Play Ball! Chelsea Luddeke is Swinging for Softball Success.
Mar 25, 2014 12:29PM
By Lisa Drake
Chelsea Luddeke has her eye on the ball and is set to hit it out of the park. The 15-year-old softball player is making a name for herself in the area, and for good reason. She’s received 38 trophies so far and a handful of other awards for her playing abilities. It all began when she was still a toddler “hanging out in the dugout” where her brothers were playing baseball. She was playing softball by age three and has never looked back. She says she “mainly plays second but I can play any position.”
The Luddeke family has lived in Mansfield for the past five years. Her mom, an occupational therapist, says the family loves the outdoors and activities like camping. She says Chelsea has always been active and involved in activities such as track and karate. She even likes to run 5Ks with her mom when she has the chance. Chelsea and her dad, a mechanical engineer, love to deer hunt whenever they can. Otherwise, theirs is a typical family that can be found spending time at work, in the classroom or on the softball field.
Chelsea took a break from her busy schedule to fill us in on her hobby as well as likes and dislikes. She is a charming teen.
How did you get interested in softball? I started hanging out in the dugout when my brothers played baseball. I was just 2. When I was old enough to play, then I was on the field every chance I got.
Tell us more about playing softball and what you love about it? I love playing and practicing but I also have made so many friends playing softball.
How long have you been doing this? Since I was 3, so almost 12 years now.
What position(s) do you play? I mainly play second but can really play any outfield or infield position.
What kind of training/practice is required? I practice out of Southlake 2 to 3 times a week for my Select team but I also hit at home since my parents built a batting cage in the backyard. My dad sometimes pitches to me. In high school we practice or workout every day that we are in school.
What do you like about being part of a team? I really like the friendships I have made. They are like family and we all work well together.
Do you have a personal coach/mentor? My dad has always been there to coach me but I also have a Select coach, Mark Rhine; high school coach, Donya Mooney; and a coach that I take lessons from when he is in town, Coach Michael Bastian.
Have you traveled for tournaments? Where? Yes. All over Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida and Oklahoma.
Did you win any awards? Yes, I have 38 trophies that were in the top 3 and I have 10 medals. I also got the Down and Dirty Award, MVP, and 2 Hustle Awards at softball camps I went to.
What kind of expense/equipment is involved? My bats are about $300 and the gloves and cleats can get expensive but the most cost is traveling out of town to play in tournaments.
Describe your biggest moment on the field and how it turned out. It was in Moore, Oklahoma and we were ahead but the other team was about to score. The ball went over my head but I jumped as high as I could to make the play. I caught it for the last out to win the championship!
What do you like most about softball? Mainly the friendships but also the challenge of the game.
Describe how your family has supported your interest. My mom and dad are always there to watch and cheer me on. They also take me to lessons and practice and pay for everything I need.
What’s your ultimate goal for playing softball? College? Professional? Coaching? I want to play at a Division I college if I get that chance. I want to be a teacher and softball coach after college and even play professional some day.
What kind of student are you? Favorite subject? A and B student. I really like algebra.
Other interests? I love to go hunting with my Dad. I shot my first deer when I was 9.
What do you do in your spare time? I like to relax and listen to music, volunteer and I like to keep up with my friends on my iPhone.
How would you describe your personality? I am shy around people off the field but I am the joker on the field with my teammates.
What are your career plans? I want to be a teacher and softball coach in a high school.
What do you like most about school? My teachers, friends and softball teammates.
Who has inspired you and why? Coach Mooney at Timberview. She has shown me that she cares for each one of her kids and she is a great coach. She works with us on and off the field. She will tutor us in anything we are having trouble with at school too. I am also inspired by my two brothers who always worked hard in baseball. My younger brother died when I was 6 and his motto was “Live your life to the extreme.” That is what I want to do and I want to honor him in my walk up song. He will always be in my heart and also on my sleeve (because my coach had his name and number embroidered on my uniform this year).
Ice cream or apple pie? Ice cream!
Weirdest food indulgence? My dad's homemade beef jerky. It is not weird but I love it!
What are you most proud of? Having good grades my first semester in high school and making the varsity team as a freshman.
Do you know an exceptional local kid and want to nominate him/her to be profiled in Kidding Around? Let us know here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org