Feb. 8, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
If there was any doubt as to Seminole senior Jessica van der Linden’s credentials as a first team All-American, the senior’s dominating start to 2004 should end any questions. The Cerritos, CA native had another huge game Sunday downing 2003 NCAA Tournament team Minnesota 3-0. The southpaw shutout the Gophers (1-3) as she allowed just three hits and struck out 16 batters as she raised her shutout streak to 14 innings to start the year. She also came through at the plate as her two-run double broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth inning. The win raised FSU’s record to 3-0 and clinched the 2004 Seminole Classic Tournament title.
“We didn’t hit as well today as we did yesterday and I think you have to credit Minnesota’s pitcher,” said head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “Their pitcher had a great rise ball and a good change-up. She kept us off balance most of the game but I just think she got a little tired as the game wore on.”
Van der Linden is now 2-0 on the year and has not allowed a single run in her two starts. She has 25 K’s in two games and opponents are hitting just .146 against her. On top of that she leads the team in doubles and on base percentage so far this season.
“I think was a great team win today,” said van der Linden. “BillieAnne (Gay) did another great job behind the plate, she keeps bailing me out. It was a good day for the team overall.”
Van der Linden opened the game by striking out three of the four Golden Gopher batters she faced in the top of the first. The three K’s raised her total to 11 in just eight innings already in 2004. Minnesota starter Piper Marten (0-1) matched the FSU All-American fanning the side in the bottom of the frame sending the game to the second inning.
The strikeouts kept coming for both pitchers as the game progressed into the third inning. FSU’s van der Linden had eight through three innings while Marten set down the first seven batters she saw via the K before Beth Wade singled into center field in the home half of the third. Marten came right back and fanned the next two batters increasing her three inning total to nine.
In the bottom of the fourth, FSU had its best chance to break through against Marten. The senior issued two-out walks to All-Americans van der Linden and Vasquez bringing up the Tribe’s hottest hitter in freshman Wootson. Marten proceeded to walk her on four straight pitches leaving it up to Brieske to bring the runs home. The sophomore had hits in her last two at bats including a home run but she was unable to break the deadlock. The center fielder sent a dribbler back to the mound to end the threat.
“We stayed in the game and kept battling against a good pitcher today,” said van der Linden. “We made adjustments but give credit to Minnesota’s pitcher for pitching a great game.”
The Golden Gophers tried their luck in the top of the fifth as they drew a lead off walk and sacrificed the runner to second base. After giving up another walk, van der Linden got out of the jam by inducing a shallow pop up and then fanning her tenth batter of the game.
Wade tried to start a Seminole rally in the bottom of the fifth as she recorded her second hit of the game. The senior was the only FSU hitter able to record a hit versus Marten up to that point. After being pinch run for by Kim Hoffer, Marten picked up her 11th K of the game bringing up LaShaun Davis who flied out to right. The hurler couldn’t put an end to the minor threat though as Tatiana George singled through the left side bringing up van der Linden with a chance to help her own cause. The first team All-American did just that as she sent a shot into the gap in left center plating both runners. It was the California native’s second double of the year and her first RBIs of the young season.
After giving her team the lead, van der Linden looked to slam the door shut on her second consecutive shutout and win. The hurler recorded three more strikeouts in the sixth raising her total to 13.
The Seminoles return to action later today as they wrap-up the 2004 Seminole Classic with a game against in-town rival Florida A&M (1-5). The game is slated to start at approximately 3:00 p.m. For more information on the 2004 Seminole softball team, please log on to the official athletic website for FSU at www.seminoles.com.