No. 22 Florida State Ends Softball's Kia Klassic Run, 3-2

March 16, 2002

FULLERTON, Calif. - Twenty-second ranked Florida State scored one run in the second, third and fifth innings to hand the No. 13 Washington softball team its first loss of the Kia Klassic, 3-2, Saturday at Titan Softball Complex. With the loss, the Huskies, who fell to 25-8 in 2002, were eliminated from the 16-team tournament, finishing with a 4-1 record.

The Seminoles got the Huskies off-balance early, scoring a run in the second when catcher Kim Carter scored on a two-out infield single by third baseman Becky Brock. Florida State extended its lead to two runs in the top of the third as second baseman Brandi Stuart's single to right field got behind outfielder Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) and rolled to the fence, allowing Stuart to race home.

Washington came back with its first of two unearned runs in the game in the bottom of the third. Senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.), who reached base on a fielding error by Stuart, stole second and later advanced to third on a passed ball. Junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) then came up with her first of two clutch RBI-singles with two outs, dropping her first hit of the game into center field as Simpson came home.

The Seminoles scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs as UW starter Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) was replaced by reliever Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.). Boek got the next batter, Elisa Vasques, to bounce a grounder to Clark at shortstop, but Vasques was called safe on a close play at first base as lead-off batter Tatiana George scored the game-winner.

The Huskies scored their final run of the game with two outs, when sophomore Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) singled and advanced to second on an error before coming home on a Clark single through the left side.

The UW defense kept Florida State off the scoreboard through the next two frames to set up the team's final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. Seminole pitcher Leslie Malerich struck out pinch hitter Nicole Wicks (Renton, Wash.) for the first out, before Simpson reached base on another FSU error. After Roach's fly-out to left field, Clark extended the Husky rally with her third single of the game, a short blooper to shallow center field. Malerich, however, got Husky catcher Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) to pop up for the final out of the game and the 3-2 win.

Bollinger took the loss to fall to 10-4 in 2002, as Washington's nine-game winning streak - its second-longest of the season - came to an end. Malerich, meanwhile, improved to 16-7 on the year.

The Huskies will take a brief break for final exams, returning to action next Sunday for a non-conference doubleheader at Santa Clara, beginning at 12 p.m. Washington will also face the University of the Pacific in another doubleheader on Tuesday, also at noon.

Saturday, March 16, 2002 -
#13 Washington vs. # 22 Florida State - Titan Softball Complex (Fullerton, Calif.)

Score By Innings R H E
FSU 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 9 3
UW 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 6 1

E - Owen, George, Stuart, Brock
LOB: UW 8, Florida State 8
SB -Carter, George, Simpson CS - Cox SH - Brock, Lindheim, Colzie, Vasques
PB - Carter
WP - Leslie Malerich (16-7) LP - Tia Bollinger (10-4)

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