Kaitlin Wilson enjoyed a stellar softball career that saw her win small-school Player of the Year honors three times while at Corbett and go on to pitch at Oregon State University where the Beavers were a top-20 team throughout her stay. So what stands out in her memory from all those sunny days on a softball field? A big green truck.
Specifically it is a 1977 Ford Extended Cab pick-up, which carried Kaitlin and her dad Bill to softball tournaments around the state throughout her childhood.
I remember picking up breakfast sandwiches and heading out, playing all day and going home. It was always fun, Kaitlin says. I can still smell that old truck.
Bill still has the truck stowed away in his backyard, retired for the most part after going through three engines and closing in on one million miles.
We have four kids and they all learned to drive on that truck, Bill says. It went everywhere. It wasnt much of a looker, but it would get you there.
Her love for the sport fueled a standout prep career where she was almost unhittable at Corbett, earning a full-ride at Oregon State where she was a member of a talent-heavy pitching staff. But getting college paid for wasnt a free ride collegiate athletics require a heavy time commitment.
You would wake up and hit the weight room, then it was off to classes, back for team workouts, more school and youd finish up at the training table and study hall. From 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. your days were full, Kaitlin says. The sports world was intense and it was great, but at some point my priorities changed and my faith and family became more important.
She returned to Corbett after school and did some modeling and found work in a coffee shop. That wasnt the only thing she would find between the roasted beans and the creamer.
A mutual friend, Mike the Matchmaker, was a frequent visitor to the coffee shop.
He kept telling me about a friend of his who couldnt stop talking about me, Kaitlin says. And he would tell the same story to his friend.
A year later, Kaitlin and Brian Aho were engaged. The couple has been married seven years and has two children 4-year-old Greyson and 2-year-old Paisley.
Every year that goes by I catch myself saying this is my favorite age, Kaitlin says. They keep me on my toes, and they make me laugh every day.
Aho, a custom builder, has turned the couples 600 square foot starter house into an expansive multi-level home of almost 3,000 square feet.
Kaitlin keeps the books for Brians business and also works as a hair stylist and event planner out of the house.
Its something different every time someone comes in, and it allows me to be creative, Kaitlin says. My favorite thing is making people feel good when they walk out the door.
She has also volunteered as a coach in the Corbett High volleyball and softball programs, spending the last several years coaching with her dad during the spring. Kaitlin calls the pitches on game day.
Shes good with the kids and they just love her, Bill says. Shes been there and done that. She has a lot of knowledge and always something uplifting to say.