Creighton's Kailey Wilson Used Summertime To Up Her Game
Last summer, Kailey Wilson was determined to become a better performer at the plate for her team. She knew she was probably going to have an average sophomore year if nothing in her game changed, and the thought of being average didn’t sit well with her.
So she purchased a tee and a hitting net and went to her local softball field every single day to work on her swing. When fall came back around, she arrived on campus at Creighton with a whole new standpoint on what she wanted to achieve while in the batter's box.
“I could tell when I came back in the fall that there was some improvement there,” Wilson said. “The confidence was back because I had practiced for so long. I knew exactly how to do this. That has translated over now into this season because I know how (my swing) should look and I know how (my swing) should be.”
Wilson posted a .264 batting average with four doubles and two home runs in 2020. She is on track to top those stats in 2021 with a current batting average of .408, four doubles and a team-leading eight home runs. With a completely different mentality at the plate this year, she is allowing herself to relax and realizing her mistakes early so she can make the necessary adjustments.
“In years past, I have been anxious to be up there and wanting to hit the ball, but now I am just like whatever happens, happens,” Wilson said. “I am really relaxed and trying to focus on what I need to work on so then when I do face different types of pitching, I know I can do it. “I think the relaxation part has really helped me keep my average high.”
Getting on base in any shape or form is the goal for the Bluejays every game. Whether that's by a walk, base hit or getting hit by a pitch, getting her teammates in scoring position is always Wilson’s main task. In the midst of her personal rebuild, not every plate appearance has been picture perfect, but keeping her team's goals in mind has come first for her.
“If I am not doing too well, I am making sure that I am staying in the game and that I am cheering for my teammates,” Wilson said. “If I am not performing, I know that my teammates have my back and I have their back. I will keep cheering them on and pushing them. After the game, we will figure out what’s wrong for the next game, but for the time being, in the game I will help cheer people on.”
The maturity Wilson has gained in just a matter of months is proving itself this season. For the first time in her career, she found herself on the Big East Player of the Week list during the first week of April. She is also now among the top hitters in the league in batting average and slugging percentage.
“I knew I did good during that weekend and I was thinking maybe I’ll be on the Big East honor roll because that is the highest thing I have gotten,” Wilson said. “When I saw where I got placed, I was so excited to see that I was able to help my teammates. The Big East recognized how well (Creighton) has been doing and I thought it was really awesome.”