June 17, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Juniors Elisa Vasquez and Jessica van der Linden will form the nucleus of next year’s Seminole softball team and they will both start the season as reigning first team Easton All-Americans. The pair was named first team All-Americans by Easton Sports who selects from the schools who are sponsored by the company. Brandi Stuart joins the two Californians as Florida State placed three players on the first and second teams. The only school to place more players on the first and second teams was 2003 national champions UCLA.
Van der Linden was named to the first team after never garnering Easton honors before the 2003 season. Just last month she became just the third junior 1st Team NFCA All-American in school history. The Cerritos, CA native was named a top 10 finalist for USA Softball National Player of the Year honors and was also the 2003 ACC Player of the Year. The junior utility player had one of the most remarkable regular seasons in team history hitting .439, slugging .583, recording 12 doubles, four triples and 33 RBIs. She also posted an on base percentage of .571. Inside the circle, the southpaw won 12 straight decisions to end the season and had a 47-inning scoreless streak at one point. She ranked sixth in the nation in strikeouts and 16th in ERA. With her top 29 NCAA batting average, no player in DI softball had a higher batting average and lower ERA than van der Linden.
Vasquez had a breakthrough season in 2003 after sitting behind second team all-region catcher Kimmy Carter for two seasons and she is garnered All-American honors from Easton and Louisville Slugger/NFCA for the first time in her career in 2003. She led FSU in RBIs and triples, was second on the team in batting average and third in slugging percentage. Her 14 multi-RBI games were the best on the team and she was third on the squad with 13 multi-hit games. On top of leading the team in RBIs, Vasquez was also tops on the squad with 10 game-winning RBIs. The junior didn’t only come through at the plate this season. The Hesperia, CA native finished the regular season with a .992 slugging percentage and she threw out 42% of would-be base stealers.
This is the third consecutive Easton All-America selection for Stuart. She is the only FSU player to garner All-ACC honors four straight years and she also became the first Seminole ever to register 30 or more steals in four consecutive seasons. In 2003, she established career records for home runs, RBIs, walks, games played, games started and consecutive starts. She finished the regular season leading FSU in home runs, slugging percentage, runs scored, total bases and steals and was second on the squad in six other offensive categories. She finished the season ranked eighth in the nation in steals.
For more information on the Seminole softball program or any of FSU’s athletic teams, please log on to www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website of Florida State University.