A 45-minute drive home made the decision easier.
St. Louis Community College, Danville Community College, Olney Central Community College, and Principia College all wanted Kailyn Wilson to play softball for them.
The Charleston High School senior ultimately chose Parkland College.
“It was so close to home,” said Wilson. “If I want to come home on a Wednesday night, I can.
With friends, family and her dogs close by, the tough decision became a very easy one.
Make no mistake though: Wilson is also excited to join a competitive team. Parkland went 37-23 last season with a 17-7 mark in the conference. The Cobras fell just short in the NJCAA Region 24 Championship, losing to Danville Community College, 1-0.
Wilson said the team’s consistent ability to field a good team was an influencing factor but she also noticed that the team culture is positive as well when she visited. Wilson said the educational piece was a great fit as well. Wilson plans to major in business management with the hope of using the school’s pathways program to transfer to the University of Illinois after two years.
“Parkland stood out to me because they have a great education program and all of the girls that I will be playing with next year, I felt like, I already had a great connection with,” said Wilson. “They say that when you know you know, and after I visited Parkland I just knew, I had that feeling. I was looking for a positive environment, a team that felt like a family. I already feel a part of their softball family, and I’m not even there yet.”
Wilson has contributed to the CHS varsity team since her sophomore year. During that 2020-21 season, Wilson hit .289 – rapping 24 hits, driving in 15 runs, scoring 26 more and posting an on-base percentage of .366. She also pitched 19.2 innings with an earned run average of 2.85 with 25 strikeouts and seven walks.
Last season, Wilson earned first team All-Apollo First as she helped the Trojans repeat as Apollo Conference champions. In 33 games, Wilson hit .431 with 47 hits, 31 RBI, and 27 runs scored with an on-base percentage of .492. That included 12 doubles, five triples, and five home runs. Wilson also improved on the mound where she pitched 59.1 innings for a 4.01 earned run average to go with a 9-1 record and 47 strikeouts.
With the big decision out of the way, she can now enjoy her senior year and lament the hard work that has pushed her to this point.
“It shows that my hard work has paid off, and I have the opportunity to further my love for the sport and continue my schooling for my future career,” said Wilson. “I would like to thank my mom (Lindsay Wilson) and my dad (Chris Wilson) for always believing in me. I would like to thank my teachers for helping me achieve my academic goals. I would like to thank Stephanie Goodwin, Amber May, and Matt Morecraft. Without them, I wouldn’t be a pitcher. And, of course, I would like to thank my softball families, both Charleston High School and travel ball (Premier Fastpitch) for making me push myself to get better mentally and physically.”