Lassiter inks with Chipola

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, July 6, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Over the years, Flomaton High School has experienced limited success in the athletic arena. Prior to this year, the school had no state championships to its credit. It took an Atmore native to change all that.
Cassie Lassiter, a recent graduate, led the Lady Hurricane softball team to the first state championship in school history this season. After winning 2A Player of the Year honors, Lassiter has signed a scholarship to play softball at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla.
Lassiter's father, Rusty, was beaming with pride over his daughter's accomplishments.
"She's been playing since she was about six years old," Rusty said. "She's put a lot of work and a lot of effort into it. I'm very proud of her."
"We're very proud of her," Lassiter's mother, Sonya, said. "It's very exciting."
Cassie said the main attraction of Chipola was the level of competition she could face.
"A lot of junior colleges were looking but the more I talked to the coaches (at Chipola) the more I liked it," she said. "They were talking about opening their season with (Florida State University) and a lot of the players of Division I after their first year there. It's a good program, plus it was a full-paid scholarship."
Lassiter grew up in Atmore, and transferred to Flomaton for her final two years of high school. Her family moved to Flomaton in order for her to be eligible to play.
In addition to being named 2A Player of the Year, she was also named to the Mobile Register's Super 12 for the area and the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State Softball team. She was also a star in the classroom, finishing sixth in her graduating class. Her stats for her senior season included a 28-6 record as starting pitcher with a 0.76 earned run average. She struck out 268 batters. She was equally a threat at the plate however, belting 18 home runs and knocking in 76 RBI.
Her home run total, however, was her only regret during Flomaton's 43-8 state championship season.
"I regretted not getting the home run record," she said.
"The record for home runs is 25," Rusty said. "During the playoffs everyone started walking her or she probably would've gotten it."
Cassie's performance in the state 2A playoffs earned her Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament. She said it was quite an honor to be the key piece on Flomaton's first championship.
"It felt good," she said. "Our volleyball team was a game away from going to state; our basketball team was a game away from going to the sweet sixteen; so we said we're finally going to do it."
"It was great," Sonya agreed. "We'll never forget it."
Cassie said that while transferring schools was tough, she did not regret the decision.
"Going from 5A to 2A was tough," she said. "But it was a good change. The girls' sports program is a whole lot better than any other girls sports program in the area. It's better than half the boys schools. We had our own weightroom, we had our own workouts, and we didn't have to work out with the boys. It kind of worked out well. I knew the coach and I had gone over there before. She coached me in the seventh grade in Atmore because Flomaton had a slow-pitch team so she came over here. Once I got over there the girls were really good to me."
Cassie said that if there was one thing she could tell the people of Atmore, it was that her success had not come easily.
"I worked my butt off to get where I am," she said. "It was hard but it was worth it."
Her father agreed that she had worked hard.
"She had a lot of good coaching and a lot of God-given talent," he said. "She's got good parents and good grandparents, Russell and Maxine Lassiter. She just worked really hard."
Cassie also wanted to thank a few people for helping her get to where she is today.
"I want to thank Danny McKinley," she said. "Because he's the one that started the fast-pitch softball program in Atmore. That's how I got started playing because I was playing with the boys. I also want to thank my parents and grandparents."

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