Leader Female Athlete of the Year: Lady Cardinal Kassidy Wilbur

Published 8:35 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

For the past four years, a lot of Southeast Texas softball teams realized real fast that they couldn’t “jack” around when facing Bridge City ace Kassidy Wilbur.

Next season, foes in the Southland Conference will have to deal with Miss Wilbur as she will be competing for the Stephen F. Austin Lady Jacks.

Wilbur “wheeled and dealed” for four straight years for the Lady Cardinals, leading them to four straight district titles. The Lady Cardinals went 110-26-2 overall in that span and perhaps the most mind-boggling mark was a 42-2 district record in four years against pretty stout competition.

For all of her efforts, Wilbur, who was also a standout basketball player for the Lady Cardinals, is The Orange Leader’s Female Athlete of the Year for the second straight year.

“That’s wonderful again and so many people helped me along the way,” said Wilbur. “I’ve been blessed with an amazing family that has always been there for me. Plus, there is all the wonderful teammates and coaches that made it so fun along the way. A lot of hard work went into it, but the best part was all the fun I had and that’s what it is all about.”

Wilbur was so dominant in so many ways, whether it was on the mound or at the plate.

As a senior she helped lead the Lady Cardinals to a 27-9-1 mark and a perfect 10-0 in 22-4A play.

She notched a 22-4 record on the mound with a earned run average of 0.89. She fanned 276 batters and walked just 27 in 165 innings.

At the plate, despite being pitched to a whole lot, she hit a sparkling .4309 with 11 home runs, nine doubles and 34 runs batted in.

In her junior campaign Wilbur was dominant both on the mound and at the plate.

Wilbur notched a 20-3 record on the mound with a earned run average of 0.57. She struck out 237 batters in 123 innings of work and allowed only 50 hits.

At the plate, she powered her way to a .435 batting average with nine home runs and 31 runs batted in.

As a sophomore in 2016, the Lady Cardinals went 29-4 and a perfect 12-0 in district play to advance to the area round of the postseason.

Wilbur notched a 20-3 mark on the mound. She posted a earned run average of 1.55 and had 208 strikeouts in 135 innings of work.

She did plenty of damage at the plate as she was one of the top hitters in the state. She batted a whopping .479 with 12 home runs and 44 runs batted in and also had 16 doubles.

She picked up Offensive Player of the Year honors and the Orange Leader MVP as a freshman as she helped power the Lady Cardinals to a 26-7 mark and a 11-1 district title run and a trip to the 4A Region III quarterfinals where they fell to eventual state champion Huffman.

“It was a good run for sure and to win district four times in a row in a very tough district is something I will always remember,” said Wilbur. “When you win, it makes things a blast. All of the fun things I was able to do with all of my teammates and coaches, that’s what I’m going to take with me the most.”

Wilbur also remembers some big games that will stay in her mind forever.

“Our junior year, we lost to Silsbee in our first district game but got it back when we beat them at home later,” said Wilbur. “Beating Lorena in the Regional semifinals that junior year in Game Two to force a third game was one to remember for sure. Also, beating good LC-M teams the last couple years was fun because they’ve had some awesome teams.”

Wilbur is now getting anxious to head to Nacogdoches and continue her education. Her brother Conner Wilbur, a former Bridge City track standout, competed for the SFA track team and will be a senior next year. Conner Wilbur finished a solid fifth in the SLC decathlon in early May.

“I fell in love with SFA and the campus when I visited as a freshman and I knew then where I wanted to go,” said Wilbur. “We’ve been there many times with Conner there. I’m really glad he’s going to be there for my freshman year. It will definitely be a family affair and the travel is not bad for Mom and Dad and the family.”

Wilbur feels she will have the opportunity to not only pitch but also hit for the Lady Jacks. The Lady Jacks had a nice run in the Southland Conference last year, finishing 31-24 overall but 18-9 in SLC play.

“It’s going to be like starting over where everything is a competition for spots in the lineup,” said Wilbur. “The coach told me that I was going to pitch and when I wasn’t pitching, I could play first base. I think that’s great, because I love to hit.”

Wilbur also loved to mix it up on the basketball court as she was part of three Lady Cardinal playoff teams over the years. The Lady Cardinals made it to the regional quarterfinals her freshman season and they grinded their way to the area round this year with some hard effort.

“This year was the most fun we had playing basketball because so many people thought we were not going to be that good,” said Wilbur. “We certainly were not the best shooting team or the fastest team but we got it done with a lot of heart and determination.”

Heart and determination was instilled in Kassidy at a young age by parents Denise and Thomas Wilbur for sure.

“I could not ask of anymore from two amazing people,” said Wilbur. “You just can’t add up the countless hours they spent in helping me reach my goals. Years and years of taking off work and getting me to places. They both mean so, so, so much to me.”

Wilbur plans on majoring in kinesiology at SFA but she doesn’t want to become a coach.

“I want to be a physical therapist,” said Wilbur, who mother and father or both in the healthcare profession. “I want to be able to help people become healthier and I think it’s a field I will really enjoy.”