Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

April 12, 2013

'Queen of K', Littlejohn, to play last game at Lady Eagle Park tonight

RUSK — It has been said that all good things must at some point come to an end.

For Sydney Littlejohn, playing in her home ballpark — Rusk High School's Lady Eagle Park — that conclusion will take place starting at 6 p.m. tonight when the Lady Eagles play on campus for the final time this season by taking on Fairfield.

As a side note, Littlejohn and shortstop Juliann Bowling, the team's two seniors, will be honored in on-the-field festivities which will be the highlight of Senior Night.

Littlejohn is the highest profile student-athlete to come out of Rusk since Cody Glenn, who graduated in 2007 and went on to play at the University of  Nebraska, and later in the National Football League.

Littlejohn, one of Texas' most dominating pitchers, has already penned an agreement to continue her academic and athletic endeavors at the University of Alabama, the NCAA Division I defending national softball champions.

The lanky right hander has tossed four perfect games this season, including one in the Lady Eagles' last outing Tuesday, an 8-0 win over Mexia.

The things Littlejohn can do with a softball are almost unthinkable to a layman, and down-right scary for most opposing batters.

Littlejohn struck out 18 in Tuesday's victory and she is sitting right around the 950-career strike out mark, so 1000 whiffs is something that is in the back or her mind, without a doubt.

Rusk closes out the regular season Tuesday night at Palestine and will play Celina at a location to be announced in a (Class 3A playoff) warm-up game on Apr. 26.

There is also a possibility that the Lady Eagles could squeeze an additional warm-up game in prior to the opening of the state playoffs.

Littlejohn has been mowing down opposing hitters with such regularity this year, that a Tyler television station's sports reporter deemed Littlejohn, the daughter of Paul and Lynn Littlejohn of Rusk, as the “Queen of K” — “K” being a baseball/softball term that describes a strikeout.

“The Queen” has been drawing not only dedicated Lady Eagle backers, but casual fans as well, to the ballpark to witness her pitching domination.

On Tuesday, several young girls that train at the same Tyler pitching facility as Littlejohn came out to see her in action.

Among those youngsters was Kelsey Traylor, who is the daughter of Cherokee County Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor and wife Amy.

Miss Traylor and friends seem to be on to something and know a good thing when they see it.

Starting next spring, if everything goes well, Littlejohn will probably be easy to see, pitching on television for the Crimson Tide.

And that fact makes tonight — the last night that “The Queen” will be in action in Rusk — even more special, and one that should be cherished and not be missed.


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