March 8, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Junior All-American candidate Jessica van der Linden just keeps getting better and better for the 14th-ranked Florida State Seminoles (17-7). After setting a career high with 11 strikeouts Wednesday, the junior came back three days later and broke that career high on top of throwing the fifth no-hitter of her career. The junior’s 13 K’s mark the third straight game in which she has fanned double digit batters as she pitched FSU to a 1-0 win over Winthrop (6-12) at the Seminole Invitational. The Tribe is now 2-0 in Pool A.
Shandra Colzie led off the game with a sharp single up the middle and was sacrificed to second on Tatiana George’s bunt. Before Brandi Stuart had a chance to drive her home, Colzie was picked off trying to steal third and Kelli Johnson (4-6) got out of the inning with her first strikeout of the game. Van der Linden cruised through the order in the bottom of the first as she recorded her first two K’s of the game.
The Seminoles couldn’t get anything going in the top of the second but in the bottom of the frame van der Linden was still throwing heat from inside the circle. The junior All-American candidate struck out the side as she K’ed her fourth batter in succession as the game moved to the third.
Van der Linden kept her strike out streak going in the third as she fanned her fifth in a row. After a ground out interrupted the streak, the lefty got her seventh K in three frames to move the game into the fourth.
Sophomore pitcher Kelli Johnson (4-5) held the Seminoles at bay again in the fourth as van der Linden went back on the hunt for K number eight. The California native struck out two of three Winthrop batters in the bottom the inning as she upped her total to nine for the game and closed in on her season high of 11 set Wednesday at Troy State.
Florida State recorded just its third hit of the game off Johnson in the fifth. Carly Brieske’s two-out single gave FSU just its third baserunner of the day but didn’t lead to a run for the Tribe. In the bottom of the inning van der Linden got the Eagles in order again as she hit double digit K’s for her second straight game.
It took five innings but the Seminoles finally got on the board in the sixth. Shandra Colzie started things off with her second hit of the day and George once again sacrificed her to second. Stuart then got plunked in the head by an errant Johnson pitch and van der Linden singled to load the bases. Lesley Palmer knocked in the RBI on a fielder’s choice giving FSU the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth van der Linden equaled her season high with her 11th K but lost her perfect game bid on a walk. Freshman catcher Billie Anne Gay then retired the Eagles when she threw out her 11th would-be base stealer in 20 attempts this season. Van der Linden then set a new-season high for K’s in a game as she got her 12th batter
Florida State returns to action at the 20th Annual Seminole Invitational Tournament Saturday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. as they face Penn State. The game versus the Nittany Lions is the Tribe’s last in pool play. They begin championship play tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The location of the game will be determined by the Tribe’s finish in pool play. For tomorrow’s game location and more information on the 2003 Florida State softball team and the 2003 Seminole Invitational Tournament, please log on to seminoles.com, the official athletic home for Florida State athletics on the internet.