Greensboro, N.C. — Guilford College juniors Kelly Guarnieri (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) and Kelly Hale (Toler, Ky./Belfry) both received Second Team All-Atlantic Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), the organization announced Tuesday. NFCA members nominated and selected three teams of 15 students from each of the group’s eight NCAA Division III regions. Louisville Slugger sponsored this year’s teams.
Guarnieri, Guilford’s first three-time honorable mention All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) softball pick, finished second on team with a career-high .400 batting average that stands third in school history and seventh in the ODAC through games of April 28. Her 34 runs scored and 13 doubles both rank second in school history. The outfielder and team captain had 13 multiple-hit games, including two four-hit performances. She was four-for-four with three RBIs, three runs, and a double versus Mary Baldwin College April 8. Guarnieri also went four-for-four with a homer in the Quakers’ ODAC Tournament loss to Bridgewater College April 26. She enters her senior season with school records for career runs (82), walks (45) and doubles (32).
Hale, a three-year starting first baseman, captured First Team All-ODAC honors after hitting .431 with nine homers and 43 RBIs, all school records. She ranks second in the league in batting average and on-base percentage (.529) and third in homers and slugging percentage (.741) through games. The left-handed hitting Hale had 13 multiple-hit games this year and led the club with 12 contests with at least two RBIs. She ended the season on a 13-game hitting streak. One of her best games came in Guilford’s April 8 win at Mary Baldwin when she went four-for-four with a double, home run and three RBIs.
The pair helped second-year head coach Dennis Shores’ club to the finest softball season in school history. The Quakers went 20-21-1 (8-10 ODAC) and set school records for wins, runs, batting average and hits in a season. Guilford returned to the six-team ODAC Tournament for the second time in school history after a five-year absence. Shores could return as many as 14 letter winners from this season’s team in 2009, including Guarnieri and Hale.