Just a few days after graduating from Litchfield High School, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Luttrell and her sister, Litchfield assistant softball coach Stephanie Luttrell, took the opportunity to scratch an item off their bucket list.
The pair made the nearly 600-mile trip to Oklahoma City for the College Softball World Series, watching UCLA defeat Oklahoma to become national champions for the 13th time.
"It was a great experience," Luttrell said. "Seeing how well the college teams work together and how much fun they had together, I loved watching that."
Next year, Luttrell will get to be a part of that camaraderie and teamwork first-hand, after signing to play softball for Lewis and Clark Community College on May 23.
"I really like the campus and the softball coach a lot," Luttrell said. "I'm going to go into early elementary education. I've always wanted to be a teacher since I was little."
A four-year starter for the Lady Panthers, Luttrell had a breakout year in 2018, when she earned first team all-conference honors in the infield. After contributing more than a half dozen multi-hit games in her first two years on varsity, Luttrell found her swing in a big way in her junior year as she led the team in hitting with a .471 batting average and 12 runs driven in.
The LHS infielder also tied for the team lead in runs scored and triples and was second in doubles (seven) and stolen bases (eight).
For an encore, Luttrell would bat .329 as a senior, second only to teammate Emily Senjan's .419 average, and was among the team leaders in runs scored (13) and doubles (five) once again.
All of this came despite a move to a new position... catcher, the one position that she had never played.
"The first seven games or so I played in the infield, but after that I caught," Luttrell said. "I never really expected Coach Ball to ask, but I said I would take a chance and try it. I really liked it."
With that said, Luttrell's home will be in the infield at Lewis and Clark, where her athleticism will be a major asset for the Trailblazers. In addition to her softball exploits, Luttrell also played volleyball and was Litchfield's leading scorer in basketball each of the last two years, earning third team all-conference honors as a junior.
"Lewis and Clark is very lucky to have such a well-rounded athlete who they can depend on to always give her all," said Stephanie Luttrell, who also coached her sister in volleyball this past season.
The younger Luttrell credited her parents and her sister for her accomplishments to this point, saying that Stephanie taught her everything she knows. Having graduated from Litchfield eight years before her younger sister, Stephanie is a bit in awe of how quickly the time has passed.
"I just don’t know how she went from being the little girl who couldn’t wait to run the bases after my softball games to the all-conference athlete that she is today," Stephanie said. "I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to coach her through her junior and senior years and can’t wait to watch all that she accomplishes at Lewis and Clark. I am so proud of her as a coach to athlete, but even more so as her sister."
With her passion for athletics and her future career in education, who knows, maybe 2019 won't be the last time the two sisters are on the same playing field.
When asked about the possibility of coaching with her sister one day, Lizzy laughs.
"That would be awesome."