March 23, 2004
Greensboro, NC –
Seminole pitcher/outfielder Jessica van der Linden was named ACC Player of the Week for the fourth time this season Tuesday. This is the seventh straight week that a Florida State softball player has taken home the conference’s weekly honor and it is the sixth time in van der Linden’s career that she has been named ACC Player of the Week. The reigning NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week continued to shine last week as FSU went 6-1 with wins over two more top 20 teams in No. 15 Fresno State and No. 23 Arizona State.
van der Linden led FSU at the plate and in the circle as she and the Seminoles advanced to the semifinals of the prestigious Kia Klassic tournament. The senior was the only Seminole to hit in every game last week despite the fact that FSU saw All-American candidate pitchers Peaches James (Nebraska) and Jamie Southern (Fresno State) in California this past weekend. The Cerritos, CA native hit .438 for the week and slugged .625 against some of the nation’s best teams. She also was 2-1 with a 0.32 ERA and a save.
She started the week with her 10th multi-hit game of the year as she doubled and tripled in game one of the doubleheader versus Troy State. In game two she not only drove in another RBI but she fanned 14 Trojan batters and allowed no earned runs as she picked up her 13th win of the year. FSU then traveled across country to compete in the Kia Klassic Tournament that featured nine ranked teams in the 16-team field. The Tribe opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over No. 23 Arizona State but all van der Linden could do was watch as she was sidelined with the stomach flu missing the first game of her career and ending an appearance streak of 232 games. Just hours after first discovering the illness, van der Linden took the circle and pitched a brilliant game versus No. 20 Nebraska. The senior spread out four hits over seven innings and did not issue a single walk but a Nebraska run in the top of the first was all the Huskers needed in a classic pitching duel between two All-Americans (van der Linden and James). van der Linden made sure that was the only loss suffered by FSU in pool play as she came in to work a perfect eighth inning and pick up her first save of the year in a 2-1 win over UNLV. The Seminoles moved into to bracket competition versus No. 15 Fresno State and All-American Southern. The Bulldog pitcher entered the game 16-3 with a 0.15 ERA but van der Linden not only out pitched the Fresno State ace but she got her in the batter’s box as well. The senior had the game winning RBI of Southern and also one-hit the nation’s 15th ranked squad allowing only four base runners all game. She ended her week in a 3-0 win over host school Cal State Fullerton as she singled in another run and kept her six-game hit streak alive.
Florida State returns to action versus Florida International Thursday, March 25. The doubleheader is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. The twin bill will be the second ever FSU softball event broadcast live over the Internet. There is no charge for the radio broadcast and the link to listen to the game is available at www.seminoles.com.