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First season in Cascade Conference brings awards for Argos - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

First season in Cascade Conference brings awards for Argos

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GREAT FALLS. – UGF softball capped off a historic run to the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship and qualification to the program’s first NAIA tournament with the program’s first round of conference awards. 2016 marked the Lady Argo’s first season as a full member of an NAIA conference and the team took home 15 academic and two softball related awards.

Two UGF players came away as CCC All-Conference players. Senior pitcher Keeley Van Blaricom was named First Team All-Conference after being one of the CCC’s best pitchers. Van Blaircom finished the season with the second best ERA in the conference (2.32) after pitching 139 innings including 28 2/3 innings over the three-day conference tournament. She was also fifth in the conference with 81 strikeouts and fifth in wins.

Van Blaricom was also one of UGF’s top hitters, finishing second on the team in batting average (0.302), second on the team in slugging percentage (0.434), and first in runs (25).  The one player ahead of Van Blaricom in batting average was junior Hali Gruntowicz who was named Second Team All-Conference.

Gruntowicz was UGF’s best hitter throughout the season, and came up big in clutch situations. Gruntowicz led the Lady Argos in with a .316 avg and finished the year with a 0.418 slg%, 0.341. OB%, and finished third on the team in RBI’s (14) despite missing six games. She also hit a crucial walk-off RBI double in extra innings against Carroll College during the regular season and drove in the winning run in the top of the seventh against Southern Oregon University in the conference playoffs.

Along with being the team’s only First Team All-Conference player, she and 14 other Lady Argos were named U.S. Bank Academic All-CCC members, an award that goes to student-athletes of at least sophomore standing with a 3.2 GPA or higher.

All but four of UGF’s eligible players earned Academic All-CCC honors including all nine members of the team’s senior class. The 15 total members were the most of any softball team in the conference.

(UGF Sports Information)

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