ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Softball season is still a few months away, but one Lady Marauder already has a destination for next year.
Meigs senior Katie Gilkey signed her letter of intent on Thursday at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, committing to join the West Liberty softball team in 2017.
“I’ve worked really hard over the years and my family has really encouraged me to do the best that I could do,” said Katie. “Since I had this awesome opportunity I decided to farther my softball career. It means the world.”
Gilkey, who has played for the MHS varsity team since her freshman season, has helped Meigs to a 46-20 record and two sectional championships in three seasons. As a second baseman, Gilkey has earned first team Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division honors in back-to-back seasons.
“I have a short history with Katie, only coaching her for a year, but I’ve known her for a long time and I know how hard she’s worked,” Meigs head coach Bryan Swann said. “This is one of those occasions where she truly has worked all of her life. She continued to work through last season to make herself a better player, and it paid off. She went to a recruiting camp and was voted one of the top-three athletes in the camp. That led to offers from various schools and that’s how she got where she is.”
West Liberty University is an NCAA Division II school that completes in the Mountain East Conference and is located just north of Wheeling, West Virginia.
“I really liked their campus when I visited them before I committed,” Gilkey said of West Liberty. “I really liked the coach and they were the first college to reach out to me.”
Gilkey, who plans on majoring in early childhood education at WLU, will join a West Liberty squad that has won 58 games over the last four seasons seasons, under head coach Jim Bacca.
“Katie is a versatile type of player that can be a second baseman, yet she also possesses enough speed to allow her to be an outfielder at the collegiate level,” Bacca said. “We expect Katie to bring that versatility and speed to help increase our team speed offensively as well as defensively. Because Katie can hit well she brings speed to the plate that makes it difficult for the defense to read what she might do. We hope to help her increase those skills and we look forward to what we think could be a lot of fun for her on the base path.”
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.