Feb. 3, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the 17th time in the past 23 seasons, the Florida State softball team opened its season with a doubleheader sweep. The 15th-ranked Seminoles (2-0-0) downed Georgia Southern (0-4-0) 4-0 in the second half of Sunday’s season-opening twin bill and have now started a season 2-0 for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. Reigning ACC Rookie of the Year Jessica van der Linden (1-0) pitched a complete game two-hitter while going three-for-three at the plate as the Seminoles jumped on top of Eagle starter Crystal Crews with three runs in the first inning.
“It was a good start to the season,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “We struggled with the fundamentals at times but that is to be expected on day one. Our pitching was strong today allowing just three hits in the two games and our bats came through despite the fact we didn’t take advantage of all of our opportunities.”
Florida State wasted little time in jumping on the Eagles after taking the first game of the day 7-0. Shundra Colzie drew a walk to start the inning and Bryttani Lindheim sacrificed her over to second. Kimmy Carter, who went one-for-two with three RBIs in the opener, tripled in her first at bat driving in the first run of the game. Carter was followed by All-American Brandi Stuart who doubled to left center, scoring Carter to stake FSU to a 2-0 lead. The junior second baseman, who scored two runs and stole two bases in the first game, proceeded to steal third for her third swipe of the day. After a Marier walk and a steal by pinch runner Skyla Cox, Jessica van der Linden singled through the left side scoring Stuart and put the Seminoles up 3-0.
Stuart got the Seminoles going again in the third when she singled through the right side and then stole second and third for her fourth and fifth steals of the afternoon. After Stuart waited on third through the next two outs, Jessica van der Linden came up to the plate with a chance to help her own cause. The sophomore singled up the middle scoring Stuart. It was van der Linden’s second RBI of the day and the fourth run scored for Stuart.
Van der Linden went on to cruise from there allowing just two hits the rest of the way to move to 1-0 on the season. She also hit .600 on the day going three-for-five with two RBIs. Stuart finished the afternoon with a .714 batting average going five-for-seven, with an RBI, four runs scored and five steals in five attempts and Carter also had a big day in the opener with four RBIs on a two-for-five day at the plate.
The Seminoles return to action Tuesday when they travel to Macon, GA for a doubleheader with the Mercer Bears. That will be the last action for FSU before they welcome in No. 9 Washington, No. 22 South Carolina, 2001 NCAA Tournament team FAU and Louisville for next weekend’s Seminole Challenge at the Seminole Softball Complex. For complete coverage of Seminole softball please visit our official athletic website at www.seminoles.com.