Atmore's national champ

Published 4:25 am Wednesday, June 27, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Cassie Lassiter, a native of Atmore and McCullough, was part of something special in 2007. She was a member of the national champion Chipola College Indians of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
"Words can't explain what we were all feeling when we left that field," Lassiter said. "Everyone left everything out there on the field and it was all for the team. I remember wondering if the morning workouts plus the afternoon workouts were worth it, but the coaches were right and we now have a national championship to show for it."
Lassiter joined six of her teammates on the Florida Junior College Athletic Association's All-Conference First Team and was named the Panhandle Conference Player of the Year in 2007.
"It was a great and unbelievable feeling to be named the Panhandle Conference Player of the Year," she said. "We set our goals at the beginning of the year to be the best and we were."
She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the state tournament in Auburndale, Fla. Lassiter was also recognized on the national stage as an NJCAA Division I first-team All-American and a member of the All-Tournament Team in the national tournament in Plant City, Fla.
Lassiter garnered all this recognition by posting a 22-2 record as a pitcher for the Indians with 95 strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA. She also added 15 home runs, including three grand slams, and 44 RBIs at the plate.
Before community college, Lassiter attended grade school at Huxford Elementary School and high school at Escambia County High School in 2003 and graduated from Flomaton High School in 2005.
Lassiter was introduced to success during her time at FHS, as the Lady Hurricanes finished third in the state in 2004 and won the Class 4A state championship her senior year in 2005. She also was named State Tournament MVP and Class 4A State Player of the Year.
"I want to thank all my coaches at Chipola and Flomaton for everything," Lassiter said. "Without them none of this would have ever been possible."
Chipola's head softball coach is Belinda Hendrix and Jimmy Hendrix assists her. Lassiter's coaches at FHS were Jaqui and Scott Hammond.
Lassiter also said she wanted to thank her parents, Rusty and Sonya Lassiter of McCullough; her grandparents, Russell and Maxine Lassiter of Booneville; her 3-year-old daughter, Jalia and her brother, Clint.
And Sonya Lassiter is as proud as a mother can be of her daughter.
"I can't describe the words of my emotion," Sonya said. "I am excited for her and very proud of her. She has proven that with God all things are possible."
Sonya expects Cassie to continue having success at the next level of college sports.
"I was talking with the coach at Troy one day and I told her that Cassie is not going to stop here," Sonya said. "She is hungry to continue winning and we are looking forward to her years at Troy."
Chipola, located in Marianna, Fla., was Lassiter's home away from home for three years and she is now moving on to Troy University on a softball scholarship.
"I am looking forward to bringing home another championship while at Troy," Lassiter said. "And I am also going to work on my law degree."
When she is done with school and softball, Lassiter said she wants to work with young girls who are involved with softball. She said she would want to be a summer ball coach somewhere down the line.

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