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Spring Valley's Lucas to play softball at Wesleyan

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

SPRING VALLEY -- Morgan Lucas wants to be a nurse when it's time to join the workforce. The senior at Spring Valley High School also wants to play softball in college.

Lucas said her wish came true Monday afternoon when she signed a letter of intent at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.

"I put thought into it and I wanted to find a place for the two," Lucas said after the signing ceremony held in the school's auditorium. "Academics. Nursing. They have a great program. Softball. They have a good program. It's a blessing for me. What a 2 for 1."

This season, when healthy, Lucas has played second base and outfield for the Lady Timberwolves. She had surgery on her left knee in October. She received clearance to play her final season and things went OK until she ran out a hit ball in a game against Fairland. The knee became a problem again and Lucas has been reduced to team cheerleader.

"I wanted to play my senior year. It was important to me," Lucas said. "It was shaky at times, but after Fairland, I had to shut it down." That meant being in uniform only for senior night.

Spring Valley begins West Virginia Class AAA sectional tournament play Wednesday night against Huntington High at Cabell Midland.

West Virginia Wesleyan took a 28-19 record into Monday's Senior Day doubleheader against Fairmont State. The Bobcats are 15-9 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC). Steve Warner is Wesleyan's coach. He's in his 20th season and has surpassed 800 career wins.

"She has the drive to play at the college level," Spring Valley coach Allison Webb said of Lucas. "She works hard. She's a good student. She'll do well in both. This is a big accomplishment for her and our program. It helps me think we're doing something right."

Webb said it was tough to see Lucas sit, but she said the player's future came first.

"Once she sets foot at Wesleyan, she needs to be 100 percent," said Webb, who played softball at Marshall University. "I want her available for them so she can maximize her experience."

Lucas said a trip to a softball camp at Wesleyan fueled her fire to play for the Bobcats.

"I got excited. My goal was to get better," Lucas said. "I may have pushed (to play) too soon. I've got the summer to get things right."

Lucas said practicing the three "Ds" (dedication, determination and desire) preached by Webb have helped her reach this level.

"I've made memories that will last a lifetime," Lucas said. "I want to thank God. He's helped give me the chance to go to college and play at the next level. My parents have made great sacrifices and shown support and love. Without that I wouldn't be the ball player or person I am.

"This (signing) is the next chapter of my life."