March 17, 2002
Fullerton, CA –
The 22nd-ranked Seminole softball team fell behind the University of Texas 4-0 before attempting a late-inning comeback Sunday in the semifinals of the Kia Classic Tournament. The Tribe scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth off of reliever Amy Bradford (2) but was unable to get any closer as their run towards the Kia Classic championship was prematurely ended.
Texas’ freshman sensation Cat Osterman (17-5) was masterful on the mound Sunday as she allowed just one hit through four innings while striking out nine Seminole batters leading Texas (25-8) into the championship game. The 22nd-ranked Seminoles defeated three ranked teams on their way to the semifinals but couldn’t breakthrough against the Texas hurler and finished the weekend with a 4-2 record and are now 25-11-0 overall.
Florida State downed No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 13 Washington and No. 14 DePaul at the prestigious Kia Classic on its way to the semifinals. The Tribe advanced further into championship play than No. 2 Arizona, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 10 Fresno State, No. 13 Washington, No. 14 DePaul and No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette but came up just one game short of the championship match.
The Longhorns jumped on top of starter Leslie Malerich (16-8) and the Seminoles in the top of the first as they strung together three hits and took a 1-0 lead. Designated player Melissa Martins’ long double to center plated Lindsay Gardner with the game’s first run.
Texas struck again in the top of the fourth. After a walk and a single, FSU looked like they were going to get out of the jam when they recorded the second out of the inning. Freshman Alexis Garcia came up and launched a two-out, three run homer over the right field fence giving UT a commanding 4-0 lead with Osterman cruising.
Florida State attempted to climb back into the game in the bottom of the sixth as Bradford, who replaced Osterman in the fifth as Texas looked ahead to the championship game, tried to close things out. The Seminoles attempted to make UT pay for the risky move as Shandra Colzie reached base to lead off the inning when she was hit by a pitch. Brandi Stuart then smashed a shot to short which got by the Longhorn shortstop and centerfielder scoring both Colzie and Stuart. It was the second time this weekend the junior from nearby Cerritos, CA came all the way around to score on a ball hit through the infield.
The Garnet and Gold was unable to do anymore damage in the sixth or seventh as Bradford picked up the second save of her young career. The loss evened the series between with the two teams at 1-1 as FSU downed Texas 1-0 earlier this season in Tallahassee.
The Seminoles return home for a doubleheader with the University of Maine Wednesday, March 20 at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf will be honored by the FSU Athletics Department before the game in recognition of her record-breaking 1,125th victory. An on-field ceremony will take place at approximately 4:40 p.m. and admission is free to all regular season games at the Seminole Softball Complex. For more information on Florida State softball, please visit our official site at www.seminoles.com.