Carpenter Named Female Athlete of the Year

July 7, 1999

East Lansing, Mich. - Five Michigan State University student-athletes have been recognized for excellence both on the playing field and in the classroom and have earned the school's highest athletic awards for the 1998-99 school year.

The awards include the George Alderton Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the Big Ten Conference Medals of Honor, the Chester Brewer Leadership Award and the Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award.

Basketball player Mateen Cleaves (Flint) and hockey player Mike York (Waterford) have been named co-winners of the George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year award, marking just the third time since 1982 that co-recipients have been selected. Softball player Carrie Carpenter (Dearborn Heights) takes home the top two honors for women, the Alderton Female Athlete of the Year and the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor.

Cross country and track and field standout Steve Schell (Dearborn) is the male recipient of the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor, while field hockey player Melissa Pryor (Ann Arbor) is the recipient of the Chester Brewer Leadership Award and the Dr. James Feurig Achievement and Service Award.


(Presented to the top female athlete of 1998-99)


(Presented to a male and female student-athlete at each conference institution for outstanding athletic and academic achievement)

WINNER: Carrie Carpenter (Softball)

Senior Carrie Carpenter saved the best for last, turning in a career year in her final season as a Spartan. The centerfielder was second on the team with a career-high .344 batting average, good for seventh on the MSU single-season chart. A four-year starter, Carpenter led the Spartans with a .380 average in conference play to become just the eighth player in school history to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors.

The Dearborn Heights native guided the Spartans to 41-23 overall record, the third most wins in program history, and a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten with a 13-9 mark. She helped MSU advance to the NCAA Regional Finals in just its second NCAA appearance ever. Carpenter helped lead MSU to more wins (159) than any other class in the 26-year history of Spartan softball.

A second-team All-Great Lakes Region honoree, Carpenter stole 23 bases in 1999 to rank second on the seasonal chart. She ended her career as MSU's all-time leader in that category with 60 steals. Carpenter also proved to be a stellar defensive player, running down numerous balls in the outfield and committing just one error in 95 chances in 1999.

Carpenter ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in games played (231/2nd), batting average (.286/8th), at bats (549/T-6th), hits (157/T-7th), runs (98/T-2nd), walks (47/8th) and sacrifices (43/2nd).

Carpenter carries a 3.64 cumulative grade-point average in family community services. She garnered GTE Academic All-America Softball first team honors, as well as Academic All-Big Ten and GTE Academic All-District IV recognition.

PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: 1998-Jill Lusher (field hockey); 1997-Sevatheda Fynes (track & field); 1996-Val Sterk (volleyball); 1995-Karen Winslow (soccer); 1994-Susan Francis (track & field); 1993-Jodi Blotcher (gymnastics); 1992-Misty Allison (cross country/track & field); 1991-Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse (swimming & diving); 1990-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1989-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1988-Michelle Ingalls (gymnastics); 1987-Odessa Smalls (track & field); 1986-Mary Schoenle (swimming & diving); 1985-Kelly Becker (volleyball); 1984-Deanne Moore (softball); 1983-Judi Brown (track & field); 1982-Molly Brennan (track & field).

BIG TEN CONFERENCE MEDAL OF HONOR - RECENT FEMALE WINNERS: 1998-Melissa Pryor (field hockey); 1997-Val Sterk (volleyball); 1996-Patti Raduenz (softball); 1995-Laura Bell (cross country/track & field); 1994-Laura Bell (cross country/track & field); 1993-Ruth Aguayo (gymnastics); 1992-Misty Allison (cross country/track & field); 1991-Emily Coatney (soccer); 1990-Eileen Shea (basketball); 1989-Mary Schoenle (swimming & diving); 1988-Kim Hartwick (gymnastics); 1987-Lisa Marino (golf); 1986-Julie Polakowski (basketball); 1985-Kelly Belanger (basketball); 1984-Anne Pewe (cross country/track & field); 1983-Karen Wells (basketball); 1982-Lisa Speaker (golf).