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WPSL Announces Postseason Awards
The Women's Pro Softball League named Virginia Roadsters pitcher Kaci Clark the 1999 WPSL Most Valuable Player and the 1999 WPSL Pitcher of the Year after leading the league in wins (23) and strikeouts (168) for the second consecutive season.
Clark finished the 1999 campaign with a record of 23-8 (.742) and the league's second best ERA (1.51). The former UCLA standout allowed 174 hits in 231 innings pitched and accounted for 68% of second-place Virginia's 34 wins. She also led the WPSL in games (38), complete games (26) and shutouts (7). Clark threw a one-hitter, four two-hitters and four three-hitters against WPSL competition this season. The Brentwood, Tenn., native earned AT&T Wireless Services Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season and was named to the 1999 WPSL Stars All-Star team in July. Clark also earned 1998 WPF Pitcher of the Year honors after leading the WPF in wins (27) and strikeouts (210) as a member of the two-time champion Orlando Wahoos. She was traded to the Roadsters for first baseman/pitcher Carla Brookbank after the Wahoos moved to Akron, Ohio, and became the Racers last November.
Tampa Bay FireStix catcher Marty Laudato was named the 1999 WPSL Hitter of the Year after hitting .311 (55-for-177) with eight home runs, 23 runs scored and 36 RBI in 60 games this season. Laudato, a third-year veteran of the WPSL, finished the 1999 campaign ranked second or tied for second in all three triple crown categories: batting average (.311), home runs (eight ) and runs batted in (36). She also ranked fourth in the league with a .480 slugging percentage. The former Bloomsburg (Pa.) University All-American led Tampa Bay in each of those categories. She also hit .441 (26-for-59) with four doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored and 18 RBI in the month of July. Laudato earned Louisville Slugger of the Week honors for the period ending Sunday, July 4 after hitting .615 (8-for-13) with a solo home run and a game-winning grand slam in four games versus the Akron Racers. She was also one of seven FireStix players named to the 1999 WPSL Ã’StripesÃ“ All-Star team.
Georgia Pride second baseman Randi Berg was named the 1999 WPSL Defensive Player of the Year. Berg is the first infielder to be given the award since the WPSL's inception in 1997. The former Fresno State University All-American finished the 1999 season ranked third among second baseman with a fielding percentage of .966. She ranked first among second baseman in assists (92) and fourth in putouts (137) and total chances (237). The Santa Fe Springs, Calif., native also led the WPSLÃ•s middle infielders with 19 double plays in 49 games.
Tampa Bay FireStix head coach Linda Derk was named the 1999 WPSL Coach of the Year after leading the FireStix to a record of 37-29 (.561) and a berth in the 1999 WPSL Championship Series. Derk joined the WPSL last December after three seasons as the head softball coach at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind. The Ligonier, Pa., native was instrumental in assembling Tampa Bay's 1999 roster, which included Canadian Softball Women's National Team member Christine Parris-Washington and former USA Softball Women's National Team members Nancy Evans, Pat Dufficy and DeeDee Weiman-Garcia. Derk led the FireStix to a 7-3 start, the best in team history, and a team-high 37 wins in 1999. She was also instrumental in generating support for the FireStix off the field through speaking engagements, promotional appearances and youth clinics.
Carolina Diamonds third baseman Monica Armendarez won her second consecutive WPSL Home Run Championship after breaking the single-season record of 10 home runs that she shared with Akron Racers slugger Crystl Bustos and Georgia Pride shortstop Crystal Boyd. Armendarez established the new WPSL single-season record for home runs with 12 in a 7-2 victory over the Durham Dragons Friday, Aug. 20. The former Indiana University standout also holds the WPSLÃ•s all-time home run record with 22 career homers. Armendarez began the season with three home runs in her first four games. She homered in her first at-bat of the 1999 campaign and collected two more homers in game one of a May 15th doubleheader versus Durham. The Carlsbad, N.M., native was named to the 1999 WPSL Stripes All-Star team after hitting eight home runs in the first half of the season. She tied her single-season record of 10 with a game-winning solo home run against the Tampa Bay FireStix Aug. 12.