Lebanon senior Kailyn Hazlewood commits to Evangel

Submitted photo
Lebanon High School senior Kailyn Hazlewood committed to play softball at Evangel University next year on Sunday night. Pictured in the photo above, from left, are recruiting coordinator Jamie Halbrook, Hazlewood and Evangel head softball coach Jay Halbrook.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

Lebanon senior Kailyn Hazlewood announced her commitment to play college softball at Evangel University on Sunday night.

Hazlewood has played all around the infield and has seen time on the mound for LHS during her four seasons and has hopes of playing every position she can when she gets there next year.

The Crusaders finished last season with a 31-22 record, and the 2017 squad features five seniors – including Cassidy Gillihian, Madison Barnes, Megan Washam, Kyra Parker and Michaela Tolliver.

In a preseason interview, Lebanon head coach Stanley Crum had high praise for Hazlewood.

“She (Kailyn) provides a lot of leadership to this team,” Crum said. “She gives us a set of quick hands in the middle of the lineup and is a very smart softball player.”

The Daily Record recently caught up with Hazlewood to talk to her about her commitment to Evangel and what she expects.

LDR – Talk about your commitment to Evangel, what were some things about their program and campus that stood out that led you to choose them?

Hazlewood – I have done the camps that they offered since summer of 2016, and from there I fell in love with the campus and the coaches. When I went this past summer, it was a confirmation of my love for the program and the school. The campus is beautiful, and the coaching staff is fantastic.

LDR – How do you see yourself fitting in at Evangel?

Hazlewood – I see myself fitting in really well at Evangel mindset wise. I’ve always been really mature for my age, and I think that will play a part both on the field, in the classroom, and in my social life on campus. I feel as though I will be around people with the same goals as I have.

LDR – Were there any other schools that were looking at you for softball? What did you enjoy about those schools?

Hazlewood – Other schools that were interested in me and I was interested in include Three Rivers, East Central, SBU, and UCM. I enjoyed the programs and majors that these schools offered, but they just didn’t feel right when I visited. I knew that they weren’t where I belonged.

LDR – Talk about the camps you attended at Evangel and what you liked about them.

Hazlewood – I went to their first camp in summer of 2016, and they showed a bit of interest then. During the 2016 softball season, they came to some games, and we continued to keep in contact. I attended their camp this past summer, and it sealed the deal for playing for them. They have a great team, and the coaching staff is phenomenal. I can’t wait to be a part of their team.

LDR – Who are the biggest influences on your softball career?

Hazlewood – My biggest influence, although I have many, has to be my parents. They have always taken me from tournament to tournament and paid for and gotten me everything that I have ever needed. From the latest released bats, to travel teams that cost thousands of dollars to play for, they have always paid for it without a blink of an eye. They have always supported me and pushed me to not only be a good player but an even better person. They are honest with me when I’m not doing well and cheer me on when I am. I couldn’t ask for a better support system that constantly helps me pursue my dreams.

LDR – Talk about the high school season so far. How would you assess your teams play and individual play so far?

Hazlewood – This season has been pretty good so far, but we aren’t close to where we need to be to be a threat to other teams. We have quite a few big bats, and our defense is solid, but the attitude of the team needs to change before we can win games against high caliber teams. We have so much talent on the team this year, and I believe that we’re in a much better place now than where we were last year, but there’s still so much room for improvement. I’ve played very well this season so far. My batting average is high, and my defense has  been solid.  I have responded well since my offseason shoulder surgery that I had.

LDR – What positions will you try to play in college? When did you decide Evangel was the right fit for you?

Hazlewood – I plan on trying to play every position I can in college since I’m a utility player and have the ability to play anywhere but I would like to see some time in the middle infield and maybe some time on the mound. I decided Evangel was the right fit for me when I walked into the campus and it felt right that I was there. Some people describe as feeling like you’re at home and I felt that while I was on campus.

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