June 16, 2004
Tallahassee, FL –
Seminole softball player Jessica van der Linden took another step towards being named the top female collegiate athlete in the nation Wednesday when she was named a top five finalist for the Honda Broderick Cup. van der Linden was one of 12 female athletes that qualified for the award when she was named the Honda Award winner for softball. The list was pared to five on Wednesday and the Women’s Collegiate Athlete of the Year award winner will be announced this Monday in New York.
The Seminole hurler joins senior swimmer Tara Kirk of Stanford University, who set the world record in winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.79 at the NCAA championships; soccer’s Catherine Reddick of the University of North Carolina, a senior who was named Most Valuable Player on defense as UNC won the NCAA championship; volleyball’s April Ross of the University of Southern California, a senior outside hitter who led her team to the NCAA championship; and basketball’s Diana Taurasi of the University of Connecticut, a senior guard who led her team to its third straight NCAA championship.
During the 2004 softball season van der Linden became the first Seminole in school history to post two seasons with a .400 average and she did it in back-to-back years as she raised her average to .401 on the year by hitting .714 at the Women’s College World Series. van der Linden broke FSU single season records for strikeouts on the hill and RBIs at the plate and she also set new career marks for walks, RBIs, doubles and strikeouts. She finished the season ranked second in the nation in ERA, sixth in strikeouts, 14th in the nation in victories and 32nd in batting average. No player in America had a higher batting average and a lower ERA than the 2004 USA Softball National Player of the Year.
Not only did the Cerritos, CA native go 29-8 with a 0.60 ERA in the circle, she led FSU with 20 game-winning RBIs. Of FSU’s 62 wins, van der Linden won 37 of those game’s with either a game-winning RBI or a victory on the mound. She has recorded wins on the hill over No. 8 Washington (twice), No. 20 Oklahoma, No. 24 Texas A&M, No. 7 Michigan, No. 15 Fresno State, No. 16 Auburn and two versus No. 12 Oregon. She also had game-winning RBIs versus No. 20 Oklahoma, No. 24 Texas A&M, No. 15 Fresno State and No. 21 Florida as well. She threw three no-hitters and a perfect game this season raising her career total to nine no-hitters and two career perfect games.
The American Honda Motor Car Co., Inc. donated $5,000.00 to the women’s athletic program at Florida State on van der Linden’s behalf. A press conference announcing the winner of The Honda-Broderick Cup will be held in New York City at the Low Library at Columbia University June 21, 2004 at 11:00 a.m.