GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Guilford College softball team was off to a promising start with a 7-5 record before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quakers saw wins over William Peace University, Methodist University, Meredith College, Salem College, and N.C. Wesleyan College in the first few weeks of the season.
Natalie Conrad batted .404 with 19 hits, 16 runs, eight RBI, and a triple in 12 games. A team captain, she leaves Guilford with school standards for triples in a season (6, 2019) and career (11), and ranks eighth among the Quakers’ career batting average leaders (.381). Conrad also stands among the school’s top base stealers with 27 career thefts, Guilford’s fifth-highest total.
Sophomore Casey Bunting amassed a batting average of .412 with 14 hits, five runs, two doubles, five home runs, and a team-leading 24 RBI. Bunting led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in both RBI and home runs. Nationally, Bunting ranked second in RBI, seventh in both home runs and RBI per game (2.00), ninth in home runs per game (0.42), and 49th in slugging percentage (.912) among Division III leaders.
Senior Kayli Blankenship had a .341 batting average in 12 games with 15 hits, 13 runs, one RBI, and a team-high two triples. She finished her career with a .350 batting average. Blankenship stands fourth at Guilford with 37 career stolen bases and her .902 stolen-base percentage stands third in school history.
In the circle, junior Katie McNeill led the Quakers with a 5-3 record, one save, and three complete games in nine appearances. In 39 2/3 innings, she struck out 41 batters while allowing 48 hits and had an ERA of 4.41. Her strikeout total ranked 34th among Division III pitchers.
Freshman pitcher Sydnee Hilliard made six appearances with a 1-0 record, 12 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.29 in 17 innings of work.
Nationally, the team ranked 42nd in home runs (6) and 28th in triples (5). In the ODAC, the Quakers were 4th in runs (81) and 5th in team batting percentage (.309).
Coach Dennis Shores earned his 300th career win after a 13-2 victory over Methodist February 9. He could return as many as 21 letter winners in 2021, which will be his 15th season at the helm.