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Sydney Willhite swings during a recent Georgia Gwinnett College softball game. (Photo: GGC)

Georgia Gwinnett College softball players Taylor Hansis and Sydney Willhite are among the nation’s elite NAIA student-athletes after earning first-team honors on the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-American team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America for strong performances in the classroom and on the diamond this spring.

The Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-America program honors student-athletes who are starters or key reserve players in their sports and have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at their institution. National award recipients are selected by sports information directors from across the country.

Hansis, a biology major, was a second Academic All-America team choice in 2018.

This spring, the Longs, S.C, native won a single-season school record 28 games in the pitching circle as a senior, a season in which she had 10 shutouts and 201 strikeouts. She won all nine games during the postseason run, helping the Grizzlies win the Association of Independent Institutions championship and advancing to the semifinal round of the NAIA World Series.

Hansis was named the A.I.I. Pitcher of the Year for the third consecutive season and completed her GGC career with pitching records for starts (97), wins (77) and strikeouts (583).

Willhite, a junior biology major from Lawrenceville, Ga., holds the career school record with 20 home runs after adding eight homers this spring. She received first All-A.I.I. team accolades in 2019 for batting .351, driving in 45 runs and collecting 60 hits, including 15 doubles.

The Grizzlies had a 45-16 record, won the A.I.I. championship, were ranked among the NAIA’s top 10 teams throughout the season and advanced to the NAIA World Series for the second time in program history.