April 15, 2003
By Justin Gallagher
FSU Sports Information
Wearing the Garnet and Gold of Florida State University has been a tradition for Shundra Colzie’s family. Her brother, James, is a former Seminole football player. Nowadays, Shundra and her twin sister, Shandra, are doing their part to help the Florida State softball team obtain a second consecutive College World Series berth.
For Shundra Colzie, the experience of playing softball with her twin sister has been a dream come true.
“It’s been a blessing,” Colzie said. “Not many people have a sibling, let alone a twin, who can help you out on and off the field. We’ve always been competitive in sports, and to have someone out there right beside you telling you how to capitalize on a mistake makes it better. It’s just been a great experience for us. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
The senior from Miami said she and her sister get their competitive edge from James, who played cornerback for the Seminoles in the mid-90’s.
“We would be so competitive that we would end up fighting,” Colzie said of the competitive nature of the family. “Not only would he help us physically, but he would help us with the mental side of sports. He’d always be there for us and tell us what would be expected of us at this level. He’d tell us to always work hard.
“He was in high school when we were in middle or elementary school, so he knew what challenges were up ahead of us in sports. He knew what we would have to do to succeed at this level.”
The Colzie’s competitive fire has spread throughout the team like wild fire. The Seminoles recently swept a series from UCF, which extended the squad’s winning streak to 13 games before their trip to Furman. Thanks to the recent 13-game tear during the end of March and beginning of April, the Seminoles stood at 32-9 overall (4-0 ACC) as of April 9.
Colzie said that the Seminoles attitude has been the underlining factor in the team’s recent success.
“At the beginning of the season, we were still getting used to playing with each other on the field,” Colzie said. “I also think everyone, and I know I’m in that group, was trying too hard out there. Now we have more confidence in each other, and we’re not worrying about individual statistics. That’s why we’ve been playing better as a team.
“Recently, we’ve been tense because that helps us keep our edge. But at the same time, we’re having fun out there. We’re constantly thinking out there and having fun at the same time, and that’s why we’ve been successful lately.”
As for individual play lately, Colzie said that she’s in a better flow on the diamond now than she was at the beginning of the year. The senior came off a successful 2002 campaign that was hi-lited by her multi-hit game versus UCLA’s 1st-Team All-American pitcher Keira Goerl and her homerun against National Player of the Year Jennie Finch at the College World Series. She got off to a slow start in 2003 and is still trying to fight her way back.
“I think I’m doing much better now than I was at the beginning,” the outfielder said. “Now I’m just more comfortable. This is my last season here and I have to go all out.”
“If they have questions in the dugout or out on the field, I have no problems answering them,” she said. “They’re also helping me out as well. We were all struggling at the beginning, but that’s normal for the early part of the season.”
Tasting the sweetness of the College World Series last season is something Colzie wants again in 2003. She was one of FSU’s leaders in postseason play last year – going 4-for-9 against UCLA and Arizona in 2002 series. Colzie helped to spark the Seminoles’ huge upset win over the Bruins with two hits – marking the first time any FSU player recorded two hits in a game against UCLA in more than a decade. Colzie also went 2-for-5 with a homer against Arizona’s Finch.
“We have to be mentally tough down the stretch – you just have to be focused, especially on the road,” she said of what is needed to get back to the College World Series. “You have to have fun, but at the same time, we know that we’re playing conference games and that they are very important. It’s more mental than physical at this time of the year.”
When her time is up at FSU, Colzie, an elementary education major, said she wants to become a teacher with a possibility of coaching in her future. As for her time at Florida State, Shundra Colzie said it’s been great to continue the family legacy with her sister in Tallahassee.
“It’s been a very good learning experience,” she said. “It’s been great meeting different people. I was very quiet and observant last year, but now I’m more outgoing. It’s been a great overall experience.”