State awards Walters’ softball talents
W. Curt Vincent Editor
RALEIGH — Abbey Walters’ high-school softball career may have ended in June, but the former Lady Knight was given the icing on the cake last week by the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association.
Walters, who garnered numerous awards for her athleticism during her career — including capturing the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award from Mountaire Farms and Civitas Media — was the recipient of four honors recently.
For the 2013 season in District 4, the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association tabbed Walters as the Class 2-A Pitcher of the Year, the Class 2-A Player of the Year, the All-District Award and the All-State Award.
It was the second straight year in which Walters earned the Pitcher of the Year, All-District and All-State honors.
“I nominated her (for the awards), but then kind of forgot about it,” said Pam Stephens, who coached Walters in basketball and softball at West Bladen. “It was a nice surprise to get those certificates.”
The Lady Knights finished the 2013 season with a record of 24-3, losing in the fourth round of the playoffs to South Lenoir, 5-2. And though the team had a solid nucleus of seniors, Walters was the statistical leader in most areas.
As a senior, Walters was No. 1 in the state in three categories — home runs with 14 (nine were inside-the-park), slugging at 1.264 and runs scored with 48.
She also had a .609 batting average, which was good for No. 7 in the state, and 46 runs batted in, good for No. 4 in the state.
In the pitching circle, Walters finished the season with an 11-2 record and 1.94 ERA in 86.2 innings. She also struck out 93.
“I’m definitely proud of her,” Stephens said. “There are a lot of good players out there, but she’s one of the elite and I’m sure we will be hearing good things about her at the college level.”
Stephens, though applauding Walters’ accomplishments, also emphasized the strengths of the team and program as a whole.
“We’ve got a good program with a lot of deserving players,” she said. “Abbey has been one of the best, and she has had a really good supporting cast around her.”
Walters is now enrolled at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, where she will play softball for the Lady Rams along with former West Bladen teammates and 2013 graduates Robin Coleman, Danielle Dove, Erica Tanner and Kaitlyn Sykes.
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