April 25, 2003 - by
GAMEDAY CENTRAL: No. 13 FSU To Honor Seniors And Graf Versus Cavs Saturday

April 25, 2003

Complete Weekly Release and Game Notes in PDF Format
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Senior Day Game Program in PDF Format
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LAST TIME OUT

No. 13 FSU 5     No. 22 Florida 0
No. 13 FSU 7     No. 22 Florida 3

NEXT


No. 13 FSU vs. Virginia
Saturday — 1:00 p.m. — Tallahassee, FL

TELEVISION: Sunshine Network Tape-Delayed
Monday, 4/28 at 12:00 p.m.
GAME TRACKER: (Game One)


No. 13 FSU vs. Virginia
Saturday 3:00 p.m. Tallahassee, FL

TELEVISION: Sunshine Network Tape-Delayed
Monday, 4/28 at 12:00 p.m.
GAME TRACKER: (Game Two)



TOP THOUGHTS


? FSU is 13-0 in April and has allowed just four runs this month.
? The Seminoles have either won or split their last 46 DH’s. During that time, FSU has swept both games of the twin bill 37 times, while splitting with their opponents only nine times.
? After sweeping 22nd-ranked Florida, the Tribe now has the longest current win streak in Division I softball with 20 consecutive victories, which was also held by DePaul up until Thursday. What is so special about FSU’s current 20 game winning streak is that 13 of the 20 wins have come away from home.
? The Tribe’s has won16 straight regular season conference games dating back to a 2-1 loss to Georgia Tech in 2001.
? Brandi Stuart is just three base swipes away from passing FSU Hall of Famer Shamelene Wilson for No. 2 on the career steals list.
? Amazingly, the Seminole pitching staff has allowed three or less runs in 46 of FSU’s 48 games this year.
? The staff has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 44 of 47 games this season and has allowed no earned runs on 24 occasions.
? So far this season Jessica van der Linden and Brandi Stuart have combined to hit .397 and slug .603. They lead the team in 12 offensive categories and are first and second in eight statistical categories. Together they have also drawn 77 walks and struck out just 28 times.
? Brandi Stuart, Jessica van der Linden and Elisa Vasquez have combined for 94 of FSU’s 190 RBIs, which is 46% of the team total in 2003.
? When Brandi Stuart launched the 25th homer of her career, a game-winner at Florida, she upped her career total to 25 and is now first place all-time on the all-time career home runs list.
? Florida State is the only school to boast three different players (van der Linden, Hunter and Stuart) in the top 10 in at least three different statistical categories.
? Jessica van der Linden is hitting .449 on the season currently and is 17 percentage points above the all-time single season batting average in FSU history.


STREAKING TO NO. 1
With FSU’s doubleheader sweep of No. 22 Florida, the Tribe now has the longest current win streak in Division I softball with 20 consecutive victories, which was also held by DePaul up until Thursday. The Blue Demons needed 17 innings to raise their streak to 21 games versus Illinois before a 10-inning, 1-1 tie halted the winning streak. Louisiana-Lafayette was up to 18 in a row itself before a loss to FIU ended their run this past weekend. Notre Dame is currently at 19 in a row and is just behind FSU for the second-longest win streak in the nation. The longest win streak so far this season belongs to UCLA who won 24 straight games from February 1 to March 8 and ended with a 1-0 loss to DePaul. During FSU’s current streak, the fifth longest in school history, the Tribe has won four extra inning games, run-ruled three opponents, has pitched a shutout in 12 of the 20 games and outscored its opponents 104-15. Combined with North Carolina’s 15 game win streak earlier this year, FSU and UNC have combined for a 35 game win streak second only to the Pac 10 duo of UCLA and Arizona, which combined to win 41.
Longest Win Streaks in 2003


UCLA 24
DePaul 21
Florida State 20
Notre Dame 18
Oklahoma 18
Louisana-Lafayette 18
Arizona 17
Bold/italic = current streak


THE CAVS AND THE CAV NOTS
No two ACC teams have played more times than the 57 times FSU and Virginia have played…FSU has won eight straight conference games against the Cavaliers and has won 14 of the last 15 overall…in those eight straight wins, FSU has outscored the Cavs 47-12…Florida State’s 44 wins against UVa are the most by FSU against any ACC opponent…the Seminoles are 19-3 all-time against UVa in home games not counting ACC Tournament games held in Tallahassee. Including the tourney, FSU is 29-7 all-time versus Virginia in Tallahassee…the Tribe is 8-1 all-time against UVa at the Seminole Softball Complex dating back to 1999…Virginia has never swept a doubleheader from the Seminoles in Tallahassee…senior Brandi Stuart has hit .526 in six regular season games against Virginia with seven runs scored, two RBIs and two triples…probably the most amazing thing about Stuart against the Cavs is what she hasn’t done. The All-American who has stolen 158 bases in her career has not swiped a base from UVa in two years after stealing five her freshman year including three in one game. Florida State’s all-time homerun and RBI leader has never gone yard and has just two RBIs all-time against Virginia. She is also third all-time at FSU for doubles and is yet to record a two-bagger versus the Cavs…in four meetings with UVA, ASA Player of the Year finalist Jessica van der Linden has hit .455, four RBIs, four runs and a double. She also has a win and an ERA of 0.00 in one meeting with the Cavs as a pitcher.


OH WHAT A NIGHT
Florida State’s sweep of Florida Wednesday night was record setting in so many ways. The win was Florida State’s fifth straight in Gainesville and marks the second consecutive time FSU has swept a doubleheader from the Gators on their home field. The only two sweeps in series history have now come in Gainesville and they have both been by Florida State. Casey Hunter’s shutout gem was the first ever for FSU against Florida and the sophomore broke the record for Ks by a Seminole pitcher against Florida with nine. For the fourth straight year, FSU hit a homer off of Gator pitching in at least one game of the twin bill. This past trip FSU homered in both games thanks to Elisa Vasquez and Brandi Stuart. Along with her HR, Vasquez also doubled in game one of the DH to become the first player for either team to collect two extra base hits in a FSU/UF game. Stuart’s homerun not only set the all-time record at Florida State but she became the first player in series history to hit two homers in a career. Florida State won both games via those homers. The Tribe’s 13 hits in game two weren’t a series record but they were the most allowed by the Gators this year. The Seminoles have now tied the longest win streak in team history against the Gator’s with their third in a row.


ONE OF JUST 25
The Amateur Softball Association announced its 25 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award April 9th and Seminole junior Jessica van der Linden was amongst the group. The pitcher/outfielder is in the midst of one of the most amazing all-around seasons in 25 years of Florida State softball. If she were to win the award, van der Linden would be the first Seminole to garner such an honor since 1981 when Darby Cottle was named the USOC Best Amateur Softball Player in the Nation. No player in Division I has a lower ERA and a higher batting average than the junior. Van der Linden is currently leading the team in average (.449), hits (57), doubles (11), triples (3), sac flies (4), walks (42) and on base percentage (.582). She is second on the team runs scored (35), total bases (74) and slugging percentage (.583). With her 11 doubles this season she not only became the first Seminole to ever post three consecutive seasons of 10 or more doubles but she also broke the all-time school career doubles record with 39. She currently has the highest single season batting average ever at Florida State and could become just the fourth player in the last 20 years to hit over .400 for an entire season at FSU. She has also been dominant in the circle. The Cerritos, CA native is 15-4 with a 1.07 ERA. She recently had a streak of 47 scoreless innings and has struck out 152 batters in her last 14 starts. She has allowed six earned runs in her last 76 innings and has won nine straight starts. Her 214 strikeouts this season are a career best. On top of her hitting and pitching, van der Linden is also fielding 1.000 in the outfield and inside the circle playing error free ball in 47 chances.


THE ROAD TO FRUITION
One of the overlooked stats for this year’s FSU squad, which is swimming in amazing numbers, is the team’s performance on the road. In games played at an opponent’s park, Florida State is currently 13-1 and has won 12 straight road games. The last time FSU lost at an opponent’s field was opening day when the Tribe dropped the second game of a doubleheader to Georgia Southern. Florida State has outscored its opponents 84-13 on the road this year, is hitting .319 and has a team ERA of 0.88. Not surprisingly, Jessica van der Linden is leading the way with a .500 average, 12 runs scored, 12 RBIs, two doubles, two triples, a .650 slugging percentage, a .593 on base percentage, 12 walks, four steals in four attempts and a 1.000 fielding percentage. One of the big surprises has to be Elisa Vasquez though. In 14 road contests, the junior catcher has 22 of her team-leading 35 RBIs. She is hitting .400, has four doubles, a homerun, is slugging .575, and has scored 10 times. Not such a surprise is the way All-American Brandi Stuart has hit on the road. The senior has four of her eight homeruns away from home, is hitting .390, is slugging .732, has scored 14 runs, has 11 RBIs and is 10 for 11 in steals.


HIT & RUN-RULE
For the first time in 2003, FSU run-ruled three consecutive opponents and the team also set new season-highs for hits in back-to-back games versus Furman and then again against Florida A&M last week. After whitewashing the Lady Paladins 12-0 in five innings and pounding out 15 hits, the Tribe wasn’t done yet. In its season finale against FAMU, Florida State needed just six innings to record a new season-high with 16 hits as they cruised to an 8-0 victory. Florida State completed the barrage with a 9-0 five inning win as they pounded out double digit hits (11) once again. Considering the fact that FSU had run-ruled just two opponents all year coming into those games and that the last time they ended a game in fewer than seven innings was February 14, getting three in a span of seven days was impressive.


WE RATE WITH THE NCAA
In the latest NCAA statistics released this week, FSU stacked up pretty favorably compared to the rest of the nation. The Seminole pitching staff is leading the way in the NCAA rankings as they are in the hunt for the team’s second ERA title in three years. The staff currently ranks fifth in the nation with a 0.83 ERA. Individually, sophomore sensation Casey Hunter is sixth in the nation with a 0.69 ERA, 15th in the nation with a .808 winning percentage and she is also in the top 25 for Ks per seven innings as she ranks 29th with 8.6 a game. All-America candidate Jessica van der Linden is 25th in the nation with an ERA that has shrunk from 2.07 to 0.98 over the past two months. The lefty ranks 8th in the nation with 10.1 strikeouts per seven innings. Van der Linden is also getting it done at the plate. The Cerritos, CA native’s .435 batting average is the 21st best in Division I softball this year. She is the only player in the nation this season to be amongst the top 25 in ERA and batting average, which means no pitcher in the nation has a lower ERA and higher batting average. Overall, FSU is 25th in the nation in scoring as they are averaging 4.93 runs per game. Senior All-American Brandi Stuart is in the top 10 for steals this year. The second baseman’s 0.67 stolen bases per game ranks her 10th in the nation. At 35-9, FSU also ranks among the nation’s top teams when it comes to batting average as the team ranks 21st. Before Wednesday night’s sweep over Florida, the Tribe’s .804 winning percentage was 12th-best in the nation.


PITCHER PERFECT
After starting off the season 12-6 with a staff ERA of 1.37, Florida State pitchers have been almost untouchable in the last 30 games. Not only has the group posted a 25-3 record but they also have an ERA of just 0.49 over the last 200 innings. The staff has allowed three hits or less in 19 of those 28 games, thrown a no-hitter and five one hitters. In fact, the Florida State staff has thrown four one hitters in its last eight starts and the other four games were two, two hitters and two, three hitters. The staff has pitched so well that they were currently third in the nation with a 0.87 ERA entering last week. Jessica van der Linden is leading the way with an 11-1 record and sick ERA of just 0.44. She has 11 complete games and seven shutouts in that stretch. Most amazingly she has a 6 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio with 156 Ks and just 26 walks. Casey Hunter who currently has the sixth-best ERA in the nation (0.71) isn’t far behind. She is 12-2 with a 0.57 ERA, 10 complete games and five shutouts. In 98 innings she has issued an average of less than two walks a game and has 112 Ks.


CHASING .432
Seminole junior Jessica van der Linden is hitting .449 on the season currently and is 17 percentage points above the all-time single season batting average in FSU history, which is .432 and was set by 1st Team All-American Danielle Cox. The Cerritos, CA native is also trying to become one of only four Seminoles ever to hit above .400 but she is going about it like no other player before her. Except for Brandi Stuart, who finished 2002 close to .400 at .391, nobody has combined power, consistency and production the way van der Linden is this season. Serita Brooks had a .401 average in 2000 but hit only 5 doubles in comparison to van der Linden’s 11 this year. Cox averaged .432 in 1999 but hit less than half as many doubles as van der Linden and drove in only 14 RBIs, 15 less than van der Linden has so far this season. Cox’s .493 slugging percentage was also no match for van der Linden’s .583. Florida State Hall of Famer Shamalene Wilson finished the ’96 season averaging .402 but hit only 5 doubles and achieved a .445 on-base percentage, paling in comparison to van der Linden’s .582.


WE ARE THE ONLY ONES IN THE NATION THAT CAN SAY THAT
Jessica van der Linden is one of three NCAA Division I softball players to place in the top 25 in three statistical categories. As of April 20th, she placed 8th in strikeouts per seven innings, 21st in batting average and 25th in earned run average. Casey Hunter is one of the top pitchers placing 6th in earned run average and 13th in victories. Brandi Stuart is currently 10th in stolen bases on the season. Florida State is the only school to boast three different players (van der Linden, Hunter and Stuart) placing in the top 10 in at least three different statistical categories.


DOING IT IN THE ACC
Jessica Van der Linden leads the ACC in batting average, triples and on-base percentage and she is the only ACC player to appear in the top three in individual batting and individual pitching…Brandi Stuart is the only player in the ACC to rank in the top three in on-base percentage, stolen bases and runs scored…Casey Hunter is the only ACC player to appear in the top three in strikeouts, shutouts, wins and earned run average…the Seminoles lead the ACC in team batting, with a .294 average and team pitching, with a 0.82 ERA…versus ACC opponents, van der Linden and Hunter rank first and second in individual pitching…Hunter is undefeated against ACC teams and van der Linden has held ACC opponents to their lowest batting average at .113.

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