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?