UNC Wilmington Softball Camps
Head Coach Kristy Norton
The Seahawks have continued to rise in the Colonial Athletic Association standings under the leadership of Head Coach Kristy Norton, who embarks on her seventh campaign as the bench boss in 2019.
Just the fourth coach in the 34-year history of fast-pitch softball at UNCW, Norton has guided to 137 over the last six seasons with back-to-back appearances in the CAA Tournament.
In 2018, the Seahawks secured their second consecutive CAA Tournament appearance after finishing with a 9-12 league mark, including a three-game sweep against Charleston to secure their berth. Dominique Travers earned Second-Team All-CAA notice after leading the squad with a .302 batting average and seven home runs while Emily Langkamp earned a spot on the league’s All-Rookie Team.
Under Norton’s tutelage, UNCW achieved a number of milestones in a historic 2017 season, including:
School-record 35 wins
First appearance in the CAA Tournament since 2007
First wins in the CAA Tournament since 2007
First-ever postseason berth with appearance in National Invitational Softball Championship
Program-record eight student-athletes named to the NCCSIA All-State Team
Two student-athletes (Peyton Jordan, Rachel Willis) named to the NFCA All-Region Team
Kelsey Bryan named CAA Defensive Player-of-the-Year
Lauren Moore named CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Third-Team CoSIDA Academic All-America®
Several UNCW student-athletes were honored by the CAA and NFCA for their performances after the record-setting season. Jordan received First-Team All-CAA and Second-Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region distinction after posting a 1.66 earned run average with a 15-8 record. In addition, Moore and Sarah Davis were Second-Team All-CAA picks.
Willis, who fashioned a team-high .344 batting average with 55 hits, joined Jordan on the NFCA All-Region Team with a Third-Team designation.
For the second straight season, the Seahawks also shined defensively by setting a program record with a .977 fielding percentage. UNCW committed just 39 errors in 56 games, which were the fewest in school history.
The Seahawks’ success on the field in 2016 resulted in several student-athletes earning All-CAA honors. Jordan earned her second straight nod on the All-CAA Second Team, joining outfielder Merritt Wilkinson. In addition, a trio of Seahawks – Haley Lenderman, Willis and Adamczyk – received spots on the CAA All-Rookie Team.
During the 2016 campaign, UNCW fashioned a school-record 23 victories at Boseman Field, including a pair of 15-inning triumphs over Columbia and Elon. In addition, the Seahawks, who were 29-21 overall, posted a 2.38 earned run average, which ranks as the second-best mark in program history.
Norton piloted the Seahawks to a 19-27 record in 2015, including a 15-11 mark at Boseman Field. In addition, sophomores Claudia Spinelli and Peyton Jordan earned Second-Team selections on the All-Colonial Athletic Association teams.
Norton led UNCW to a successful 2014 season that featured victories over regional foes Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb and UNCG as well as a road series victory over CAA foe Drexel.
The squad continued to develop offensively in its second season under Norton’s tutelage, posting top 10 marks for slugging percentage (.343), doubles (51), triples (10), home runs (20) and walks (135). In the circle, Casey Rowland was named Second-Team All-CAA as she paced the UNCW pitching staff with a 3.01 earned run average of 181.2 innings of work.
In her first season in the Port City, Norton helped the Seahawks enjoy a solid 2013 campaign that saw the squad post its highest win total in six seasons. Under Norton’s guidance, UNCW showed marked improvements in nearly every major offensive statistical category, including appearances on the program’s all-time lists for doubles (62), walks (155), runs scored (192) and total bases (440).
Lauren Buckworth became just the fourth player in program history to earn First-Team All-CAA accolades after leading the Seahawks with a .355 batting average and 55 hits, including a team-best 14 doubles.
Norton joined the Seahawks in June 2012 after spending eight seasons at James Madison and carrying the Harrisonburg, Va., school to its first CAA tournament crown and NCAA Tournament berth in 2009.
Under Norton's instruction, JMU featured the best offensive season in the program's history in 2007, setting single-season marks for batting average (.311), slugging percentage (.472), runs scored (278), home runs (42), and RBI (264). The Dukes were ranked nationally in batting average (14th), slugging percentage, (24th) and runs scored (36th) en route to a school-record 37 victories that season.
Norton had 24 players receive a total of 42 All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie Team accolades during her time with the program, while two players, Ashley Burnham and Jenn Chavez, earned CAA Player-of-the-Year honors under her tutelage. Chavez was the first Duke to earn the award in 2007 and Burnham was the league's first two-time recipient (2010 & 2012).
Norton began her collegiate coaching career at her alma mater, serving two seasons as an assistant coach at UNC Greensboro (2003-04). Norton worked with the team's outfielders and hitters, developed the team's strength and conditioning program and coordinated travel arrangements. She also served as head coach of the Carolina Wildcats, an 18-under travel softball team, from 1999-2002.
Norton enjoyed an outstanding collegiate playing career for the Spartans, earning All-Southern Conference and honorable mention All-South accolades during her four-year career (1999-2002). A durable second baseman that set team records for games started (252) and at-bats (785), Norton was also proficient at the plate, ending her career second on UNCG's career list for hits (222), doubles (41) and fifth in runs batted in (106).
A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Norton earned her Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in coaching from UNCG in 2002. She completed her Master's in Recreation and Sports Management at JMU in 2005.