Guilford’s Burcham Lands All-State Softball Honors‏

Greensboro, N.C. — Guilford College freshman Jessica Burcham (Lexington, N.C./South Davidson) earned College Division All-State softball recognition from the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) Wednesday. The squad consists of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA student-athletes from North Carolina colleges and universities. North Carolina sports information directors submitted nominees and NCCSIA members selected the team for the sixth straight year. Burcham is the Quakers’ third all-state pick in the team’s six-year history.

Burcham matched or broke school season records for wins (12), shutouts (5), saves (3), and strikeouts (172) and went 12-7 in 121.2 innings, solidifying her position as the ace of the pitching staff. Her school-record 1.67 ERA ranked fourth among Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) hurlers. Burcham’s 172 strikeouts stood second in the ODAC and opposing hitters held only a .204 batting average against her, also a Guilford standard. She ranked eighth in NCAA Division III with 9.9 strikeouts per game and 12th with three saves.

Twice Guilford’s Student-Athlete of the Week in 2009, two of Burcham’s best performances came when she posted a 2-0 record and 0.64 earned runs average (ERA) in 11 innings against Randolph-Macon College in Guilford’s doubleheader sweep Apr. 19. She struck out 16 and allowed only five hits over the two games, which included a complete-game, three-hit shutout in the opener. The 12-strikeout performance gave Burcham her team-best sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season. In the nightcap, Burcham earned her second win of the day by tossing four innings in relief. She allowed one run on two hits and struck out four. She had seven games with 10 or more strikeouts, including a school-record tying 13 Feb. 22 versus Peace College.

Burcham helped third-year coach Dennis Shores’ club to its finest season in school history. The Quakers went 26-13 overall and finished third in the ODAC with a 13-5 mark. Forty-six individual and team records were set, including overall and league victories, and Guilford qualified for its second straight ODAC Tournament. The team set the school record and ranked 11th nationally with a .971 fielding percentage. Shores may return as many as 16 letter winners for the 2010 campaign, including Burcham.

Dave Walters
Guilford College Athletics