June 2, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
Jessica van der Linden’s career at Florida State may have officially come to an end when the Seminoles’ run ended as one of the final six teams at the 2004 Women’s College World Series but that hasn’t stopped her from receiving more awards. The 2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year was the only Seminole named to the 2004 WCWS All-Tournament team and she was also named a finalist for the Honda Award for softball.
van der Linden is one of four finalists left vying for the Collegiate Women Sports Award in softball. The Honda Award is awarded to one athlete in each sport and then a winner is picked from that group to be named The Honda-Broderick Cup winner as the top female athlete in the nation. Darby Cottle is the only Seminole to ever win the Honda Award for softball and no Florida State athlete has ever won The Honda-Broderick Cup. Only two softball players have ever won the Honda-Broderick Cup and both were from UCLA (Natasha Watley and Lisa Fernandez).
van der Linden finished the 2004 season hitting .401 as she became the first ever Seminole to hit .400 in two seasons and she did it in back-to-back years. She finished the year with a new single season record for RBIs (55) and strikeouts (387). With her 10th double of the year at the WCWS she also became to only Seminole ever to record 50 career doubles and the only FSU player ever to record four straight seasons with 10 or more doubles. She set career records for strikeouts RBIs and walks and finished with the second-highest career batting average in FSU history.
On the largest stage of all, the Cerritos, CA native showed the softball world why she was named player of the year. Her .714 batting average and 1.286 slugging percentage were just two of the many reasons she became just the third Seminole ever named to an All-WCWS team. In just seven at bats at the World Series, van der Linden recorded five hits, including a double and a home run, she scored two runs and drove in two RBIs. She didn’t have a single strikeout at the plate either. She also pitched 16 innings including a complete game shutout of No. 7 Washington in an elimination game. She fanned 21 batters and issued just four walks. All four of her runs came versus national runner-up Ca. She did not allow an earned run in either of her other two appearances.
The winner of the Honda Award for softball will be announced June 7th after balloting is complete. All NCAA Senior Women’s Administrator’s will be invited to vote for the winner. Please check back with Seminoles.com to see how van der Linden fared against Alicia Hollowell (University of Arizona), Iyhia McMichael (Mississippi State University) and Kristen Rivera (University of Washington).