Softball Falls For First Time In Two Months

For the first time in two months the 10th-ranked Florida State softball team (46-10) lost a game. The seventh-seeded Mavericks of Texas-Arlington (40-15) upset the second-seeded Seminoles 1-0 in opening round play at the 2003 Region 4 NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, FL.

Gainesville, FL - For the first time in two months the 10th-ranked Florida State softball team (46-10) lost a game. The seventh-seeded Mavericks of Texas-Arlington (40-15) upset the second-seeded Seminoles 1-0 in opening round play at the 2003 Region 4 NCAA Tournament in Gainesville, FL. The opening round NCAA loss was the first for FSU since 1998 and Florida State will now have to win six games in a row if they want to return to their second straight Women's College World Series.

Maverick ace Katie Cox (28-6) shutout the Seminoles for the first time since Florida State's last loss March 14 when the Tribe fell 3-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette. It was also only the fourth time all season the Tribe has been shutout. All-America candidate Jessica van der Linden (18-5) pitched a gem as she had a no-hitter through five innings and a shutout through seven before a UTA solo homer in the seventh.

"I think our hitting was pretty poor today but when you hit like that you have to give credit to the other team's pitcher," said head coach JoAnne Graf. "She (Katie Cox) did what she needed to do. She kept us from scoring runs.

"I think their pitcher did a good job. Maybe we could have focused a little better and made something happen. We got a lot of pop ups and she was throwing a good spinning rise ball. We didn't get it done when we needed to."

Van der Linden got through the top of the first fairly easily with the exception of a one-out walk. The Tribe came up against Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year Cox in the bottom of the opening inning. The SLC Tournament MVP got Shandra Colzie on a liner to shallow left but then lost Tatiana George after starting out 1-2. With a runner on first, the Haltom City native retired van der Linden on a fly out to center bringing up FSU's team leader in RBIs and two-out RBIs Elisa Vasquez. The junior got caught looking at strike three though as the game moved into the second.

The Seminoles breezed through the top of the second as van der Linden set the Mavericks down 1-2-3. The first team All-Region selection recorded her second strikeout and the Seminoles recorded their third ground out to third in two innings. After retiring the first hitter in the home half of the frame, Beth Wade singled to left for the first hit of the game. The Tribe couldn't cash in though as Cox picked up her third K of the game and ended the second.

The Mavericks went down in order again in the top of the third as van der Linden upped her strikeout total to four. Cox matched her as she retired the Tribe in order with two more K's upping her total to four.

The Mavericks put their second runner on base in the fourth as van der Linden hit Autumn Petrino and the freshman proceeded to swipe second. The Mavericks couldn't cash in as the game moved to the home half of the fourth. The Tribe put a lead off runner on for the first time all day as van der Linden drew a lead off walk. She was followed by Vasquez who singled on an attempted sacrifice bunt. The hit upped the junior's hitting streak to 13 games. Florida State couldn't capitalize again as they stranded runners at first and third as Cox continued her mastery over the Tribe hitters. It marked just the first time since April 9 versus UCF when FSU hadn't scored at least one run in the first four innings of a game.

"We played good defensively and Tat (George) made some great plays defensively but when it comes down to it you have to be able to hit and we weren't able to do that."

The Seminoles tried to break through again in the bottom of the fifth as they put together back-to-back infield singles with one away in the inning. The Mavericks moved one out away from getting out of the jam as they nailed Natasha Jacob trying to swipe third. Cox walked Tatiana George and then van der Linden looked as if she was going to put the Seminoles in front. The junior blasted a shot trailing away to the gap in right center but Maverick outfielder Melanie Williams tracked it down and made a snow cone catch to save the run and end the inning.

"I was hoping it would fall," said van der Linden. "The outfielder made a great play out there."

Texas-Arlington started the sixth with its first hit of the game off van der Linden as nine spot hitter Jennifer English singled to left field. The Tribe cut down the lead runner on the sac bunt but threw away the throw to first as they tried to turn two putting a UTA runner in scoring position with just one out. After getting the second out of the frame, designated player Beverly Rowan sent a shot about 230 feet foul before the southpaw sat down her seventh batter via the K to end the inning.

Cox continued to stymie Florida State in the bottom of the sixth. The Seminoles were getting the bat on the ball but couldn't get anything to fall as the junior retired the side in order for the second time in the game. The last time the Tribe had been held without a run through six innings was March 22 against Boston University. That was also the first win in the 27 game winning streak.

The Seminoles looked like they were headed to the bottom of the seventh with a chance to win the game after van der Linden set down the first two hitters. Second baseman Jenna Owens then changed the game with one swing of the bat as she sent the first van der Linden pitch she saw over the fence in center field for her fourth homer of the year. It was the first HR the junior has allowed since March 23.

"She hit a mistake basically and that is what good hitters are supposed to do," said van der Linden. "I was going in and I didn't get it in enough on her."

With its final chance to even the game, Cox recorded the first two outs of the inning before the Seminoles put back-to-back singles together. Down to its last out, FSU sent George up to the plate. The sophomore fouled the first three pitches off as she and Florida State were a strike away from their first loss since March. George then sent a screamer down the left field line that landed two feet foul before grounding out to third to end the game.

Next up Florida State will take the field at 9:00 a.m. against Oregon State (32-30) as they try to stave off elimination. The only time FSU has ever opened the NCAA Tournament with a loss and advanced to the WCWS was 1993 in a much smaller field of teams. On top of that, Florida State's only game against the Beavers this year was a 2-0 loss.

"I don't think this will sting for too long. You have to lose some time and I think this will serve as a wake up call for us," said 2003 all-region first team selection Brandi Stuart. "We have to play better than we just played. We now have to step it up. This will test our character. This team has a lot of fight left. I think we will be around to fight another day.

"We had one long streak and now we need another. It starts for us tomorrow."

For more information on the 2003 ACC Softball Champions, please log on to seminoles.com, the official home for Florida State athletics on the internet.


Texas-Arlington vs Florida State (May 15, 2003)

Box score (NCAA)

                  NO. 10 FLORIDA STATE SOFTBALL
               Texas-Arlington vs #10 Florida State
      May 15, 2003 at 2003 NCAA Tournament (Gainesville, FL)

Texas-Arlington 1 (40-15)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Kwasnick, Falon 1b.......  4  0  0  0   0  1  2  0   3
Williams, Melanie cf.....  2  0  0  0   1  1  2  0   0
Rowan, Beverly dp........  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Petrino, Autumn rf.......  2  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   1
Krebs, Crystal c.........  3  0  0  0   0  0  8  1   1
Fortune, Jenna 2b........  3  1  1  1   0  1  1  0   0
Owens, Stephanie lf......  3  0  1  0   0  1  4  0   0
Lommel, Ali ss...........  2  0  0  0   0  1  1  0   0
English, Jennifer 3b.....  2  0  1  0   1  1  2  1   0
 Jones, April pr.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Cox, Katie p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 23  1  3  1   2  7 21  2   6

Florida State 0 (46-10)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Shandra Colzie rf........  4  0  2  0   0  1  1  0   0
Tatiana George ss........  2  0  0  0   2  1  2  2   2
Jess van der Linden p....  2  0  0  0   1  0  1  0   2
Elisa Vasquez dp.........  3  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   1
Brandi Stuart 2b.........  3  0  0  0   0  2  3  2   0
Beth Wade 1b.............  3  0  1  0   0  1  6  1   0
Lesley Palmer 3b.........  3  0  0  0   0  1  1  3   2
Shundra Colzie cf........  3  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Natasha Jacob lf.........  3  0  2  0   0  0  0  0   0
BillieAnne Gay c.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  7  1   0
Totals................... 26  0  6  0   3  8 21  9   8

Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Texas-Arlington..... 000 000 1 -  1  3  1
Florida State....... 000 000 0 -  0  6  1
-----------------------------------------

E - English(9); T George(11). LOB - UTA 6; Seminoles 8. 
HR - Fortune(4). HBP - Petrino; Lommel. SH - Rowan(3). 
SB - Petrino(7); Owens(4). CS - N Jacob(4).

Texas-Arlington        IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Cox, Katie..........  7.0  6  0  0  3  8 26 29 123

Florida State          IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Jess van der Linden.  7.0  3  1  1  2  7 23 28 108

Win - Cox (28-6). Loss - van der Lind (18-5). Save - None.
HBP - by van der Lind (Petrino); by van der Lind (Lommel). 
Inherited runners/scored: None. 
Pitches/strikes: Cox 123/86; van der Lind 108/69.
Umpires - HP: Jeff Sloan, 1B: Randy Davidson, 2B: Brian Smith
Start: 5:32 pm  Time: 2:02  Attendance: 525

Game notes:
This is FSU's 16th NCAA Regional and fourth in a row.
UTA leads the all-time series wita a 2-0 win in 1990.
Seminoles looking for 28th straight win.
FSU has won its last five games in Gainesville.
Game: NCAA1


Play-by-Play

                  NO. 10 FLORIDA STATE SOFTBALL
       Texas-Arlington vs #10 Florida State - Play-by-Play
      May 15, 2003 at 2003 NCAA Tournament (Gainesville, FL)


Score by Innings                  R  H  E
-----------------------------------------
Texas-Arlington..... 000 000 1 -  1  3  1
Florida State....... 000 000 0 -  0  6  1
-----------------------------------------

Texas-Arlington starters: 16/1b Kwasnick; 1/cf Williams; 15/dp Rowan; 8/rf Petrino; 24/c Krebs; 10/2b Fortune; 5/lf Owens; 9/ss Lommel; 14/3b English; 19/p Cox; Florida State starters: 20/rf Sha Colzie; 33/ss T George; 99/p van der Lind; 9/dp E Vasquez; 29/2b B Stuart; 11/1b B Wade; 15/3b L Palmer; 19/cf Shu Colzie; 13/lf N Jacob; 8/c B Gay;

Texas-Arlington 1st - Kwasnick struck out looking (3-2). Williams walked (3-1). Rowan out at first c to 2b, SAC, bunt (1-0); Williams advanced to second. Petrino grounded out to 3b (0-1). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Florida State 1st - Sha Colzie lined out to lf (2-2). T George walked (3-2). van der Lind flied out to cf (1-2). E Vasquez struck out looking (2-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 2nd - Krebs grounded out to 3b (1-1). Fortune struck out swinging (2-2). Owens grounded out to 3b (2-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida State 2nd - B Stuart struck out swinging (1-2). B Wade singled to left field (0-1). L Palmer flied out to rf (0-0). Shu Colzie struck out swinging (1-2). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 3rd - Lommel struck out looking (0-2). English struck out swinging (0-2). Kwasnick popped up to p (1-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida State 3rd - N Jacob popped up to 2b (0-2). Sha Colzie struck out swinging (2-2). T George struck out looking (2-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 4th - Williams struck out swinging (2-2). Rowan flied out to rf (0-0). Petrino hit by pitch (0-1). Petrino stole second. Krebs grounded out to 2b (3-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Florida State 4th - van der Lind walked (3-2). E Vasquez singled, bunt (0-0); van der Lind advanced to second. B Stuart struck out swinging (1-2). B Wade reached on a fielder's choice (1-2); E Vasquez advanced to second, advanced to third on a throwing error by 3b; van der Lind out at third 3b unassisted. L Palmer popped up to 1b (0-0). 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 5th - Fortune fouled out to 3b (1-2). Owens struck out looking (1-2). Lommel lined out to ss (0-0). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Florida State 5th - Shu Colzie flied out to lf (0-0). N Jacob singled, bunt (1-1). Sha Colzie singled up the middle (1-2); N Jacob advanced to second. Sha Colzie advanced to second on the throw; N Jacob out at second c to ss, caught stealing. T George walked (3-2). van der Lind flied out to cf (0-1). 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 6th - English singled to left field (2-2). Jones pinch ran for English. Kwasnick reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a throwing error by ss (1-0); Jones out at second 1b to ss. Williams popped up to 2b (1-1). Rowan struck out swinging (2-2). 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Florida State 6th - English to 3b for Jones. E Vasquez fouled out to lf (0-2). B Stuart flied out to lf (3-2). B Wade struck out swinging (2-2). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Texas-Arlington 7th - Petrino grounded out to 2b (1-0). Krebs grounded out to ss (1-2). Fortune homered to center field, RBI (0-0). Owens singled to shortstop (1-0). Owens stole second. Lommel hit by pitch (2-1). English walked (3-2); Lommel advanced to second; Owens advanced to third. Kwasnick reached on a fielder's choice (1-2); English out at second ss to 2b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

Florida State 7th - L Palmer struck out swinging (0-2). Shu Colzie popped up to 3b (2-0). N Jacob singled through the left side (2-1). Sha Colzie singled down the lf line (0-0); N Jacob advanced to second. T George grounded out to 3b (1-2). 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.


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