LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Western Carolina softball’s 11 players, who were named to the 2019 Easton/National Fast Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Scholar-Athlete Team for the 2018-19 season, is the most in the program’s history. As a team, the Catamounts ranked 28th among 107 NCAA Division I programs, with a 3.538 team GPA.
The 11 Catamounts honored individually just edges the previous high of 10 in the 2017-18 and 2015-16 seasons. As a team, Western Carolina’s 3.538 was the second-highest GPA in the Southern Conference as WCU was just edged by UNCG who ended the year with a 3.550 and ranked 21st.
Two of Western Carolina’s 11 honorees recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA: rising senior Erica Hayes and recent graduate Madison Armstrong. Armstrong ended her Catamount career as a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District III First team selection.
The remaining members honored include Kayla Brewer (3.81), Hunter Gibbons (3.56), Alexis Lankford (3.95), Ashlyn Long (3.78), Cheyenne Mathews (3,56), Lindsay Perillo (3.83), Chloe Plesset (3.60), Shaina Reed (3.56) and Gracen Watts (3.93).
Individually, a record-setting 8,161 softball players earned Easton / NFCA Scholar-Athlete honors.
The rankings and honors recognize the academic prowess of softball teams across the Association’s membership categories. NCAA Division III led the way with 1,928 student-athletes earning a 3.5 grade-point average or higher for 2018-19. NCAA Division I and Division II followed with 1,769 and 1,306 honorees. High School weighted and High School unweighted earned 1,225 and 793 distinctions. NAIA and two-year programs each amassed 570 recipients.