Denver, CO – The National Pro Fastpitch league have announced their 2008 All-NPF Team and the winners of the 2008 special awards. The league announced the winners at the first-ever FanFest event held on Thursday in Kimberly, Wisconsin, site of the 2008 NPF Championship Series.
The All-NPF Team consists of 18 athletes. Six at-large winners were named, as were four pitchers, and one player for the eight remaining positions. Below is a list of the winners.
2008 ALL-NPF TEAM
Katie Burkhart, Philadelphia Force
The rookie out of Arizona State University and winning pitcher of the 2008 Women’s College World Series final game posted a 13-5 record. Burkhart’s 131.2 innings pitched was tied for 2nd place in the NPF and is a new Philadelphia Force season and career record. Her 149 strikeouts on the season placed her third in the NPF for the 2008 season and it sets a new Force season and career record. Burkhart started 18 games for the Force and had 15 complete games, which is good for 2nd place in the NPF and sets a new Force season and career record. She finished with a 1.88 ERA which was 2nd in the NPF and was a member of Team NPF
Eileen Canney, New England Riptide
Canney was the Riptide’s first round draft pick in 2007 and second overall in the league. Canney made an immediate impact that year sporting a 9-6 record and leading the league in both ERA, with a 1.17, and strikeouts with 137. Canney’s mastery continued in 2008 as she tied for the league lead in wins with 13 and was second in strikeouts with 150. This year she also led the league in innings pitched, also with 150, and complete games with 18. The 18 complete games is a league record and incredibly was done with only 19 starts. A big game pitcher, Canney pitched a shutout in the opening game of last year’s playoffs and won her last two starts of the year, yielding only one run in 14 innings as the Riptide made the playoffs going away.
Sarah Pauly, Washington Glory
NPF honors have bestowed Sarah Pauly in the past. The 2006 NPF Pitcher of the Year came to Washington in 2007 as one of the league's top pitchers and has remained so since her first game in the NPF after graduating from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Pauly held the league lead in wins and strikeouts at some point during the 2008 season, however was always on top of the league in ERA finishing with a 1.74 ERA. Her dominance in the circle continued during the 2008 season as she recorded 112 strikeouts on the season, marking the third straight season she has eclipsed the century mark in strikeouts.
Angela Tincher, Akron Racers
The USA College Softball Player of the Year, pitched a team-high 131.2 innings en route to a 12-11 record for the Racers this past summer. It was no surprise that Tincher lead the league with 157 strikeouts after breaking the 2,000-strikeout mark in her final season at Virginia Tech. Tincher posted a 2.03 ERA good enough for third place on the NPF leader board. Her world-wind summer included a trip to Los Angeles for the 2008 ESPY Awards. Angela was a one of three nominees for the Best Female College Athlete.
Kristen Butler, Akron Racers
Butler, the Racers veteran catcher, turned in remarkable offensive and defensive performances this summer. Joining the Racers after a successful stint in Japan with the Denso team, Butler continued to deliver for Akron in 2008. She lead the team with a.317 batting average (4th in the NPF), blasting 10 homeruns, (3rd in the NPF), nine doubles and collecting a team high 34 RBIs (2nd in the NPF). Her .634 slugging percentage and her .421 on base average clearly ranked her among the top offensive players in the NPF.
Although her offensive numbers were impressive, it’s defensively where she separates herself from the opposition. As the Racers catcher for the past three seasons, Butler has developed into the league best defender behind the dish. Her ability to gun down opponents and protect the plate has gained her the respect of coaches, players and fans.
1st Base (1)
Lyndsey Angus, New England Riptide
Angus has been a mainstay for the Riptide since their inception in 2004. Along with Jocelyn Forest she is one of two players who have played with the Riptide all five years. Each year she has been an integral part of the line-up and is one of the main reasons that the Riptide have been to the playoffs four out of five years, including the last three. The highlight of her career was in 2006 when she helped lead the Riptide to an NPF championship and garnered the league Player of the Year honors with a .345 batting average. Among active players she is the league’s toughest to strike out, with a microscopic career total of 46 in 796 plate appearances. This year was another good year for Angus as she batted .315 and led the league in on base percentage with .503. Defensively Angus is the most diverse player in the league. After starring at both 2nd base and catcher in college, she took over in 2004 as the Riptide first baseman and has also played in the outfield. In fact, during her career Angus has played seven positions, missing only centerfield and pitcher.
2nd Base (1)
Emily Friedman, Philadelphia Force
The slick fielding third-year veteran had a career season with the Force. Defensively, Friedman handled 167 of 168 chances at second base cleanly, only committing one error on the season. At the plate, Friedman provided the Force three walk-off hits (a home run, a double, and a single). She batted a career high .286 on 36/126 hitting. Her 36 hits, a career high for her, were fourth on the Force. Friedman, a starter of 45 of the team’s 48 games, was second the team with nine sacrifices on the year.
3rd Base (1)
Stacy May, Chicago Bandits
Third baseman May was in the running for the Triple Crown most of the season. May led off for Chicago and constantly found ways to get on base. May was second in the NPF with a .391 batting average and tied with the Washington Glory's Oli Keohohou and Sara Larquier for the league lead with 13 home runs. She also was tied for second in the NPF (Akron Racers' Kristen Butler) with 34 RBIs. May led the NPF in at-bats (156), runs (39) hits (61) and slugging percentage (.686). Her seven doubles and .463 on-base-percentage put her in the league's top five. May was the 2006 NPF Rookie of the Year and made the 2006 All-NPF Team at third base.
Chelsea Spencer, Philadelphia Force
Spencer is in her fourth NPF season and batted .276 on the year. She was fifth in the NPF in hits with 42 and second in the league with 28 runs scored, which led the Force. The shortstop Spencer led the Force with 26 RBIs and was tied for fifth in the NPF in that category. Her hits and runs scored totals are new single-season career highs. Spencer played with Team NPF early in 2008.
Jaime Clark, Chicago Bandits
Clark hit clean up for the Bandits and started in right field, left field and shortstop. Clark led the NPF with 38 RBI's and 12 doubles. Clark's 11 home runs ranked fourth in the league and she also recorded 24 runs, 40 hits and 38 RBIs. Clark made the 2005 NPF West All Star team as an infielder. She was an All-NPF at-large selection in both 2006 and 2007
Sharonda McDonald, Philadelphia Force
The second year pro, McDonald, batted .299 on the season which placed her ninth in the NPF for 2008. She was ranked third in the NPF with 26 runs scored and fourth in hits with 44. Both of these totals are new career highs for the centerfielder. McDonald finished second in stolen bases with a career-high 16 on the season. She started in all 43 games in which she played this season and was a member on Team NPF.
Kellie Wilkerson, Philadelphia Force
The fifth-year NPF veteran led all hitters with a .407 average. The first baseman/outfielder was second in the league in hits with 46. Wilkerson posted an on-base percentage of 0.492, which was good for second place in the NPF. She was second on the Force in RBIs with 22 and her slugging percentage of .549 was the team’s best. Wilkerson was a member of Team NPF.
Gina Carbonatto, New England Riptide
Carbonatto came to the Riptide in 2007 after completing one of the most successful collegiate careers at U of Pacific where she had a lifetime average of .401. In her rookie year she batted .295. One of the top defensive outfielders to ever play the game, Carbonatto frustrated hitters time and time again in center field as she tracked down balls and made tough catches routine, and also made some seemingly impossible catches. In two years Carbonatto has only committed one error and despite the large gaps at her home field, few balls made it to the wall either in the air or on the ground. The highlight of the year was her appearance on Fox Sports highlight of the week when she made three spectacular catches in one inning. Carbonatto also contributed to the Riptide offense as she was second on New England with 21 runs scored.
Rachel Folden, Chicago Bandits
The Bandits drafted catcher Foldenwith the seventh overall pick and first in the second round from Marshall University. Folden was inserted into the lineup right away and made a big impact on offense. Folden tied Clark with 11 home runs and was fourth in the NPF with 32 RBIs. Folden hit .311 with 38 hits and 25 runs. She recorded a .631 slugging-percentage with a .421 on-base-percentage. Folden was a clutch player and showed no fear at the plate as she hit the game winning shot on more than one occasion. Folden has the most career home runs, hits and RBIs in Marshall history. Her senior year she won the Conference USA Player of the Year and made the C-USA All-Conference First-Team all four years.
Lindsay Gardner, Rockford Thunder
Around the league Thunder second baseman Lindsay Gardner has always been known as a top defensive player, evident by her 2004 Defensive Player of the Year Award. In a year in which she only committed two errors, the five-year pro from Texas, had her best overall season at the plate. Gardner finished the 2008 campaign as the team’s leading hitter in several categories, including average, slugging percentage, doubles, RBIs, hits and at-bats. Her double (7) and RBI (26) totals also were good enough to place her in the league’s top five.
Oli Keohohou, Washington Glory
When one takes a look at all-time records, the first name they will see in home runs and RBI is that of Oli Keohohou. The all-time NPF career leader in home runs with 38 and RBI with 124 tied for the league lead in home runs this season with teammate Sara Larquier. Her 103 career walks put her third on the all-time list and her .607 slugging percentage is third all time among batters with 100 or more at bats. In 2008, Keohohou was tied for the lead in home runs with 13 and tied in walks with 35. She posted a .309 batting average and was tied for fourth in RBIs with a 32. A veteran of four NPF seasons, Keohohou came to the NPF after stints at Brigham Young University and Long Beach State University.
Sara Larquier, Washington Glory
A graduate of the University of Virginia and a veteran of three NPF seasons, Sara Larquier came into her own this season as she hit a career-high 13 home runs and 30 RBI. The 13 home runs tied her for the league-lead in home runs with teammate Oli Keohohou. Her 32 hits combined with 13 runs, also personal bests on the pro level, helped the Glory to their second consecutive playoff berth. Larquier has helped to lead her team to the playoffs all three years she's been playing in the NPF.
Lisa Modglin, New England Riptide
Modglin was signed by the Riptide as a free agent last year after leading the nation in batting average for most of the year while at Cal Poly, before finishing third in a tough conference. Her .476 average was good enough to set an all time conference record and give her Player of the Year honors. Modglin was platooned most of last year, batting .255 in 55 at bats. In 2008 she came into her own, batting .308, eighth in the league and belting three home runs. Her .423 slugging percentage was tops on the Riptide. Modglin has been a presence in the outfield for the Riptide this year, making some superb catches in both left and right field.
The top four teams will begin postseason play on Friday evening in Kimberly, Wis. The first seed Chicago Bandits will take on the No. 4 seed New England Riptide in game one at 6 p.m. Game two of the night will be No. 2 seed Philadelphia Force and the No. 3 seed Washington Glory scheduled to start at approximately 8:45 p.m. CDT.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.cardinalyouthsoftball.com. A series pass is just $35. Passes for only Friday or Saturday action is $15. Sunday passes are $25.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).