CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Western Carolina softball placed three on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) all-state team with Hunter Gibbons earning first team honors while Madison Armstrong and Courtney Price were placed on the second team.
Gibbons, a sophomore outfielder from Woodleaf, N.C., ended the 2017 season 16th in the nation for doubles per game with 0.33 and also broke the school record for doubles with 16 in the 2017 season. She makes her first appearance on the NCCSIA All-State Softball team after being named to the 2017 Southern Conference Second team to close out the season. She played and started in in all 48 games leading the team with a .318 batting average which was good for the 10th best batting average in the SoCon. Her 47 hits led the team and her nine homeruns on the season to lead the team and tied for fourth in the SoCon. She also paced the team with 40 RBI which ranked third in the SoCon scoring 26 runs.
For the second straight season, Armstrong, a sophomore catcher from Gastonia, N.C., was a NCCSIA All-State selection. She was a 2017 SoCon All-Tournament team selection and a SoCon Second Team All-Conference selection. Armstrong also received academic accolades with a CoSIDA Academic All-District III First Team honor. She played and started in all 48 games ranking second on the team with a .314 batting average. She was also second on the team with 44 hits and 13 doubles (which ranks tied for third in the WCU record books). She had a season-high five homeruns and also had 27 RBI and 28 runs scored and led the team with 11 multiple hit games and also and six multiple RBI games.
Price, a senior outfielder from Matthews, N.C., closes out her storied career with her fourth-straight NCCSIA All-State honor. She played and started in 45 games and was third on the team in batting average in the 2017 season with a .287 batting average. She was also third on the team with 39 hits had nine doubles, two triples, four homeruns, 22 RBI and 25 runs scored. Price put her name all over the career record books starting with the doubles record owning it with 37. She also owns the school record for runs scored ending her career with 110. She also ranks third in the record books for hits in a career with 189. Her 91 RBI ranks fifth in the WCU record books and her five career triples rank third in the WCU record books. Price ended her career with 19 homeruns ranking tied for eighth in the record books, her 91 career RBI ranks fifth in the WCU record books and her 18 career stolen bases rank fifth in the record books.
Nominations were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by NCCSIA members.
Founded in 2002, the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.
NCCSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.
NOTES OF THE 2017 SEASON:
Western Carolina ended the season ranked 15th in the nation for double plays per game averaging 0.50 per game. The Catamounts also broke the school record for the most doubles by a team with 71 in the 2017 season.
The Catamounts broke the program record for double plays turned in a season with 24 snapping the record set by the 2016 season who had 23. The Catamounts also ended the year 24th in the nation for doubles per game with 1.48 per game which also ranked first in the Southern Conference. WCU's .965 team fielding percentage was the second best in program history just behind the 2016 team who had a .971 fielding percentage.
Western Carolina had a few key wins in the 2017 season including splitting a doubleheader with ACC foe Virginia Tech taking the second game 6-5 off a walk-off RBI single by Gibbons. WCU also took the SoCon series against 2016 SoCon Tournament winner, and 2017 SoCon Tournament runner-up, Samford. The Catamounts have won five of the last six SoCon series against the Bulldogs including a record of 10-5 in Cullowhee against Samford.
The Catamounts went 1-2 in the 2017 Southern Conference Tournament knocking off No. 2 seeded Furman 4-1.