May 16, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State University placed three players on the Louisville Slugger/All-Southeast Region team, which tied for the most of any school in the region. Team USA National Camp invitee Brandi Stuart led the way for FSU making the first-team at second base. She was a second-team all-region selection as a sophomore in 2001. This is the second straight season that catcher Kimmy Carter has been selected to the all-region second team and she is joined by sophomore Jessica van der Linden who makes her first-ever appearance as a utility player.
“I think the honors are well deserved,” said head coach JoAnne Graf. “Brandi (Stuart) is having an All-American season and Kimmy (Carter) and Jess (van der Linden) have had wonderful seasons also. It was nice to see them recognized for their level of play all season long.”
Cerritos, CA native and All-American candidate Stuart is in the midst of the most prolific season in the 24-year history of Seminole Softball, which is saying a lot on a team that has produced 21 All-Americans including five first team selections. She was named to the Verizon District III Academic All-American for the second consecutive season and was invited to Team USA Softball National Team Camp based on her numbers this year. She is just the second Seminole to ever be invited to try out for the US National Team. She is currently 18th in the nation in batting average and triples and fourth in steals. During the regular season, she established career highs in average, runs, triples, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, walks and steals and she hit 64 percentage points higher and slugged 157 percentage points higher this year than her career average. The second baseman knocked in nine more runs, had one more triple, five more home runs, eight more RBIs, six more walks and eight more steals in 2002 then her previous best season and she leads the team in batting average (.409), runs scored (60), total bases (125) and steals (52).
Coming into last week’s ACC Tournament, Stuart ranked third in batting average in the conference at .413, first in triples with seven and runs scored with 58. She was second in stolen bases with 50 and an on base percentage of .507 and tied for second in hits with 74. Stuart was third in walks (34) and total bases (125) and she had a slugging percentage of .698 with 50 singles, seven doubles, seven triples and ten home runs, which is good for third in the conference. The second baseman’s 44 RBIs and 10 home runs were good for fourth and fifth, respectively. Against teams in the ACC, Stuart ranked fourth in average, batting .429, led the conference in triples with two, runs scored with nine, and tied for first in stolen bases with four. She slugged a conference leading 1.000 percent, with two singles, one double, two triples, and one home run in only 14 at bats. She is tied for first in on base percentage at .619 with fellow teammate Carter and finished third in walks with seven, averaging a little more than a walk a game. She was also tied for third in RBIs with six and tied for fifth in total bases with 14.
Carter ranked third in Atlantic Coast Conference play with 46 RBIs, was tied for fourth in triples with four and her 26 walks on the regular season and an on base percentage of .400 were good for eighth and ninth, respectively. Against FSU’s four conference foes, Carter ranked first in batting with a .579 average, 117 percentage points higher than the second ranked player in the conference and she finished the regular season first in RBIs (9), second in hits (11) and tied for second in triples (1). She is tied for first with an on base percentage of .619 and fourth in total bases with 14 with fellow teammate Stuart. She held a slugging percentage of .737, with nine singles, one double, and one triple in only 19 at-bats, which is good enough for fourth in the conference. In 2002, Carter led the Seminoles in runs batted in (47) and was tied for the team lead in games started (66), was tied for second on the team in triples (4), was third in hits (54), at bats (179), walks (26) and tied for third in stolen bases (7). The Palm Beach Gardens native ranked fourth among Seminoles in average (.308), total bases (74), sacrifice bunts (9) and on base percentage (.400) and for her career, Carter now ranks second amongst Seminoles in runs batted in with 129 and third in walks with 84. She also ranks sixth in both games played and at bats by a Seminole. Her 205 career hits ranks her eighth and she first on the all-time games played list and is already the all-time career leader for at bats. Most amazingly, Carter is in the midst of a streak of 238 consecutive starts dating back to her freshman season.
With her selection to the All-ACC team this year, van der Linden became just the first player in FSU history to appear on the team as a freshman and a sophomore. The Cerritos, CA native plays both in the outfield and inside the circle and excelled at both positions. On the mound in the 2002 regular season, van der Linden ranked third in the ACC in games started with 28 and in opponent’s batting average at .186. She ranked fourth in strikeouts (168) and innings pitched (161.2) and fifth in wins (16). The southpaw finished fifth in ERA at 1.39 and in complete games with 16 and she pitched 161.2 innings, which was good for fourth in the conference and her four shutouts rank sixth. Against conference opponents, van der Linden ranked third in ERA at 1.56 and wins with two and she was tied for third in strikeouts (19), with fellow teammate Leslie Malerich, averaging 7.39 K’s a game. During the regular season, she held her conference foes to a .192 batting average, good for third overall and she appeared and started in three games for the Seminoles. Set career highs in 2002 for wins, appearances, starts, innings pitched and shutouts. Van der Linden led the team in opposing batting average (.186) and she was second on the team in earned run average (1.39), wins (16), innings pitched (161.2), games started (28), batters struck out (168), and appearances (28).
Despite playing in seven fewer games in 2002 compared to her rookie season, van der Linden set career marks for batting average, runs, triples, home runs, slugging percentage and walks during the regular season. She led the team in doubles (31), tied for the lead in games started (63) and she ranked second on the team in batting average (.354), total bases (85), at bats (175), slugging percentage (.486), hits (62), walks (33) and on base percentage (.454). She was also third in runs scored (35) and fourth in runs batted in (31). In the ACC, she ranked sixth in batting average at .354, hits with 62 and on base percentage at .454. Her 33 walks is good for fourth in the conference and she is tied for fourth in triples with four, fifth in doubles with 12 and tied for eighth in total bases with 85. Van der Linden slugged .486 with 45 singles, 12 doubles, four triples, and one home run, good for eighth in the conference and she ranks tenth in batting average at .316. She finished tied for 3rd in runs scored with six, averaging a run a game in conference play and compiled an on base percentage of .458, good for eighth.
The Seminoles open up NCAA Regional play tonight at 5:30 p.m. versus Auburn University. For more information on Seminole softball and the 2002 NCAA Tallahassee Regional, please visit the official website of the Florida State Athletic Department at www.seminoles.com. The regional’s official website contains game stories, box scores, photos, live stats, links to buy tickets and much more.