Editor's note: This the latest in a series of Gazette profiles of local athletes.
It will be tough for Whittier Regional High softball star Cassey Glode to improve on her performance from last season.
As a sophomore, the shortstop had an almost-unheard-of.723 average, with 52 RBI, 44 runs and 47 hits. Those are the best numbers of any player in the region. Glode sparked a resurgence of the Whittier team, which posted a school record 18 wins and earned the top seed in the Division 3 North Tournament.
Despite all the accomplishments in the regular season, the postseason was a big disappointment for Glode and her teammates. The Wildcats were upset 2-1 by 17th-seed Winthrop in a first-round playoff game. Glode went hitless in that game for only the second time all season. Despite the disappointing end to the season, the team has high hopes for this campaign, as eight starters including Glode are back for the Wildcats.
The Haverhill Gazette sat down with Glode to talk about life both on and off the field.
What does your team have to do to avoid the ending that happened last season?
We need to play as a team more and have more of a mental toughness.
Is it possible for you to improve on your stats this year?
I don't really focus on statistics like batting average. I just try to get on base as much as possible.
You had a tough game in the season opener (no hits in three at-bats against Greater Lawrence). Does that discourage you at all?
No, because it's just the first game. Everyone has a bad game now and then. I just have to get back in the swing of things again.
What is the biggest thing you have to improve on to get past the first round of tournament play this year?
Our mental toughness. All sports are based on mental toughness and if we have trouble we just need to overcome our negativity. We can't stay down on ourselves if we make a mistake. If we don't dwell on our mistakes, we can do so much better.
How did you get started in softball?
My step dad asked for help on the Methuen Little League teams so I started playing for him when I was about 8.
You played catcher as a (Whittier) freshman. Why did you switch to shortstop?
I wanted to try a different position. I had caught my whole life and our senior shortstop had graduated. I got moved to shortstop after that.
Do you prefer shortstop or catcher?
That's a tough question. I like both because they are both involved in the game. In softball, most of the balls get hit to shortstop. Catchers are super involved in the game too though. I think I like them both equally.
Which do you enjoy more, hitting or defense?
Defense. There's a lot more action there, and without defense you can't win games.
What is your favorite aspect of softball?
The team effort. When we are having trouble, it takes the whole team to snap out of it.
You also play volleyball during the fall. Which do you enjoy more?
Softball. It's definitely my main sport.
Do you play for any other softball teams?
Last summer, I played for the Polar Crush Gold, (based in Devens). It was a showcase team and we traveled around the country to states like Pennsylvania and Colorado. Next summer, I will be playing for the New England Firebirds out of North Andover.
Have you started to look at colleges?
Yes, I have been looking at Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack. I've always wanted to do athletic training and physical therapy.
What made you decide to come to Whittier?
Just thinking about my future. I want to be put in the best position to get a job when I get older. I thought I could get a jump start on that at Whittier.
Let's do some favorites. What's your favorite TV show?
"Meet The Browns''
Celtics guard Ray Allen
Subject in school?
English. I like to write.
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