CROWN POINT | If you walked up to a Crown Point softball game this spring and asked for "RaeAnna" few would've known for sure who you were talking about.
However, if you would've asked for LuLu Jenks, all would know you were talking about the Bulldogs' second baseman.
But how in the world did "RaeAnna" turn into "LuLu?"
"My middle name is Lucille," Jenks said. "My grandpa started calling me LuLu. It caught on. At school and in softball everyone knows me as LuLu. Away from here I'm RaeAnna. That's just the way it is."
Today, the three-year starter will play in the North-South All-Star game in Carmel. She is one of seven area players on the North squad and Lake Central coach Jeff Sherman will be coaching her.
After competing against C.P. the last three years, he is happy LuLu or RaeAnna or whatever anyone calls her is finally on his team.
"One word comes to mind with LuLu: Spark plug," Sherman said. "She's a spark plug-type of player. She's high energy; a go-all-out kind of player.
"I'm just happy I don't have to coach to try and get her out this time."
Jenks got into karate before softball. She started when she was four and earned her black belt at the age of 10. She went to the Junior Olympics in Las Vegas and finished second in the fighting division.
She once broke six boards with one powerful swing of her hand.
"I thought that was pretty cool," she said.
Then, she tried to break bats in half as a pitcher. She worked with Munster resident and pitching coach John Nishimura for a couple of years, but realized the infield was the best fit for her.
"We already had two good pitchers so I wanted to help the team another way," she said.
As a sophomore, Jenks moved into the starting lineup, a place she then never left. Her 'Dogs were ranked No. 1 in the state and looked locked and loaded to make a run at the state title.
A shocking loss to LaPorte in sectionals ended that nightmare. But C.P. finally got it done in 2011 on its own field.
"LuLu is such a steady player," C.P. coach Ginger Britton said. "We could always count on her to get the job done. She hit in the high 3s or low 4s. She had a quiet strength on the field.
"If we needed something to be done, she was the one to do it."
Instead of playing small-college softball, Jenks is headed to Purdue where her 4.1 GPA will help her to major in Medical Laboratory Science.
"I am honored to be selected for this team," Jenks said. "I hope we win both games and I want to do the best that I can."