March 18, 2004
Starkville, MS –
Seminole pitcher/outfielder Jessica van der Linden was named NFCA National Player of the Week Wednesday. This is the third time in her career she has been named a national player of the week and this is her second national player of the week honor from the NFCA. The senior swept the national weekly awards this week as she was named national player of the week by USA Softball as well. This is the fourth time on school history a Seminole softball player has garnered national player of the week honors.
“This is a huge honor for me and our program. This is important to me because it means I was successful in helping this team continue to move towards its goals,” said van der Linden. “I am by no means satisfied with my play and I know there is a lot of room for improvement but the main thing is we are playing well as a team. I don’t feel I am playing to my potential yet and that makes this an even bigger surprise to me.”
“I think it is a great honor for Jessica to be named the National Player of the Week by NFCA,” head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “She has had a great beginning of the season with some strong performances against some really good teams. We are really excited about this honor being considered the top player among all the teams in the country for the week is a true accomplishment.”
van der Linden dominated on the hill and at the plate helping lead No. 4 FSU to an 8-0 mark last week including wins over three teams that are or were ranked (No. 11 Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas A&M) as the Tribe captured the 2004 Florida State Invitational Tournament championship and she was named tournament MVP. The 2003 first team All-American started three games for FSU and went 3-0 in the circle with a 0.00 ERA. Against No. 11 Michigan, Texas A&M and Central Michigan, van der Linden allowed just five hits while striking out 22 batters and issuing only three walks. The three shutouts raised her total to 10 in 15 starts and the hurler has now gone 22 consecutive innings without allowing a run while raising her record to 14-2 and lowering her season ERA to 0.28.
At the plate she was just as dominant. The junior hit .409, slugged .591, scored six runs, hit two triples and drove in seven RBIs. She drew three walks and didn’t strikeout once in 22 at bats. She also had a sac fly, stole two bases and was perfect in the field. She recorded a hit in six of FSU’s eight games and had two multi-RBI games last week as well. Her two-RBI single in the third scored the winning runs in an 8-0, five inning win over Texas A&M. She also limited the Aggies to one hit while striking out 10 on the mound in the impressive win. In the FSU Invitational championship game versus No. 11 Michigan, van der Linden held the Wolverines to just three hits, tying a season-low for U-M. She didn’t walk a single Michigan batter.
Florida State continues play at the prestigious Kia Klassic Tournament versus No. 20 Nebraska in a game scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. EST. The Seminoles conclude pool play versus UNLV Friday, March 19. The game versus the Running Rebels will be available via Game Tracker exclusively at www.seminoles.com.