July 5, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Four Florida State softball players were recently named to Easton All-American teams. The Lady Seminoles, who were one game away from going to the College World Series, tied UCLA and LSU for the most players on the three teams. Serita Brooks earned first team honors, Staci Brandon was named to the second team while Leslie Malerich and Brandi Stuart garnered third team recognition.
Brooks, who started at center field, led the Lady Seminoles in batting average (.401), hits (99), triples (8), runs scored (54) and stolen bases (42) in her first season at FSU. A junior college transfer from Cottondale, Ala., Brooks adjusted quickly to playing at the Division I level. She also earned second team Louisville Slugger All-American honors and was named to the All-Southeast Region and All-ACC first teams.
"Serita was probably the most consistent player on our team this year," FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. "Although she was new to the team this year, she played like a veteran. Serita had the knack for making big things happen in crucial situations."
Brandon finished the season second on the team with a batting average of .370 and had hits in 26 of her last 34 games. A left fielder from Peoria, Ariz., Brandon recorded 20 multi-hit games and stole seven bases to spark the Lady Seminoles from the leadoff position. In her first season at FSU, Brandon also garnered first team All-Southeast Region honors as well as being selected to the All-ACC team.
"Staci was a real spark plug for the team all season long," Graf said. "As our leadoff hitter, she got the team started offensively."
Malerich, a native of Merillville, Ind., pitched the Lady Seminoles into postseason play and set an FSU record for single-season appearances with 58. The sophomore right hander tied the school's single-season record for wins with 35, while finishing the season with a record of 35-15 and a 1.21 ERA. She was also named to the All-Southeast Region second team and the All-ACC team.
"There's no question that Leslie was a lot of the reason for our success this season," Graf said. "What she was able to accomplish on the mound was a tribute to her hard work and dedication"
Stuart was the only freshman to play for FSU in the year 2000. She, along with Brooks, led the team with 42 stolen bases and was second on the squad with 79 hits, 233 at bats, 39 runs and 36 RBI. The Cerritos, Calif., native batted an impressive .339 and also garnered All-ACC honors.
"Brandi was the only freshman to play for us this season and she started every game," Graf said. "She played with confidence and it showed in her numbers as she was among the top players on the team in several categories."