April 7, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Last season Florida State collected four ACC Player of the Week honors all season. In 2003 they have already equaled that mark with a month to go after All-America candidate Jessica van der Linden was honored for her performance last week. This is the second time in her career she has won the honor and she has already been named an NFCA National Player of the Week this season. The Seminoles went 4-0 last week and shutout all four of their opponents including two wins over ACC rival North Carolina.
The junior from Cerritos, CA continues to dominate for Florida State and that was the case again last week in a four-game sweep through North Carolina. The All-American candidate went 2-0 in the circle with a 0.00 ERA, as she didn’t allow a single run in either outing. In 14 innings, she struck out 25 batters and issued just two walks. She didn’t allow an extra base hit and held opposing batters to a .128 average. In a key conference game versus the Heels, the junior had a perfect game into the sixth inning and allowed just one hit. She also struck out double digit batters in both games and has now fanned 10 or more batters in five straight games and in eight of her last nine starts. She is also in the midst of a 23-inning scoreless streak.
At the plate, van der Linden had the game-winning RBI in three of FSU’s four wins and had five RBIs in the four wins. She hit .417, scored two runs, hit her ninth double of the year, slugged .500, had an on base percentage of .429 and put up a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in the circle and in center field. After scoring a run and knocking in a run in FSU’s game one win over Elon, the junior had a monster game two. Not only did she strike out 12 and not allow a run, she went 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBIs, a run scored and a double. Her first inning RBI single plated the game-winning run. Van der Linden had the only RBI in FSU’s 1-0 win over UNC in Chapel Hill versus Tar Heel ace Crystal Cox as she went 1 for 2 in the game. In a scoreless game, van der Linden’s sacrifice fly put FSU up in a game they went on to win 1-0. She pitched an absolute gem in game two of FSU’s sweep. The Cerritos, CA native didn’t allow a hit or a walk through 6.1 innings against a Carolina team that hadn’t been shutout since March 8 before the twin bill against FSU. She also plated her third straight game-winning RBI on a bases loaded walk in the third inning.
For the year, van der Linden is hitting .452 and slugging .558. She has scored 26 runs, hit nine doubles and a triple and has 21 RBIs. She has drawn 34 walks compared to just 10 strikeouts. Her on base percentage is .586 and she is a perfect 8 for 8 on steal attempts. In 41 chances in center field and inside the circle she is fielding 1.000. She also has four game-winning RBIs this season. She leads the team in average, doubles, hits, walks and on base percentage. She is also second on the team in runs scored, total bases and slugging percentage. Her batting average is currently 20 percentage points higher than the all-time highest batting average ever at FSU. What she is doing in clutch situations is awesome as well. She is hitting .420 with runners on base, .400 with the bases loaded, .489 with runners in scoring position, .500 with a runner on third and less than two outs and .484 with two outs in an inning. She has nine two out RBIs this year and she is advancing runners successfully 64% of the time. Compared to the numbers Brandi Stuart put up through 39 games in her 1st Team All-American season last year, van der Linden is hitting 62 percentage points higher, has more hits, more doubles, the same amount of RBIs, almost twice as many walks, half as many strike outs and an on base percentage over 110 percentage points higher.
Inside the circle she has been dominant despite playing every inning of every game this season when she isn’t pitching. Jessica is currently 10-4 with a 1.19 ERA. She has 10 complete games and three shutouts. She has thrown two one-hitters and a no hitter in 17 starts and in 118 innings pitched. Jessica has allowed just 20 earned runs and has struck out 167 batters while issuing just 32 walks, which is a strikeout to walk ratio of over 5 to 1. She has struck out double digit batters in her last five starts and in eight of her last nine starts. She is also in the midst of a streak of 23 straight scoreless innings. Sis now just nine strikeouts away from breaking her single season record set in 2002. Teams are also hitting just .129 against Jessica with runners on base and she is currently averaging almost 10 Ks per game.
The Seminoles return to action Wednesday, April 9 at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. as they host UCF (28-21) at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Tribe will be looking to extend their season-high 11-game winning streak as they face the Golden Knights for just the second time in program history. There is no admission charge for regular season games at the Seminole Softball Complex and more information on the 2003 team is available at Florida State athletics’ official home on the web at www.seminoles.com.