JACKSON – Senior Kylee Bako is happy the recruiting process is over, and she can concentrate on her senior season this spring.

The Jackson High School third baseman, alongside friends and family, signed her letter of intent back in November to play softball at Ohio Christian University next year.

“I chose to go to Ohio Christian because I am solid in my faith. I have always said that my entire life. Whatever happens to me, I give God all the glory,” said Bako.

Other schools she expressed interest in, included Ohio University-Chillicothe, as well as Muskingum and Rio Grande. However, she felt Ohio Christian University was the best fit for her.

“It felt like home,” Bako said.

Jackson head coach Shane Wolford said he and his coaching staff knew she had the tools to be a special player the first time she walked through the door during her freshman year.

“You could tell when you got her in the batting cage and on the field, she was already a solid player,” he said. “She has worked hard, and she does everything right. She is a great pickup for Ohio Christian University.”

Her decision to play at the next level has been planted in her mind for a long time.

“She has gone to various camps. It is definitely something she has prepared for,” Wolford said.

Bako works on softball year-round, despite playing volleyball in the fall and basketball during the winter.

“She has called me and asked to come hit balls to her and throw with her,” said Wolford. “She knows what it is like to work on her game year-round, so I don’t think that is going to be an adjustment for her.

“She has been a leader for our team. She has led us in the pregame prayer ever since she came in as a freshman. I’m not sure what we will do without her next year because she has always led us in prayer. She is a great girl, and it has been a privilege to coach her.”

Earning All-Frontier Athletic Conference honors during her junior season, Bako batted an impressive .397 with four home runs for the Ironladies, which finished 14-9 overall and 8-2 in conference play. She was also named to the first-team on the all-district team and was awarded the scholar-athlete award during the 2019 season.

Playing softball at Jackson has been – to say the least – good for Bako. Although she admits to struggling her freshman year after the passing of Emileigh Cooper, she just wanted to continue her legacy.

“I wanted to be a warrior and for people to see the fire and leadership, and everything God instilled in me.”

Bako hit .432 during her freshman season with two home runs. She earned All-SEOAL honorable-mention and was named to the SEOAL Academic team.

During her sophomore season, Bako hit .462 with six home runs.

Winning the league this season is high on Bako’s wish list, which would be her fourth straight league title during her high school career.

“It will be something exciting I can tell my kids someday,” she said.

Bako plans to major in middle school education because she feels she can reach more people as a teacher than she would as a counselor.