March 16, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
The third ranked Seminoles’ bats have not cooled down after a scorching hot week and a day off Monday. The Tribe, who moved up a spot in the polls after an 8-0 week, run ruled their 13th opponent in 33 games Monday downing Troy State (14-14) 11-2 in six innings. Florida State (30-3) had eight extra base hits in the game including the team’s 24th homerun off the year. The round tripper was senior Lesley Palmer’s fifth of the season and ended the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Casey Hunter allowed just two hits and no earned runs as she moved to 16-1 on the season. Five different Seminoles recorded multi-RBI games and four FSU players had multi-hit games. Reigning USA Softball and NFCA National Player of the Week Jessica van der Linden had a double and a triple as she, Veronica Wootson and Beth Wade each recorded their seventh double of the year.
The Seminoles looked to get off to a quick start versus Troy State as Wootson singled to short to open the bottom of the first. Before FSU could start to put together a rally, the freshman was thrown out trying to swipe second. Trojan starter Laine Harcourt (6-8) got the second out of the inning before walking van der Linden on four straight pitches. The hurler then walked Palmer on five pitches to put two on. The next pitch went to Wade and the fifth year senior laced a rope to the warning track in right plating both runs to put FSU up 2-0.
In the top of the second FSU once again looked to get on the scoreboard. Thanks to another Harcourt walk and a Carly Brieske single, the Tribe once again had runners on first and second. That brought up Wootson who is tearing up opposing pitchers as a freshman. The California native pounded one off the fence in right just missing her fourth homerun of the year. The double did however plate two more runs putting FSU in front 4-0. Natasha Jacob followed with a single of her own but Wootson was thrown out on the play trying to score from second. Florida State did pick up that fifth run on the next play though as national player of the week van der Linden doubled in the run. The two-bagger was the 47th of her career.
The Trojans looked to cut into the 5-0 lead in the top of the third. A walk on a 3-2 pitch and a hit batter put runners on first and second with nobody out. Hunter struck out the next batter she faced and then got a fly ball out for the second out of the inning. Hunter worked out of the jam on a ground ball to short as the Trojans couldn’t capitalize on the two on, no out situation.
Harcourt got off to a great start in the home half of the third getting the first two batters she faced bringing Brieske up to the plate. The sophomore drove a triple down the right field line putting a runner in scoring position with two away in the inning. Brieske wasn’t standing on third long though as Kim Hoffer stepped in and roped a double into the gap in right plating Brieske and putting the Tribe in front 6-0. LaShaun Davis followed the RBI double with an RBI single of her own scoring Hoffer and giving the Tribe a 7-0 lead.
A couple errors in the bottom of the fourth put TSU back in position to cut into the lead but Hunter came right back a recorded the second out of the inning on a soft infield pop up to Wootson. The Tribe hurler once again managed to preserve the shutout as she got a grounder to first to retire the Trojans in the fourth.
The Seminoles seemed to get their timing down against new TSU pitcher Tara Blackwell in the bottom of the fourth. Jacob led off with an absolute smash that ended up in the webbing of the first baseman’s glove. Despite the out, the hard hit was just a preview of what was to come next as van der Linden stepped into the box. The senior tripled off the fence in right center for FSU’s sixth extra base hit of the game. The Seminoles were unable to plate the run though as they failed to score for just the first time all day.
Florida State committed another error in the fifth and this time it hurt FSU. Hunter started the inning by hitting the first Troy State batter she faced. On the next play, FSU tried to cut down the lead runner on a grounder to third. The throw sailed past second and all the way to the warning track. The errant throw allowed the run to score from first and what was a routine ground out finished with a TSU runner on third. The Trojans plated that runner on a ground out to short before the Tribe got out of the inning with their lead cut to 7-2.
The Seminoles got back both runs they gave up in the top half of the fifth and it started with a single by Elisa Vasquez that rolled past the left fielder and left the senior standing on second. Vasquez moved to third on a wild pitch and she came home to score on a Hoffer single. Davis then followed with FSU’s fifth double of the game scoring Hoffer and restoring the seven run lead at 9-2.
Palmer then ended the game in the bottom of the sixth. The inning started with a Carey Galuppi single up the middle. That brought up Palmer who took a 3-1 pitch and hammered it out of the park, over the left field fence.
Florida State completes its doubleheader versus Troy State Tuesday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. The twin bill will is the first ever FSU softball event broadcast live over the Internet. There is no charge for the radio broadcast and the link to listen to the game is available at www.seminoles.com.