Dacey Hassey earns second team All-American honors at Northwest Missouri State
Missouri is known as the “Show Me” state.
Well, Dacey Hassey has shown, without a doubt, that she can play the game of softball very well, especially the offensive side of it.
Ever since her freshman season at Carson High, she has been a force at the plate. Despite two outstanding seasons at east Central College in Union, Missouri, where she was a Region 16 first-team selection two years in a row, not a lot of schools were knocking on her door.
“I sent out about 134 letters last fall,” Hassey said. “I heard back from a couple of schools and a couple of schools jerked me around. There was a coach in Tennessee that wanted me to play for him, but he didn’t know how much (money) he could give me.”
Ryan Anderson, the Northwest Missouri State coach, talked to the East Central coach and told him he was looking for a hitter. The scouting report was a good one, and Anderson was able to offer books and tuition which was enough to seal the deal.
“The town (Maryville) is very small. There’s only about 10,000 people here. I’m really enjoying the team and the coach is very cool,” Hassey said.
It’s easy to say Anderson has gotten his money’s worth after one season. Hassey hit .375 last spring with four homers and 38 RBIs. She had a .544 slugging percentage. All that earned her first team all-MIAA first team honors, Division II South Central all-Region honors and Division II second-team All-American honors.
Anderson wasn’t surprised. After all, he had recruited Hassey to be more of a designated hitter/player than anything else.
“I had not seen her play,” Anderson said. “I knew the coach (Brad Wallach) from there. That is how the connection was made. He gave her a great reference. I talked to him a few times. We were fortunate enough to get her that late in the summer.”
By the time the season ended, Hassey had served as the DP, played a little outfield and some third base.
“She had a good year,” Anderson said. “There is always a transition from junior college to Division II, but she stepped right up. Going into her senior year she should be a couple of steps ahead and be ready to go.”
Hassey admits it took some preparation to her new role, but she added she would rather hit then play in the field and never get to hit.
“Ever since I was 12, hitting has been my big thing,” Hassey said. “All I have to do is just hit. That’s what they brought me in to do.”
And, save for a brief slump right before the start of conference, Hassey was rock solid at the plate.
“The third week of the season she blew up huge,” Anderson said. “I think she had 12 or 13 RBIs over one weekend. Three or four weeks later she had some hits, but she thought she should have been doing better. Conference started and she got rolling again.
“The main thing I tried to get her to understand was coming from JC to Division II the pitchers would have more movement. She has quick hands and an aggressive swing. I want her to see the ball a little bit longer.”
Anderson sees Hassey playing third and doing some catching in the spring. She could occasionally pop up in the outfield where she played all of her freshman season and the latter part of her senior season at Carson.
“She’ll play third to start with,” Anderson said. “Last year we had a girl get hurt and it screwed up our whole infield. She (Hassey) did a good there.”
“It took me a little time to adjust,” Hassey said. “The hitters try to jam it down your throat. I did OK. I can do anything they ask of me except pitch.”
Whatever gets her on the field Hassey is OK with. She truly enjoyed playing at a higher level a year ago, and proved she was up to the task.
“It’s how serious the players are,” she said, explaining the difference between the two levels. “At East Central we had a lot of local players that were there just to fill out time. They figured since they were there they might as well play. Once you get to Division II, the girls are here to play ball.”