GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College seniors Kayli Blankenship and Natalie Conrad were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) NCAA Division III Academic All-District V Team, the organization announced Thursday. Blankenship and Conrad advance to CoSIDA’s Division III Academic All-America® ballot with the all-America honorees being announced June 8-11.
The all-district squads are comprised of softball students from Division III institutions in the 12-state area from Virginia to Missouri. Nominees were starters or key reserves of sophomore academic standing or above who maintained at least a 3.3 grade point average. Due to the shortened nature of the 2020 softball season, overall statistics were taken into account instead of only season stats.
Blankenship had a .341 batting average in 12 games with 15 hits, 13 runs, one RBI, and a team-high two triples in the 2020 season. The team captain posted a .350 career batting average with 84 hits in 121 career contests that included 76 starts. Blankenship stands fourth at Guilford with 37 career stolen bases and her .902 stolen-base percentage stands third in school history. She earned Second Team NFCA All-Atlantic, First Team NCCSIA All-State (college division), and First Team All-ODAC honors in 2017.
The seven-time dean’s list elementary education major and psychology minor boasts a 3.93 GPA and earned Academic All-ODAC and Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete three times. She qualified for Guilford’s Student-Athlete Honor Roll in all of her seasons.
Conrad batted .404 with 19 hits, 16 runs, eight RBI, and a triple in 12 games this season. 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. She earned 2019 Second Team All-ODAC honors and ranked among the league leaders in batting average (3rd), hits (3rd), runs (5th), triples (1st), and total bases (6th). Conrad also earned first-team college division all-state honors from the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) in 2019.
In addition to her on-field exploits, Conrad won the ODAC’s 2019 Softball Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and was named an Academic All-District selection by CoSIDA. The three-time Academic All-ODAC selection made the dean’s list and Guilford Student-Athlete Honor Roll in all of her semesters. She also earned All-America Scholar-Athlete recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association (NFCA) in each of her three seasons. The health science and biology double major boasts a 3.80 GPA, is a certified nursing assistant, and will attend nursing school after graduation.
Coach Dennis Shores could return as many as 21 letter winners in 2021, which will be his 15th season at the helm.