GRAVETTE (KFSM)--Cally Kildow is just the third athlete from Gravette to commit to a D1 school since 1990 when she pledged to play softball at Arkansas. The Razorbacks won't have the benefit of Kildow for a handful of years though, as she's just a freshman in high school.
"During basketball season I went on my unofficial visit and it was just the best day of my life. It couldn't have been any better," Kildow explained, as Arkansas eventually offered her the same day. Her only other scholarship offer came from Syracuse.
"I knew she was gonna do big things, I didn't think she would commit as a freshman though," said sophomore catcher Emily Ellis.
Kildow began playing tee ball at age three, and started softball when she turned eight. Through travel ball, the freshman honed her skills as a pitcher.
"I remember when she was wild and crazy and just trying to get the fastballs down and now she's hitting her locations all the time. It makes my job as a catcher really easy," Ellis said.
"She controls the plate, she controls every pitch she's got. I mean we never have to worry about her hitting location," Gravette coach Taos Jones said.
One tradition Cally maintains is attending the College World Series in Oklahoma City every June. "I started going when I was eleven. Every year my Grandma would take me."
In the big picture, Kildow's commitment could do wonders for a school like Gravette. Not many 4A athletes play division one sports, much less get looked at by big time programs. "For the school, for the community I mean it's a huge deal. The biggest thing about it is a lot of times small school athletes get overlooked by big programs like that, and this is the exception," Jones explained.
Kildow leads the state with over 160 strikeouts this spring, sporting an ERA under one and has thrown a perfect game and no hitter. It's safe to say the future is bright both for Kildow and her fellow Lady Lions.