FOREST, Va. --- Four-time defending ODAC champion Virginia Wesleyan University earned a league-best eight all-conference honors in a vote of the conference's head coaches to lead the 2019 All-ODAC Softball Awards.
Guilford College outfielder Makayla Carver and Virginia Wesleyan lefty Hanna Hull took home the top two individual awards as the ODAC Player and Pitcher of the Year, respective. VWU mentor Brandon Elliott earned ODAC Coach of the Year laurels, while Emory & Henry College outfielder Anna Thomas secured ODAC Rookie of the Year accolades. University of Lynchburg pitcher Taylor Belknap and Guilford outfielder Natalie Conrad shared the final award as the co-ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Much like last season, plenty of new names dot the end-of-year awards lists with just 16 repeat honors in 2019. That group includes eight members of this year's All-ODAC First Team. VWU's Hull, the reigning two-time NFCA Division III Player of the Year, appears on the first team for a third straight season. Fellow Marlin and 2018 ODAC Player of the Year, outfielder Madison Glaubke, repeats as a first team along with GC's Carver.
VWU catcher Jessica Lindsay and second baseman Katelyn Biando moved up from last year's All-ODAC Second Team along with Lynchburg third baseman Taylor Mabry. Randolph-Macon College shortstop Savannah Wood and VWU third baseman Julia Sinnett made the leap from last year's All-ODAC Third Team.
Carver, a senior from Granite Falls, N.C., capped a stellar career with a strong senior campaign. In conference play, Carver was second in batting (.455), fourth in on-base percentage (.532), and fifth in slugging (.697). She led the league in hits (30) and doubles (10), was third in runs (20), fourth in total bases (46), and fifth in walks (11). Her numbers stood up well in all games as she was sixth in all three slash-line categories - batting average (.416), OBP (.485), and slugging (.655). The Quakers leadoff hitter was second in doubles (16), seventh in runs (16), eighth in total bases (74), and 10th in hits (47). She hit safely in 28-of-35 games played, and had a pair of double-digit hitting streaks of 10 and 11 games, the latter leading up to the ODAC Tournament. Carver will graduate ranked in three ODAC record book categories - third in doubles (57), fifth in batting (.449), and 10th in hits (217).
Hull, a junior from Chesterfield, Va., has been nothing short of spectacular in less than three seasons at VWU. Hull went 12-0 against ODAC opponents, allowing just six runs (4 earned) on 21 hits with 17 walks and 11 strikeouts in 63.2 innings. Those numbers look even better across her full resume as she is 27-2 with a 0.42 earned run average and 309 strikeouts in 168.1 innings. She has struck out 10 or more batters in 14 games, including a season-high 18 in a non-conference win over Fredonia State. In a late season win over Ferrum, Hull became just the 25th player in NCAA Division III history to crack 1,000 career strikeouts. Her total stands at 1,057 following the ODAC Tournament, which is 14th all-time in D-III history.
Elliott is in the midst of his 12th full season guiding the Marlins softball program. This is the seventh time overall and third straight year he has been honored as the ODAC’s top coach, joining the awards he earned in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Virginia Wesleyan is currently the #1 team in the country according to the latest NFCA coaches poll and just captured an ODAC-record 12th conference title. It marked the Marlins fourth consecutive league crown, tying the ODAC record set by Roanoke from 1999-2002. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Elliott’s career record stands at 448-107 (.807) including 191-39 (.830) in ODAC regular season games. His teams have captured seven of the Marlins’ 12 conference championships.
Thomas, a first year from Climax, N.C., blistered at the dish in and out of conference play. In league games, Thomas hit .406 (26-for-64) with nine doubles, a homer, 18 RBI, and 19 runs scored. Those numbers maintained over the course of E&H's full schedule as she is eighth in the league with a .402 batting average (43-for-107). Her 14 doubles are third. She has driven in 27 runs, scored 30 times, and slugged at a .598 clip. Thomas hit safely in 26-of-39 games played and enjoyed a seven-game hitting streak midway thru the campaign.
Belknap and Conrad shined on and off the field. Belknap, a senior from Arden, N.C., owns a 3.889 grade point average as a political science and psychology double major with a minor in criminology. The President of Lynchburg's pre-law society will be head to law school at the University of North Carolina next year. She is published in the philosophy journal "Dialogue", having won Lynchburg's Lesley Friedman Philosophy Prize for best paper in the department each of the past two academic years. On the field, Belknap is 4-2 in the circle against ODAC foes and 9-2 overall. She posted ERA's of 2.63 (ODAC) and 2.70 (overall). She tossed three complete games in league play and five overall.
Conrad, a junior from Greensboro, N.C., maintains a 3.81 grade point average as a health sciences and biology double major. She will soon be a three-time honoree on the All-ODAC Academic Team. She is a five-time member of the Guilford Student-Athlete Honor Roll and Guilford Dean's List. She works as a certified nursing assistant at a local Greensboro healthcare facility. On the field, Conrad hit .373 in league play and an ODAC second-best .430 overall. She led the league with 58 overall hits and six triples, was third with 41 overall runs scored, and sixth with 76 overall total bases.
Listed below are the full All-ODAC Softball Teams. For more information, visit the websites of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow the @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
2019 ALL-ODAC SOFTBALL AWARDS
ODAC Player of the Year: Makayla Carver | Sr. | OF | Guilford
ODAC Pitcher of the Year: Hanna Hull | Jr. | Virginia Wesleyan University
ODAC Coach of the Year: Brandon Elliott | Virginia Wesleyan University
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Anna Thomas | Fy. | OF | Emory & Henry
Co-ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete: Taylor Belknap | Sr. | P | Lynchburg
Co-ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete: Natalie Conrad | Jr. | OF | Guilford
|ALL-ODAC FIRST TEAM|
|Carla Hall||P||So.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Hanna Hull *||P||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Jessica Lindsay ^||C||Sr.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Kendall Varner||1B||So.||Emory & Henry College|
|Maddie Stone||2B||Jr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Taylor Mabry ^||3B||Sr.||University of Lynchburg|
|Julia Sinnett #||3B||So.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Savannah Wood #||SS||Sr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Makayla Carver *||OF||Sr.||Guilford College|
|Madison Glaubke *||OF||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Rebecca Hensley||OF||Fy.||Roanoke College|
|Brittany LaPrade||DP||Sr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Jessica Goldyn||UT||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Katelyn Biando ^||AT-LARGE (2B)||So.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Mackenzie Chitwood||AT-LARGE (1B)||Sr.||University of Lynchburg|
|ALL-ODAC SECOND TEAM|
|Cameron Derr||P||So.||Emory & Henry College|
|Candace Whittemore *||P||Sr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Brittany Coffey *||C||Sr.||University of Lynchburg|
|Katrina Martin||1B||So.||Bridgewater College|
|Sarah Commons||2B||Jr.||University of Lynchburg|
|Kayla Hugate ^||SS||Jr.||University of Lynchburg|
|Natalie Conrad||OF||Jr.||Guilford College|
|Kerstin Roth||OF||Sr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Anna Thomas||OF||Fy.||Emory & Henry College|
|Allison McGehee||DP||Fy.||Ferrum College|
|Sierra Lantz||UT||Fy.||Eastern Mennonite University|
|Makayla Crawford #||AT-LARGE (C)||Sr.||Guilford College|
|Leanna Toler||AT-LARGE (SS)||Jr.||Emory & Henry College|
|ALL-ODAC THIRD TEAM|
|Erin Anderson *||AT-LARGE (OF)||Sr.||Emory & Henry College|
|Alex Braun||AT-LARGE (P)||So.||Emory & Henry College|
|Stephanie Carroll *||AT-LARGE (3B)||Jr.||Bridgewater College|
|Alex Cisar||AT-LARGE (P)||Jr.||University of Lynchburg|
|Sami Davidson *||AT-LARGE (C)||Jr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Kaylah Duplain||AT-LARGE (SS)||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan University|
|Morgan Henley||AT-LARGE (OF)||So.||Shenandoah University|
|Shanan Hester||AT-LARGE (UT)||Fy.||Roanoke College|
|Katy Holt||AT-LARGE (1B)||Sr.||Guilford College|
|Nicole Mongold||AT-LARGE (2B)||Fy.||Eastern Mennonite University|
|Madison McClanahan #||AT-LARGE (DP)||Sr.||Emory & Henry College|
|Taylor Sanderford||AT-LARGE (3B)||Jr.||Randolph-Macon College|
|Cheyenne Strickland||AT-LARGE (2B)||Sr.||Ferrum College|
|* - 2018 First Team
^ - 2018 Second Team
# - 2018 Third Team