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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Softball starter passes on Division I to shine at Guilford

Dedicated. Competitive. Fearless.

These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe sophomore Ashley Boteler, Guilford’s number two starting pitcher.

Affectionately called “Boat, Powerboat, or Speedboat” by her teammates, Ashley’s easy smile and laid-back personality are little indication of her ferocity on the mound.

On March 2, 2010, she recorded a season best six strike outs and allowed only two hits in the Quaker’s 8-0 victory over North Carolina Wesleyan College.

In 2011, she started thirteen games, registering a 3.21 ERA, striking out thirty-two batters and managing to only allow opponents to hit .249 against her, the eighth best record in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
It was one of two shut outs of the year.

Ashley’s skills aren’t limited to pitching however. Last season, she hit a team high three homers, with sixteen runs batted in and stood fourth on the team in doubles.

“Ashley can hit the ball,” said senior and team captain Morgan Andrews.
“She can barely swing and the ball bounces off the bat like a bouncy ball hitting hardwood. When Ashley is on fire on the mound, her game at the plate gets better and vice versa.”
When not pitching, she is the team’s starting center fielder.

“She’s just the complete package,” said Head Softball Coach Dennis Shores.
“She is an all around player. She can hit, field, pitch; she can do it all.”
Shores emphasized that Ashley’s all around abilities include academics.

“A lot of people who are not involved with athletics don’t understand the skills and discipline that it takes to be a successful athlete roll over into academics. There’s more to being an athlete than their physical ability.”

This combination of academic and athletic achievement isn’t new for Boteler.
Boteler, a native of Manassas, Virginia, lettered four years in high school, was named softball All-State honorable mention, and participated for nine years with a local traveling team.

In academics, she was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. So it was no surprise when she was offered several scholarships to Division I institutions.

Instead she chose Guilford.

“As the time came closer to making a decision, I was really drawn to the smaller, private institutions like Guilford,” Boteler said.

“After visiting Guilford for the first time, I knew this is where I wanted to be. I liked the small size, the student teacher ratio, the sense of community, the campus, atmosphere and especially the girls on the softball team I met. They were all so nice and approachable and made me realize I wanted to be a part of something like that.”

She doesn’t regret her decision to come to Guilford.

“My experience here has been amazing!” exclaimed Boteler.

“I became part of this big crazy family of girls and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. These girls changed my life. Coming in as a freshman I was very shy and not really a big talker but they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was a part of something.

“I always knew if I had a question or just wanted to talk they were always there ready to listen,” Boteler said. They are amazing and I couldn’t imagine being out on that field with any other group of girls.”

Andrews pointed out that the feeling was mutual.

“Ashley is one of those teammates that you will never forget because of her positive impact on this team,” Andrews said.

“I love her to death, and without her bad jokes, fierce face on the mound, and life stories I would not know what to do. Even though she is a sophomore, and I am a senior, I know I can depend on her to get the job done when need be, just like with any of my teammates.”  

“Boteler emphasized that the softball team was disciplined and active in the community, befitting the Quaker name.

“Our team works so hard on and off the field that if we are not in class doing homework or helping out in our community, 99 percent of the time you can catch us doing something softball related,” Boteler said.

“Even in our free time, we are always striving to get better, whether it be extra hitting practice in the cage, working out with our groups in the morning or just working on a specific skill—that just shows the dedicated group of girls we have.”

Boteler feels that her future lies in athletic training, eventually coaching.

“I think athletics is so important because I know from personal experience it keeps you grounded,” said Boteler.

Boteler feels that sports are important in building community and cultivating self-discipline, traits that are at the foundation of the Quaker philosophy of education at Guilford.

“Softball was my life growing up. It taught me how to become a leader, work well with others and how to trust and depend on other people,” Boteler said.

“Most importantly, you were given the opportunity to make strong friendships with other people. I think sports play such a key role in education, it keeps you structured and organized, it makes you respect the rules and most importantly it keeps you focused on your future.”

A future that is bright with an inordinate amount of success is paved by who Boteler is inside and out. A warrior on the diamond and an astute learner in the classroom. The Boteler model is Manassas-born, but Quaker-influenced.

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