State College, Pa. - On Thursday afternoon senior Samantha Varela and freshman Madison Clark were named as garnered major awards from coaches around the Penn State University Athletic Conference. For the second straight year, Varela was named player of the year while Clark brought home the league's top pitching award and was named newcomer of the year in the eastern division.
#23 Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) PSUAC Eastern Division Player of the Year
Varela's career has been nothing short of spectacular and in 2019, the senior stepped up her game once more. Varela led the PSUAC in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, walks and runs scored, cementing herself as the premiere weapon in the league this season. Capable of playing nearly anywhere on the field, Varela racked up 10 wins and 65 k's with a 3.74 ERA from the circle for Hazleton. When she wasn't pitching, the senior platooned in the Hazleton outfield and infield while serving as the primary designated hitter for the Lady Lions. Regardless of position, Varela's impressive numbers at the plate have made the Lady Lions a team to watch in 2019. With the postseason yet to play out the senior has totaled 13 home runs, 52 RBI and 46 runs scored with a .448 batting average, ranking her as one the elite players both locally and nationally.
#8 Madison Clark (Emmaus, Pa.) PSUAC Pitcher of the Year / Newcomer of the Year
Clarks' first season for Hazleton has been quite the show. Not only has she been a talented hitter for the Lady Lions sporting a .388 batting average with 32 RBI, Clarks' electric stuff from the circle has been phenomenal. The freshman struck out 88 hitters in 2019 but did it in just 72.1 innings. Those numbers equate to 8.52 strikeouts per seven innings, far and away the highest ratio in the PSUAC eastern division. Clark added seven wins in her first campaign with a team best 3.68 earned run average. She struck out 10 or more hitters in three of 15 starts this season including back to back outings in the PSUAC where she fanned 13 batters and allowed two or fewer hits in six starts on her way to earning a pair of season ending awards in the conference.