FOREST, Va. – Guilford College’s Laura Hall (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) received the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s (ODAC) Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Softball Scholar-Athlete Award as selected by the league’s sports information directors Friday. The Quakers’ Caroline Barnette (Matthews, N.C./Butler), Taylor Boyd (Franklinton, N.C./South Granville) and Rachel Howard (Efland, N.C./Cedar Ridge) earned all-conference recognition according to voting by league softball coaches based on statistics accrued in conference games.
Hall, a 5-3 junior outfielder, is Guilford’s first recipient of the league’s top academic honor. The Quakers’ starting center-fielder hit .260 with two doubles and seven runs batted in (RBI) in 36 games. She led the team and ranks fifth in the ODAC with 19 stolen bases in 20 attempts. Her 19 thefts tied the school standard and her .950 success rate is tops in Guilford history. In the classroom, the five-time dean’s list student holds a 3.88 grade point average and is part of Guilford’s Honors Program. Hall serves on Guilford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is active with the school’s Outdoors Club. A two-time Academic All-ODAC honoree, she has volunteered with local refugee families and presented research on kinesthetic learning at Guilford’s 2014 Undergraduate Symposium.
Barnette, a 5-5 sophomore, hit .393 with eight doubles and 26 RBI in her first season as the Quakers’ starting second baseman. The first-team selection set the school record with a league-leading five triples, ranked fourth in the ODAC with six home runs and led Guilford with 34 runs scored. Her 89 total bases lead the conference and helped her to a .659 slugging percentage, the league’s seventh-highest figure. Barnette hit safely in her first 18 games this year and finished with 14 multiple-hit contests. She had a career-high three hits in five different tilts and twice had three RBI. Her two triples in a March 16 win over Keystone College tied the school record and her four runs scored March 28 versus Shenandoah University stand second in Guilford history. Barnette hit .364 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 20 ODAC games. She was named the league’s Softball Hitter of the Week March 2.
Boyd, a 5-7 sophomore shortstop, ranked third in the league with 53 hits and 13th with a .390 batting average, which stood third on the team. Her .435 on-base percentage and 27 runs scored were also Guilford’s third-best figures. A Second Team All-ODAC pick, she collected eight doubles, two triples and 15 RBI. Her 68 total bases stand 10th in the league. Boyd ended up with 19 multi-hit contests, including six with a career-best three hits. She collected the league’s Softball Hitter of the Week Award Feb. 23 after hitting eight-for-14 in the Quakers’ four games, including a six-for-eight effort against nationally ranked Averett University. Boyd batted .371 with eight RBI and 14 runs scored in 20 ODAC appearances.
Howard earned second-team honors despite one of the finest seasons in school history. The senior first baseman led the team and ranks second in the ODAC with a career-high .458 batting average, Guilford’s fourth-highest average all-time. She tops the conference with 14 doubles and her .540 on-base percentage, 38 RBI and 54 hits all stand second in the league. Howard collected 80 total bases, fourth-best in the ODAC, and drilled four home runs. She won the league’s first Hitter of the Week Award of the season and hit safely in all but six games. Howard had 17 multiple-hit games and 11 contests with two or more RBI. She plated a season-high four runners thanks to a grand-slam home run versus Keystone and was three-for-four with a homer and three RBI the game before against Mary Baldwin College. Howard hit .450 with eight doubles and 14 RBI in 20 ODAC contests.
Howard concludes her career with a .394 batting average, the second-highest in school history. She also stands second among the Quakers’ all-time doubles (40) and RBI (118) leaders, and is third in hits (182), total bases (263), walks (46) and fielding percentage (.974). Howard leaves with Guilford’s career marks for fielding chances (842) and double plays turned (31).
The quartet helped coach Dennis Shores’ Quakers to a 24-17 overall record (11-9 ODAC). Guilford qualified for its second straight ODAC Tournament this year and could return as many as 18 students from the 2015 club, including Barnette, Boyd and Hall, next year.