Feb. 16, 2004
Greensboro, NC –
Things are going pretty well for the 16th-ranked Florida State softball team. The Tribe is off to an 8-0 start, they are winning games by an average margin of six runs per game and they are off to their best start in a decade. Except for a little rain, the season is going fairly well and it got even better on Tuesday. For the second consecutive week an FSU player has taken home ACC Player of the Week honors. Elisa Vasquez picked up the honor last week and it was fellow senior All-American Jessica van der Linden’s turn this week. This is the third ACC Player of the Week honor for the senior.
Van der Linden continued to show why she was a first team All-American in 2003 last week. The senior led FSU in nine offensive categories and six pitching categories as Florida State went 4-0 sweeping doubleheaders from Mercer and Southern Mississippi. She led the Seminoles is average (.545), runs (5), hits (6), doubles (2), home runs (1), walks (4) and on base percentage (.667). In the circle, van der Linden led the Tribe in wins (2), ERA (0.81), runs (1), earned runs (1) and fewest walks (1). She has now hit in seven straight games, which is tied for the second longest hitting streak of her four-year career.
The southpaw was simply awesome in game two of the Mercer twin bill in relief of freshman Amy Harrison. The Tribe coaches tried to get the young pitcher some experience but after giving up a two-run HR to tie the game, they brought van der Linden in from the outfield to take over. On a 45 degree night, van der Linden took the hill with no warm-up and struck out 10 of the 11 batters she faced as FSU cruised to an 8-2 win.
Versus USM, the senior had the best all-around doubleheader of her four-year career. She went 4-for-5 with five runs scored, two doubles, a home run, four RBIs, nine total bases and a 1.800 slugging percentage. She was also on base almost 86% of the time. In her start on the mound, she breezed to another win and extended her scoreless inning streak to 21.1 innings before a run scored on a double steal in the fourth against USM.
The Seminoles return to action Tuesday versus Georgia Southern in Tallahassee. The doubleheader is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. Prior to the first game, there will be a ceremony to honor head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf for her 1,000th NCAA victory. For more information on the Florida State softball team and the 2004 schedule, please log on to www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State University.