahead of the second-ranked Seminoles. The 2002 senior class will be honored prior to the game versus the Owls. Florida State opens conference tournament play Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles open up with the winner of the day’s first game between North Carolina and Virginia at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the 2002 ACC Softball Tournament including game times and ticket prices, please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.