When Jack Goode moved eastward across the parish from West Ouachita to Sterlington where he accepted the head softball coaching position, he had never seen his new team play in an actual game. One of the most common unsolicited scouting reports he kept hearing went something like this: “Cassidy Brady can flat hit.”
The senior third baseman and cleanup batter, who signed with Bossier Parish Community College in February, hasn't disappointed her new coach. Over the past couple of weeks, Brady has been on a torrid streak.
“It seems like every time I do the stats after the game, she has two doubles or she went 3-for-4,” Goode said. “She's been killing the ball lately, which is what you want this time of the year as you get into the playoffs. She produces momentum as we go into the bottom of the lineup.”
Hot streaks are nothing new for Brady, who hit a ridiculous .800 in District 2-2A play last season en route to earning All-State honors. Helping the Lady Panthers advance to the quarterfinals, Brady finished the campaign with a .545 batting average, six home runs and 45 RBIs.
As pleased as he is with Brady's offensive production, Goode is equally pleased with her defensive progress.
“Cassidy has gotten a lot better defensively,” Goode said. “I was honest with her when I first came here and told her what she needed to work on. She was sick around the Ouachita Tournament (March 8-9) and missed a couple of games. I've seen a big turnaround since then. She's really focused in and started working harder.”
Top 1st: When did you start playing softball.
Cassidy Brady: When I was 4 years old. They put girls and boys together in T-Ball in Swartz.
Bottom 1st: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of softball?
Brady: My favorite part is batting.
My least favorite part is playing defense.
Top 2nd: Did signing early take some of the pressure off for your senior year?
Brady: It took a lot of pressure off. I'm a little more relaxed. I don't get as down on myself when I make an error as I used to, like I know I should.
Bottom 2nd: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced?
Brady: It's kind of funny because we're friends, but I'd have to say Hailey Hayden from West Monroe. She's a senior at ULL now.
Page 2 of 3 - Top 3rd: Do you believe that the tough schedule will help the Lady Panthers in the playoffs?
Brady: I do. When we played a lot of the smaller schools in the past, it built our confidence up. Our record isn't as good, but we needed the experience of playing against tougher teams.
Bottom 3rd: Besides the tougher schedule, what do you attribute to the Lady Panthers' slow start this season?
Brady: I think our downfall was that we got down on ourselves. Now we're starting to be more positive and rally more.
Top 4th: Are the Lady Panthers starting to play better?
Brady: We are starting to play better. I think our bats have come along now that we're getting late into the season.
Bottom 4th: How important is it for the Lady Panthers to build up some momentum going into the playoffs?
Brady: I think it's very important because if, as a team, we don't have confidence in ourselves, we aren't going to go very far.
Top 5th: How tough was it to go through a coaching change during your senior year?
Brady: I don't think it was as hard on me as maybe some of the other girls because I had been through it before. When I came here from Ouachita as a sophomore, I went from playing for coach (Randy) Douglas to playing for coach (Boyd) Cole.
I miss playing for coach Cole, but I like playing for coach (Jack) Goode.
Bottom 5th: What are you going to miss about playing high school softball?
Brady: Being with all the girls that I've played with for so long
Top 6th: Do you have a favorite hunting story?
Brady: I have two favorite hunting stories.
When I went on one of my first hunting trips to Brady, Texas with my parents (Carl and Monica Brady), the deer would come right up to the stands and wouldn't run off because they were so used to people.
My other favorite is the time I went hunting with my mom when I was about 10. I started catching lady bugs instead of looking for deer and she got pretty mad. I didn't get to go hunting with my mom for a while after that.
Bottom 6th: Outside of softball, what is something you hope to accomplish during your senior year?
Brady: Signing a college scholarship was my big goal.
Page 3 of 3 - Top 7th: What are your future plans?
Brady: After BPCC, hopefully I'll get picked up by a four-year college and go play for them. I plan to major in physical therapy.
Bottom 7th: Why physical therapy?
Brady: Because I like to help people. I would like to get into the sports aspect of PT, but I don't want to do school-related work. I want to go the orthopedic route.
Another dream is to be a coach, but I don't want to be a teacher.