Shortstop to be Cotton Blossom
BRYANT – Former Bryant Lady Hornets’ starting shortstop Cassidy Wilson is going from one championship team to another. Wilson, who was a starter on the Lady Hornets’ three consecutive 7A State Championships including this past year’s 34-0 season, signed to play softball with the University of Arkansas of Monticello Cotton Blossoms. Monticello is part of the Division II Great American Conference and the Cotton Blossoms won the GAC championship this past season.
Wilson almost didn’t play softball at the next level. It wasn’t until the semifinal game in the state tournament when Wilson knew she wanted to play college softball.
“I didn’t even plan on playing softball until the game before the state championship game,” Wilson said. “I watched one of my friends in her last at bat and she struck out, and I was like, ‘I’m playing softball, I got to play.’”
Wilson said she tried to get in contact with Cotton Blossom Coach Alvy Early for months, but was never successful. Bryant Coach Debbie Clark helped get things in motion
“I spoke with Coach Early and he is very excited about Cassidy playing for him,” Clark said. “He watched her at state tournament and the championship game when we defeated Bentonville (who is coached by his son) and was impressed with her skills and leadership on the field.”
“I told my coach that I wanted to play softball, and she was like, ‘Well, you’ve waited until the end of everything, but we’ll see what we can do.’” Wilson said. “That night, out of nowhere, Coach Early called and asked me to play and offered me a scholarship. It was really cool how it all worked out.”
In her career for the Lady Hornets, Wilson was a three-year letterman, 7A Central All-Conference for three years and a Junior Classic All Star in 2011. She has a .361 career average with a .418 on-base percentage. She had five home runs, 25 doubles and 68 RBIS.
“Cassidy has played for the Lady Hornets for four years and will leave a huge spot to fill in our lineup,” Clark said. “Cassidy is a a complete player and is a student of the game. If I needed a team scouted, I would send Cassidy. She has the eye of a coach, the work ethic of a champion and a heart filled with compassion and love for everyone.
“Cass is a leader on the field and a mentor to our younger players. So many of the players I spoke with at the end of the season said it was their goal to ‘Be like Cassidy.’”
Wilson said she toured several campuses such as Southern Arkansas University and Arkansas State University, but didn’t come away very impressed.
“I went to UAM and toured the campus and I loved it,” Wilson said. “I just fell in love with everything down there.”
Though she will be just a freshman for the Cotton Blossoms in the coming season, Wilson said she plans to play her rookie year, though she has a lot to live up to.
“I plan on it,” Wilson said of playing her freshman year. “I’m going to work hard. I’ve got some big shoes to fill. They’ve had a lot of shortstops that were All-American. Their shortstop for the past four years just graduated. I plan on playing shortstop. I’m going to work hard enough so I will.
“[Early] told me I have a really good chance. That’s up to me. I don’t like being told I’m not going to be able to do something. I’m going to work as hard as I can. He told me I have a really good chance of playing.”
Wilson said she doesn’t know yet what major she will try for.
“I’m going to do general studies my freshman year and possibly my sophomore year to get a bunch of classes out of the way because there’s a lot of things I want to do, so I’m not sure yet.”