Two Lincoln County players have been named to the 2004 coaches/iHigh.com all-state high school softball teams.
Pitcher Nicole Baxter of North Lincoln was named to the first-team 1A squad, and outfielder Kristen Taffi of East Lincoln earned first-team honors in class 3A.
Two other East Lincoln players, Nicole Shoemaker and Jessica Towery, received 3A honorable mention.
In addition, three Cherryville High players, Angie Walls (pitcher), Lydia Rayfield (infielder), and Natalie Willis (catcher), made first-team all-state in 1A.
Baxter led North Lincoln to the final four of the state 1A playoffs in the schoolâ€™s first year of existence.
As a sophomore, Baxter posted a record of 16-8 and an earned run average of 1.32. She struck out 216 batters in 153 innings and gave up only 29 earned runs for the season.
Taffi, who graduated from East Lincoln this spring, batted .458 with three home runs and 17 RBI in her senior season. The center fielder made one error all season and compiled a fielding percentage of .958.
Taffi is currently playing for the 18-under Carolina Comets, which recently won the AAU state championship.
Taffi has been accepted academically at UNC-Charlotte and hopes to play softball at the college level.
As all-state selections, Baxter and Taffi are also finalists for the Miss North Carolina High School Athletic Association Softball award. A group of coaches and media will vote for that award, which will be announced Monday.