May 3, 2002 - by
No. 21 FSU Softball Leads The Way With Four All-ACC Selections
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For the seventh time in 11 years, the Florida State softball team placed more players on the All-ACC team than any other school at the 2002 softball championship banquet held Thursday night. The Seminoles, who are the No. 1 seed in the tournament, which begins Friday, placed four players on the 2002 squad. Senior Leslie Malerich and junior Brandi Stuart were each named to their third consecutive team while sophomore Jessica van der Linden was voted on for the second straight year. Van der Linden is the first Seminole to ever garner conference honors as a freshman and sophomore despite the fact the Florida State has had a league-leading 51 selections in 11 seasons. Senior Kimmy Carter made her first-ever appearance as Seminoles made up one-third of the 12-member team.

The Tribe’s four selections mark the eighth time in 11 years that they have either lead the conference or tied for the conference lead in All-Conference selections. Florida State has now placed an ACC record 51 players on All-ACC softball teams in the conference’s 11 years of sponsoring the sport and 39% of 131 All-ACC selections have been Seminoles.

Leslie Malerich

Malerich, an All-American selection in 2001, ranked second in ERA at 1.25 in the ACC and leads the conference in wins (28), shutouts (11), saves (4), innings pitched (240.1), appearances (43), games started (33) and complete games (28). She has held opponents to a .202 batting average, good for sixth in the ACC and ranks third in strikeouts with 216, averaging 6.29 a game. In ACC games, she ranked first in wins with four and saves with two and is tied for first in complete games with three. The Merrillville, IN native is also tied for third, with fellow teammate Jessica van der Linden, in strikeouts with 19, averaging 5.32 a game and has held her conference foes to a .260 batting average, good for eighth place. She ranks second in innings pitched (25.0) and appearances (6) and is tied for second in shutouts (1). Malerich is currently seventh in the nation in victories and first for saves. She leads the team in earned run average (1.25), wins (28), innings pitched (240.1), games started (33), batters struck out (216), saves (4) and appearances (43). The senior is tied for second in opposing batting average (.202) and her 43 appearances in 2002 ranks her fourth in a single season at FSU. Malerich’s 240.1 innings pitched rank her fifth and her 28 wins in 2002 rank her sixth for the all-time best single seasons in program history. For her career, Malerich ranks first among Florida State pitchers in career appearances (167), innings pitched (913.2) and wins (100). The senior has won 100 of FSU’s 198 wins during her four-year career and she now she ranks third in career strikeouts (716) and fourth in career shutouts (44).

Cerritos, CA native and All-American candidate Stuart is in the midst of the most prolific season in the 24-year history of Seminole Softball, which is saying a lot on a team that has produced 21 All-Americans including five first team selections. She was named to the Verizon District III Academic All-American for the second consecutive season and was invited to Team USA Softball National Team Camp based on her numbers this year. She is just the second Seminole to ever be invited to try out for the US National Team. She is currently 18th in the nation in batting average and triples and fourth in steals. She established career highs in average, runs, triples, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, walks and steals and she hit 64 percentage points higher and slugged 157 percentage points higher this year than her career average. The second baseman knocked in nine more runs, had one more triple, five more home runs, eight more RBIs, six more walks and eight more steals in 2002 then her previous best season and she leads the team in batting average (.413), runs scored (58), total bases (125), at bats (179).

Brandi Stuart

Stuart ranks third in batting average in the conference at .413, ranks first in triples with seven and runs scored with 58. She was second in stolen bases with 50 and an on base percentage of .507 and tied for second in hits with 74. Stuart was third in walks (34) and total bases (125) and she has a slugging percentage of .698 with 50 singles, seven doubles, seven triples and ten home runs, which is good for third in the conference. The second baseman’s 44 RBIs and 10 home runs are good for fourth and fifth, respectively. Against teams in the ACC, Stuart ranked fourth in average, batting .429, lead the conference in triples with two, runs scored with nine, and tied for first in stolen bases with four. She slugged a conference leading 1.000 percent, with two singles, one double, two triples, and one home run in only 14 at bats. She is tied for first in on base percentage at .619 with fellow teammate Kimmy Carter and finished third in walks with seven, averaging a little more than a walk a game. She was also tied for third in RBIs with six and tied for fifth in total bases with 14.

Kimmy Carter

Carter ranks third in Atlantic Coast Conference play with 46 RBIs, is tied for fourth in triples with four and her 26 walks on the season and an on base percentage of .400 is good for eighth and ninth in the, respectively. Against FSU’s four conference foes, Carter ranks first in batting with a .579 average, 117 percentage points higher than the second ranked player in the conference and she finished the regular season first in RBIs (9), second in hits (11) and tied for second in triples (1). She is tied for first with an on base percentage of .619 and fourth in total bases with 14 with fellow teammate Brandi Stuart. She holds a slugging percentage of .737, with nine singles, one double, and one triple in only 19 at-bats, which is good enough for fourth in the conference. In 2002, Carter led the Seminoles in runs batted in (46) and was tied for the team lead in games started (63), was tied for second on the team in triples (4), was third in hits (53), at bats (172), walks (26) and tied for third in stolen bases (7). The Palm Beach Gardens native ranked fourth among Seminoles in average (.308), total bases (74), sacrifice bunts (9) and on base percentage (.400) and for her career, Carter now ranks second amongst Seminoles in runs batted in with 129 and third in walks with 84. She also ranks sixth in both games played and at bats by a Seminole. Her 203 career hits ranks her eighth and she is just two games away from moving into first on the all-time games played list and is already the all-time career leader for at bats. Most amazingly, Carter is in the midst of a streak of 235 consecutive starts dating back to her freshman season.

With her selection to the All-ACC team Thursday night, van der Linden becomes just the first player in FSU history to appear on the team as a freshman and a sophomore. The Cerritos, CA native plays both in the outfield and inside the circle and excelled at both positions. On the mound in 2002, van der Linden ranks third in the ACC in games started with 28 and in opponent’s batting average at .186. She ranks fourth in strikeouts (168) and innings pitched (161.2) and tied for fourth in wins (17). The southpaw finished fifth in ERA at 1.39 and in complete games with 16 and she pitched 161.2 innings, which is good for fourth in the conference and her four shutouts rank sixth. Against conference opponents van der Linden ranks third in ERA at 1.56 and wins with two and she is tied for third in strikeouts (19), with fellow teammate Leslie Malerich, averaging 7.39 K’s a game. During the regular season, she held her conference foes to a .192 batting average, good for third overall and she appeared and started in three games for the Seminoles. Set career highs in 2002 for wins, appearances, starts, innings pitched and shutouts. Van der Linden led the team in opposing batting average (.186)…she was second on the team in earned run average (1.39), wins (16), innings pitched (161.2), games started (28), batters struck out (168), and appearances (28).

Jessica van der Linden

Despite playing in seven fewer games in 2002 compared to her rookie season, van der Linden set career marks for batting average, runs, triples, home runs, slugging percentage and walks. She led the team in doubles (31), tied for the lead in games started (63) and she ranks second on the team in batting average (.354), total bases (85), at bats (175), slugging percentage (.486), hits (62), walks (33), and on base percentage (.454). She is also third in runs scored (35) and fourth in runs batted in (31). In the ACC, she ranks sixth in batting average at .354, hits with 62 and on base percentage at .454. Her 33 walks is good for fourth in the conference and she is tied for fourth in triples with four, fifth in doubles with 12 and tied for eighth in total bases with 85. Van der Linden slugged .486 with 45 singles, 12 doubles, four triples, and one home run, good for eighth in the conference and she ranks tenth in batting average at .316. She finished tied for 3rd in runs scored with six, averaging a run a game in conference play and compiled an on base percentage of .458, good for eighth.

Florida State opens conference tournament play Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles open up with the winner of the day’s first game between North Carolina and Virginia at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the 2002 ACC Softball Tournament including game times and ticket prices, please visit our official athletic website at

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