CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team's captains for the 2014-15 season will be Kelsey Gonzalez, Kalyn Harker and Meredith Wilson, head coach Kerri Blaylock announced today. Harker and Wilson are seniors, while Gonzalez is a junior.
Gonzalez, a junior, had a breakout sophomore campaign and surged into one of the best all-around shortstops in the Missouri Valley Conference. After batting .210 as a freshman, Gonzalez raised her average to .328 as a sophomore, which was 14th in the league overall and second among shortstops. She led the MVC and ranked sixth in the nation in sacrifice flies and also led the MVC in batting average vs. left-handed pitchers. She earned MVC Player of the Week honors on April 28 after slugging .933 in SIU's series win over eventual MVC champion Wichita State. Gonzalez was also a member of the MVC's Scholar-Athlete First Team.
Harker, a senior, started 47 games last year for the Salukis in center field and was one of the top defensive outfielders in the conference. She has only committed one error in her 135 career games and holds a .995 career fielding percentage. She also hit .313 last year from the leadoff spot and showcased an impressive combination of power (10 doubles) and speed (14 stolen bases). She hit .364 with runners in scoring position. Harker was also a member of the MVC's Scholar-Athlete First Team in both 2013 and 2014.
Wilson, a senior, is a two-time second-team All-MVC outfielder. She has started 131 games for the Salukis in her first three years in Carbondale and has posted a .449 career slugging percentage. She started 36 games last year and posted a career-high .430 on-base percentage. She worked a 16-pitch at-bat before hitting a walk-off single to beat Loyola and eventual MVC Pitcher of the Year Brittany Gardner in Carbondale.