Feb. 26, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla –
After finishing play at the Troy Cox Classic in a three-way tie for first with Texas Tech and New Mexico State, the 17th-ranked Seminoles returned to Tallahassee with an MVP award, two All-Tournament team members and an ACC Co-Player of the Week awaiting them. Sophomore Jessica van der Linden picked up the Troy Cox Classic Most Valuable Player Award and FSU’s first ACC Player of the Week honors of the year after pitching a perfect game and not allowing a single earned run in three starts this past weekend. Brandi Stuart and Kimmy Carter were each voted to the Troy Cox Classic All-Tournament team after combining to hit .500 and knocking in a combined 10 RBIs.
Van der Linden had a dominating weekend for the Seminoles, which included her first career perfect game, a streak of 20 innings pitched without giving up an earned run, a 16 inning scoreless streak and a 13 inning hitless streak. At the plate, she was second on the team with a .471 average, led the team with a slugging percentage of .824 and she hit three doubles and a home run while recording three RBIs.
In the seven-inning win over Dayton, van der Linden was masterful in recording the fourth no-hitter of her young career. She matched a career high with 10 K’s versus New Mexico State in a 5-0 complete game win. She also allowed just two hits and walked just one batter. In the championship game versus Texas Tech, the Cerritos, CA native, coming off of a perfect game, held onto a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings and did not allow a single earned run.
She was equally as good at the plate this weekend in saving her two best games for the last day when the championship was on the line. Against Dayton and Texas Tech, she went 5-for-6, scored four runs, and had two RBIs, two doubles and a home run. In 17 at bats she struck out just one time and between pitching and playing in centerfield, she recorded 14 assists. On top of it all, she played all weekend while suffering through a bad case of the flu.
Carter had a hit in five of six games and an RBI in four of the six games at this weekend’s Troy Cox Classic. She led the team with a .533 batting average, eight hits, one home run, seven RBIs, a .500 on base percentage, a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage and she didn’t strike out once. She came through in the biggest game of the weekend versus Texas Tech, which would have given FSU the undisputed title. She went 2-for-4 with three RBIs including a sacrifice fly. In two games against Dayton, Carter went4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs including her first homer of the season as FSU downed Dayton 5-0 and 12-0.
Stuart went 7-for-18 over the weekend with four runs scored, six RBIs, a double, a triple and a homerun. She slugged .722, had 13 total bases, two sacrifices and led the team with four steals on five attempts. In Florida State’s first game versus host New Mexico State, Stuart went 3-for-3 and knocked in four of the Seminoles five runs in the win. She also had a double and a triple in the game. She scored a run in every game over the tournament’s last two days culminating in a big game versus Texas Tech in the would-be championship. Against the Red Raiders, she went 1-for-3, with a run scored, two RBIs, a home run and a walk. She also recorded a sacrifice and didn’t make a single error in the nine innings.
The Seminoles return to action Wednesday night when they travel cross-town to face regional-rival Florida A&M in a game scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch. Florida State then opens up play at the Sunshine Classic when No. 24 Mississippi State, perennial power Texas and Big 12 teammate Kansas come to town. Florida State opens up with Kansas at 6:00 p.m. March 1 and then faces the Bulldogs and Longhorns in back-to-back games Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Championship play begins at 10:00 a.m. Sunday. All games will be played at the Seminole Softball Complex where there is never an admission charge for regular season games. For more information on FSU softball, please visit Florida State’s official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.