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Cullowhee, N.C. -- Western Carolina softball placed three on the 2018 North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) All-State team released Monday. Junior Hunter Gibbons was a first-team selection while junior Madison Armstrong and sophomore Ashlyn Long were placed on the second team. It is the eighth-consecutive season the Catamounts have had at least one player honored by the NCCSIA.

Nominees for the annual all-state awards were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by the NCCSIA membership.

Gibbons, an outfielder from Woodleaf, N.C., makes her second-straight appearance on the All-State First Team. Playing and starting in 49 games, she ended the season with a .263 batting average with 11 home runs, 31 runs scored and 27 RBI en route to Second-Team All-Southern Conference distinction. With eight multiple-hit games and nine multiple RBI games, Gibbons had the longest on-base streak of the season before it was halted at 17. She ranks second in program history with 28 career home runs and 101 career RBI.

Armstrong, a catcher from Gastonia, N.C., makes her third-straight appearance on the All-State Second Team and was also an All-Southern Conference Team selection. It was also the second-straight year she was named to the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District III First Team.

For the 2018 season, Armstrong played and started in all 52 games making 45 appearances behind the plate and seven at third base. She had a .259 batting average with 24 runs scored, 36 hits, nine doubles, six homeruns and 26 RBI. She had nine multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games and has the second-longest on-base streak of the season reaching base safely in nine consecutive games.

Long, a shortstop from Willow Spring, N.C., makes her first appearance on the All-State Second Team. She closed out 2018 with 52 starts leading the team with a .292 batting average. She tied for the most hits in the season with a season-high 45 and also led the team with 33 RBI which was also a season-high. The trend continued with her career-best eight homeruns on the year along with seven doubles and 25 RBI. She also had 11 multiple-hit games and seven multiple-RBI games. Her outstanding defensive play, sliding into foul territory to catch a ball against Radford, was listed as the No. 5 Top-10 play on ESPN in April of 2018.

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.

Western Carolina's All-Time NCCSIA All-State Selections:

2007: Stephanie Beatty, INF

2008: Mollie Fowler, DP 2009: Mollie Fowler, DP

2012: Erin Foster, OF 2013: Amber Steinhardt, UTL (2nd)

2014Whitney Haywood, DP (1st); Jordan Garrett, P (2nd); Karley Harkey, IF (2nd); Courtney Price, OF (2nd)

2015: Jordan Garrett, P (1st); Crystal Cyr, IF (1st) Courtney Price, OF (1st); Taylor Sigmon, UTL (1st); Heather Chastain, C (2nd)

2016Taylor Sigmon, P (1st); Crystal Cyr, IF (1st); Karley Harkey, IF (1st); Madison Armstrong, C (2nd); Courtney Price, OF (2nd)

2017Hunter Gibbons, OF (1st); Madison Armstrong, C (2nd); Courtney Price, OF (2nd)

2018: Hunter Gibbons, OF (1st); Madison Armstrong, C (2nd); Ashlyn Long, IF (2nd)

 

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