Posted 10 months ago
By John Axtell
William Jewell College is getting a jewel of a softball player next season with Western Nebraska Community College’s Shelby McGraw inking her letter of intent to play for the Division II school out of Liberty, Mo.
McGraw, an all-around standout for the Cougars whether pitching, playing centerfield, or hitting, is excited to be joining a Cardinal team that finished 29-23 last season, saying everything felt right when she visited the school last month.
“I decided to go there because I really liked the coaches and their whole philosophy,” she said. “On my visit I liked the campus and academically they are a good school. And there team is a lot like a family like it is here.”
McGraw was part of back-to-back 50 win seasons with the Cougars, something that had never been done at WNCC. The team went 50-15 this year, falling in the regional championship series to Otero Junior College.
What McGraw accomplished at WNCC was become a consistent pitcher and outfielder, where she earned First-Team All-region honors as a utility player.
McGraw went 19-7 this year with a 1.92 ERA, 13 complete games, 8 shutouts, and 102 strikeouts in 160 innings pitched. She was just as dangerous from the plate, batting .414 with 17 home runs, 61 runs scored, 85 RBIs, 16 doubles, four triples, and 16 stolen bases.
In her two years at WNCC, McGraw batted .385 with 99 runs scored, 124 RBIs, 24 doubles and 25 homes runs…the latter ranking her 5th in school history.
McGraw had an outstanding high school careers at Pueblo Central High in Pueblo, Colo…where she hit .417 while posting a 2.55 career ERA with 115 strikeouts in 145 innings. Her goal was to go on to a 4-year college and says she’d couldn’t have chosen a better program for that than WNCC.
“That was always my goal. Both years I played here, the teams were amazing with all the record breaking. My first year here, I watched pitching records get broken and then hitting records this year. I loved it here. The two seasons here went by so fast that I am already thinking about going there (William Jewell)
But, as McGraw gets ready to graduate on May 17, she will remember her two years at WNCC with plenty of heart-felt memories. “We have so many memories from all the little things. They say you don’t remember days, you remember moments and we had so many. I am going to miss them [my teammates] so much. It was fun here.”