By: Dave Walters, Guilford
NCCSIA Announces 2017 North Carolina All-State College Division Softball Team
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Lenoir-Rhyne University placed three student-athletes on the 2017 North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) College Division FirstTeam All-State Team released Thursday. The Bears also put two students on the second-team squad for a division-best five all-state picks.
Guilford College had two first-team honorees and two second-team selections. Chowan University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Salem College also had two students on the first team. The all-star units are comprised of 24 student-athletes representing 13 of the state's NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III institutions.
Outfielder Erin Boone, catcher Sarah Kenley and first baseman Sydney Landreth represented Lenoir-Rhyne on the first team after helping the Bears to a 46-13 record and a NCAA Division II playoff bid. Kenley captured Third Team All-America honors from both the Division II Conference Commissioners' Association (D2CCA) and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). She hit .429 with a club-high 12 homers and 55 runs batted in (RBI) en route to NFCA Southeast Region and South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Player of the Year recognition. Boone, also an NFCA Third-Team All-American, led the SAC in batting average (.440), hits (88) and on-base percentage (.507). Landreth joined her teammates as a First Team All-SAC performer after batting .386 with 23 doubles, Division II's third-highest total. Pitcher Sydney Miller and infielder Mackenzie Cates were the Bears' second-team all-state honorees.
Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) batting champion Kayli Blankenship and First-Team NFCA All-Atlantic Region honoree Makayla Carver highlighted Guilford's four all-state picks. The Division III Quakers led the nation in batting average thanks to the efforts of Blankenship (.466, .505 on-base percentage) and fellow first-team all-state outfielder Sabrina Moreno (.410, 38 RBI). Carver (.444, 18 2B), the second team all-state utility player, joined Blankenship and Moreno as First Team All-ODAC picks this spring. Guilford senior Shelby Helms was the state's second-team designated player.
Junior Jamie Johnson, a 2017 NFCA Third Team All-American third baseman, led UNC Pembroke's three all-state selections. The two-time First Team All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) selection hit .421 with 33 stolen bases and became Pembroke's third softball All-American in school history. Senior teammate Abbey Walters was the state's first-team utility player thanks to a dominant season at the plate and in the circle. She hit .415 with 10 home runs, 17 doubles and 39 RBI in 51 contests. As a pitcher, she posted a 12-11 record with a 2.59 earned run average (ERA) and 115 strikeouts in 143.1 innings. Rookie catcher Alex Watkins represented Pembroke on the second team all-state squad.
Chowan senior Kayla Robins garnered D2CCA Third Team All-America laurels after twirling a 24-10 record with 367 strikeouts and a 0.95 ERA in 213.1 innings. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Pitcher of the Year led Division II with 12.0 strikeouts per game, ranked second with 16 shutouts and finished third in ERA. Her teammate, first baseman Danielle Baccus, batted .314 in 56 contests with six home runs and 40 RBI to claim the CIAA's Player of the Year Award.
Division III Salem College placed two students on the first-team squad for the first time in school history. Junior teammate Briana Crumley was a Third Team NFCA All-Atlantic and First Team All-USA South West Division pick after batting a club-best .455 with seven homers and 45 RBI in 36 contests. Rookie teammate Sydney Vaughn was 10-3 with two saves and a 2.73 ERA in 18 appearances (9 starts). She won the USA South Athletic Conference's Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award and was a first team all-league honoree.
Outfielder Naomi Sapp paced Wingate University and ranked among SAC leaders with a .415 batting average, 73 hits, 37 runs, and three triples. The sophomore earned Second Team D2CCA All-Region and First Team All-SAC recognition.
Winston-Salem State University sophomore Destiny Snipes was the Rams' lone all-state representative. The first-team designated player smacked 13 homers and hit .352 with 36 RBI en route to D2CCA All-Region and First Team All-CIAA recognition.
Nominees were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and selected by the NCCSIA members.
Founded in 2002, the 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.
NCCSSIA 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.
North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2017 College Division All-State Softball Teams
Pos. Name Class School Hometown
P Kayla Robins^ Sr. Chowan University Mathews County, Va.
P Sydney Vaughn Sr. Salem College Clemmons, N.C.
C Sarah Kenley* Sr. Lenoir-Rhyne University Charlotte, N.C.
IF Danielle Baccus Sr. Chowan University Hertford, N.C.
IF Briana Crumley Jr. Salem College Lexington, N.C.
IF Jamie Johnson^ So. UNC Pembroke Kenly, N.C.
IF Sydney Landreth% Sr. Lenoir-Rhyne University Disputanta, Va.
OF Kayli Blankenship Fr. Guilford College Pittsboro, N.C.
OF Erin Boone# So. Lenoir-Rhyne University Creedmoor, N.C.
OF Sabrina Moreno So. Guilford College Chula Vista, Calif.
OF Naomi Sapp So. Wingate University Guyton, Ga.
UTL Abbey Walters^ Jr. UNC Pembroke Bladenboro, N.C.
DP Destiny Snipes So. Winston-Salem State Burlington, N.C.
Pos. Name Class School Hometown
P Sydney Miller Fr. Lenoir-Rhyne University East Bend, N.C.
P Maddy Wetherholt So. Greensboro College Hope Mills, N.C.
C Alex Watkins Fr. UNC Pembroke Swansboro, N.C.
IF Mackenzie Cates Jr. Lenoir-Rhyne University Efland, N.C.
IF Morgan Hasty Sr. Johnson C. Smith University Salem, Ind.
IF Heather McLean Jr. William Peace University Willow Spring, N.C.
IF Casey Stanek So. Mars Hill University Winston-Salem, N.C.
OF Kayla Allen Jr. University of Mount Olive Benson, N.C.
OF Megan Kelly Sr. Barton College Plymouth, N.C.
UTL Makayla Carver# So. Guilford College Granite Falls, N.C.
DP Shelby Helms Sr. Guilford College Marshville, N.C.
# - Named to 2016 All-State Team (1st Team)
& - Named to 2014 All-State Team (1st Team)
^ - Named to 2016 All-State Team (2nd Team)
* - Named to 2014 All-State Team (2nd Team)
% - Named to 2015 All-State Team (2nd Team)
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