By PAUL HINES
A key player on a Lady Cardinals softball team that made a surprising postseason run has committed to Southeastern Illinois College.
Cassandra Lueking made her announcement official on Tuesday. The senior played catcher a season ago for the Lady Cardinals and provided offense from her middle of the order batting position.
“They’re getting an extremely good player,” Woodlawn softball coach Matt Patterson said. “I couldn’t have been more happy for her to get this opportunity. She displays the best work ethic of a kid we’ve had in this program.”
Lueking has started every year during her career and plays the physically demanding catcher position. Lueking also brings toughness to the Lady Cardinals’ team.
“That’s something that’s she’s got, and it’s a big asset to us, and we’re glad that she’s been around our younger kids to hopefully show them that hopefully hard work does pay,” Patterson said.
In the playoffs, Woodlawn fought back from the brink of elimination against Waltonville and again in the sectional semifinal against Red Hill. The Lady Cardinals lost the sectional title game to Mulberry Grove. Despite the loss in the final, Woodlawn once again did most of its scoring late. The Lady Cardinals tallied three runs in their final at-bat to make the score 8-5. Lueking was in the middle of the rally with an RBI. She also had a hit an RBI in the sectional semifinal.
“We had to turn things around,” Lueking said. “One game that’s all it took. Somebody got a hit, we were all into it together.”
Lueking has played softball and basketball while at Woodlawn. She started her softball career at the age of 10.
“I just loved it when I got started with it. I was hooked,” Lueking said. “I just keep getting better because I want to go to the next level and that was my dream.”
Woodlawn finished the season 13-19.