Feb. 3, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State Softball Head Coach Dr. JoAnne Graf has announced the signing of five players from the fall signing period to National Letters of Intent to play for the Lady Seminoles in the 2000-2001 academic year. The group consists of three players from California in catcher/outfielder Julie Jordan of Garden Grove, pitcher Jessica van der Linden of Cerritos and catcher/outfielder Elise Velasco of Hesperia, one player from Georgia in Marietta native Skyla Cox and a junior college transfer, outfielder Monique Marier, from Lake City, Fla.
"I very excited about this class of incoming players," Graf said. "We expect to see immediate playing time from all five, because this is the kind of group that will help take us to the next level and help us compete for a national championship."
Skyla Cox will join the squad from Marietta, Ga., where she plays for Walton High School. A four-year letterwinner in softball, Cox was named the best defensive player from 1997-99 and was a member of the Georgia state champion team in 1998. A team captain, Cox was a second team all-state selection in 1999 after receiving honorable mention honors in 1998. Cox has twice earned Marietta Daily Journal Player of the Week honors and both Georgia high school Player of the Week and Atlanta Journal-Constitution Athlete of the Week honors once. Cox plays summer ball for the East Cobb Force and was named the best defensive player from 1996-99 as well as being a member of the ASA U-18 state champion team.
Julie Jordan will come to FSU from Garden Grove, Calif. A catcher and outfielder for Pacifica High School, Jordan has been a softball letterwinner for four years while also playing volleyball. She has earned honor roll distinction all four years and was named to the principal's list as a sophomore, junior and senior. Jordan was named the Scholar Athlete of the Year at her school in 1998-99. During the summer, Jordan plays for the Firecrackers-Gold which finished seventh at the ASA Gold Nationals.
Jessica van der Linden, a pitcher from Cerritos, Calif., will join the Lady Seminoles from Cerritos High School. A California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) first team selection in 1997 and 1999, van der Linden was pegged the CIF Player of the Year in 1999. She was a second team selection in 1998. The honors started coming in for van der Linden in her freshman season as she was named to the all-league first team, the league's most valuable player and Cerritos High School's rookie of the year. She also received Cerritos High's Most Valuable Player honors from 1997-99 and earned the Varsity Softball Athletic Award. The Long Beach Press Telegram named her to their Dream Team from 1997-99 and she was a member of the CIF Southern Section Division II Champion team in 1999 and runner up team in 1998. Van der Linden is a member of the Orange County Batbusters, who finished fourth at the ASA Nationals in 1999 and ninth in 1997. She also played for the Puerto Rican National Team in June of 1999 as part of the Olympic Qualifier, which was played in Venezuela.
Elise Velasco, a catcher/outfielder from Hesperia, Calif., is a three-year letterwinner from A.B. Miller High School. She was named the Rookie of the Year as a freshman and earned all-league first team honors as a freshman and sophomore. Velasco is also a three-year scholar athlete and was named the Offensive Player of the Year in 1999. She is a member of the U-18 California Gold team Hot Stuff where she batted a .455 as a junior.
Monique Marier will become a Lady Seminole after playing for nearby Lake City Community College for two years. The outfielder from Lake City, Fla., was an NFCA and NJCAA first team All-American selection last year after leading the nation with 27 home runs and 104 RBI's. Marier was named a first team all-conference and all-state selection in 1999 and was named to the all-state tournament team while garnering the Florida Player of the Year honors. She was a four-year letterwinner, all-conference and all-county selection in high school and is a member of the Clearwater High School Hall of Fame. During the summer, Marier plays for the Clearwater Bullets.