May 27, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - California found itself down early to Florida State but recovered quickly to defeat the Seminoles, 4-2, Thursday night in first-round action of the 2004 Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Junior 2B Jessica Pamanian hit a two-run triple in the third inning to score the winning runs, her first triple of the season and only the second of her career. Senior 1B Roni Rodrigues also homered in the fourth for the Bears, her fourth of the year. The Golden Bears are now 6-3 in opening-round WCWS games.
Florida State (61-11 overall) got on the board first when senior P Jessica van der Linden, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, hit a two-run homer over right center.
But California (51-11 overall) regained its composure and fought back quickly. Starting pitcher sophomore Kristina Thorson retired the side in the second, paving the way for Cal's rally in the top of the third. Sophomore LF Lindsay James reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced to third when sophomore C Haley Woods singled to left field with two outs. Woods advanced to second following a Seminole fielding error in left. That set the table for junior CF Kaleo Eldredge, who responded with another single into left field, taking second on the ensuing throw as Woods took third and James scored the Bears' first run. That's when Pamanian swung big, knocking a two-run triple into right field to score Woods and Eldredge, handing Cal a 3-2 lead.
Rodrigues followed up the Bears' three-run third with a solo home run over the left center field wall to push Cal's lead out to two, 4-2, where it would remain for the rest of the game thanks to a gutsy performance on the mound by Thorson, who retired 17 straight Florida State batters beginning in the first and extending through the sixth. The only two hits against Thorson all night were from her opponent in the circle, van der Linden.
With the win, Thorson improves to 28-3 for the year, having struck out 12 Seminoles, her second-best tally of the season and tying her freshman year record. The loss went to van der Linden (28-8), who had never before lost a game in which she had given up a home run. Cal's nine hits against van der Linden were also a season high.
Fifth-seeded California advances in the WCWS winners' bracket to face host and unseeded Oklahoma Friday evening at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) in an ESPN2 televised game. Oklahoma advanced Thursday evening with a 6-2 win over eighth-seeded Washington.
California Softball Result: California 003 100 0 - 4 9 0 Florida State 200 000 0 - 2 2 1 Thorson and Woods. van der Linden and Vasquez. W - Thorson 28-3. L - van der Linden 28-8. Save - None. HR - Rodrigues (Cal), van der Linden (FSU).
Records: California 51-11 Florida State 61-11