Keely Bowling makes it official at Campbellsville

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Boyle County senior Keely Bowling signed her letter of intent to play softball at the next level for Campbellsville University on Wednesday.

“I started wanting to go there since eighth grade when I went to a camp. I’ve always had a passion for it,” she said about the decision. “Then when I saw Katy (Grace Chadwell) go there and just her word with how she’s loved it. I just kept going back and every time I’d go back it was pure joy.”

“It’s just a great testament to Keely and the effort she’s put in the last three years with us,” Boyle County coach Brian Deem said. “It’s a testament to how hard she’s worked over the summer in travel ball. It’s a testament to our program. Our kids are committed and driven to excel at the highest levels they can.”

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“She’s going to come in and help us,” Campbellsville coach Shannon Wathen added. “Obviously she swings the bat very well. She’s good defensively and is a great student which always makes things easier.”

Last year, Bowling was fourth on the Rebels in hits with 46, second in RBIs with 33, tied for second with 10 doubles and led the team with 10 homers.

This year, she returns as one of the five juniors who will look to get the Rebels back to the state tournament.

The signing marks the third Rebel to go to Campbellsville in the last five years. In 2016, Kalin Bottoms joined the Tigers and this year, Bowling’s teammate Katy Grace Chadwell will be a freshman on the team. That pipeline is something that both coaches feel like benefits their teams, and will make Bowling’s transition a little easier.

“Boyle County has some great players,” Wathen said. “They’re well coached and they play at a high level and compete at a high level. They play a tough schedule. They’re ready to come in and play or help and compete. That’s the biggest thing — they know what it takes to be successful both on the field and in the classroom. That’s what we’re looking for. We want kids who will be a good fit and are committed athletically and academically and that’s what you find here at Boyle County.”

“To see Katy and Keely and Kalin — all three of them to go through Campbellsville — it’s good for us. Campbellsville’s a quality program. They’re national contenders in NAIA and it’s a good fit for our kids. Hopefully we can continue to develop a pipeline to send our kids. I think Katy and Keely definitely gel in two years when they’re both there. To be able to sit back and watch that happen is a beautiful thing.”

But while he is excited about the future for Bowling, Deem knows that the focus has to be on the 2020 season for Boyle County.

“I’m excited for her, but not yet. We’ve got some unfinished business to do for us this year,” he said. “I’ve seen some kids sign the scholarship and kind of relax and I’ve seen kids sign it and absolutely get focused on finishing the job. I feel confident and Keely and I have been talking over the summer — that’s the route she’s going to take. She knows we’ve got unfinished business to attend to.”

For her part, Bowling is confident in a team that only lost one player from a state tournament berth last year.

“I think we can accomplish a lot. We can go just as far, if not farther than we did last year. I expect nothing less.”