Hassey showing them how to play in Missouri
Appeal Sports Writer
The last place Dacey Hassey expected to be this year was Missouri.
Hassey, a four-year starter for Carson High’s softball team, was supposed to play softball for Santa Barbara City College this season, and she was excited about moving to Southern California.
The reality of the cost of living reared its ugly head, and Hassey had to change her college plans.
“It just got to be too expensive,” Hassey said. “By the end of the summer I decided I couldn’t pull it off because it’s so expensive to live there.”
A couple of weeks later, Hassey received some e-mails from Chris Eaton, the head softball coach at East Central College, a two-year college located about 45 miles from St. Louis.
“I had just got done unpacking my stuff,” Hassey said. “I asked if I could come the second semester. I spent the first semester at Western Nevada and went there in January.”
And, Hassey admits to experiencing a huge case of culture shock.
“Everybody is kind of laid-back here,” she said. “They do what they need to do. I’m really open about things, and they’re not really like that out here. A couple of weeks into the season, I started to get by. I found a middle ground I guess.
“What I like the best is that the people are so amazingly friendly. There are people that you can just walk right up to and introduce yourself to here which you can’t do back at home.”
Hassey admits she likes the weather least. The area gets its share of snow, and she said that the team has suffered through plenty of rainouts, more than she’s ever been associated with as a player.
There has been no middle ground on the softball field.
Quite simply, Hassey has dominated, especially at the plate and behind the plate. Entering games last Wednesday and Thursday, she was hitting .435 with a homer and 12 RBI and 18 runs scored. She has hit safely in 11 of her last 14 games, including a 4-for-4 effort against Central Methodist. She was rotating between third, fourth and fifth until Eaton moved her into the leadoff spot.
“It’s a totally different perspective,” Hassey said. “You have to make sure you see as many pitches as possible so my teammates know what the pitcher is throwing. I’m pretty close to being the fastest player on the team.
“It (the pitching) is about what I expected for a junior college. The competition is OK here.”
Scott Vickrey, her coach at Carson High, wasn’t surprised by Hassey’s success. “She was always a good hitter and did a good job behind the plate,” Vickrey said. “She has always been geared toward softball, and I knew she would do well at the next level.”