Season Recap: Guilford Softball Posted 26-15 Campaign

Natalie Conrad '20 (Photo by Emily Heck '21)
Natalie Conrad '20 (Photo by Emily Heck '21)

The 2019 Guilford College softball team recorded a 26-15 mark. The Quakers were 10-10 in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) games. The 26 wins were the fourth-most in program history. The team began the year with an impressive 6-0 start and suffered just one defeat in its first 14 contests. 

Following the season, Guilford earned numerous individual accolades. Four Quakers were named to the All-ODAC team, including player of the year Makayla Carver, also a First Team All-ODAC pick. Natalie Conrad and Makayla Crawford were second-team all-league honorees. Senior first baseman Katy Holt garnered third-team honors.

Carver batted .455 in league play with two homers, 10 doubles, and eight RBI. Carver topped the ODAC in conference hits (30) and doubles (10), and was second in batting average. Overall, she hit .416 with 16 doubles, 22 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 11 tries. She also pitched in six late-season games and recorded a 3-2 record with a 5.65 earned run average in 31 innings. Carver had 15 multiple-hit games this season, including three with three hits. With only two errors in 35 games, she tallied a .964 fielding percentage. The 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Third Team All-American set Guilford's career records for hits (217), doubles (57), and stolen bases (59) this year. She graduated ranked second in school history with a .449 career batting average. 

Crawford, a senior catcher, earned an at-large spot on the ODAC second team one year after receiving third-team all-league honors. She ranks seventh in the ODAC with a .406 overall batting average and hit .290 in the league. Crawford stands second among conference leaders with 56 hits and a school-record 58 RBI. Her 58 RBI and school-record six sacrifice flies both ranked third in Division III. She had 18 multiple-hit games this year and posted three or more hits six times. Crawford cranked out a team-high 10 home runs this season (3rd-best in school history) and exits as the program leader in career homers (31). She also set school standards for career RBI (140) and slugging percentage (.754). Her .418 career batting average and .460 on-base percentage both stand third all-time at Guilford.

Conrad batted a team-best .430 with a school-record six triples, tops in the ODAC and 11th in NCAA Division III through games of April 29. She led Guilford with 20 multiple-hit games and 58 hits, fifth-most in school history. She was also named the ODAC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the year and was picked to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) NCAA Division III Google Cloud Academic All-District® V Team.

Holt made the third team as an at-large selection. She hit a career-high .400 overall and .357 in ODAC action. Holt posted a .600 slugging percentage, ninth-best in the conference, with 12 doubles and 29 RBI, all career highs. With only four errors, Holt recorded a .985 fielding percentage and helped turn five double plays. She graduates as Guilford's career leader with a .986 fielding percentage. Holt hit .356 in 117 career games with eight home runs and 68 RBI. Her 32 doubles stand ninth in school history.

Five student-athletes from Guilford College have were selected to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) college division softball team. Three Quakers earned first-team honors: Carver, Crawford and Conrad. Holt and Katie McNeill earned NCCSIA second-team recognition.

A sophomore pitcher, McNeill posted a 15-8 record for Quakers and established a new program benchmark for wins. She logged 143 1/3 innings and had an ERA of 4.10. McNeill made 26 appearances in the pitching circle, recorded 18 complete games and also garnered two saves for Guilford. She recorded 89 strikeouts against 40 walks. McNeill was selected the ODAC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 25 after she tossed a complete-game shutout, fanning 11 batters and allowing one walk in the 9-0 victory over Mary Baldwin.

Carver and Crawford also earned Second Team All-Atlantic Region recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA).

Coach Dennis Shores' Quakers may return as many as 17 letter winners next year.