Cassadie “Sadie” Armstrong is a 5-foot-10 pitcher/infielder from Portland, Maine who is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Class of 2023 and has been busy this year guesting for top national organizations including the Firecrackers and the Birmingham Thunderbolts.
A regular blogger for Extra Inning Softball, she has been lauded for her keen insights on topics ranging from gender equality to wearing facemasks in softball and in her year-end blog below begins to ponder if she's "done enough" when she sees a photo of a softball peer on campus with a famous coach.
Then, after realizing what she HAS accomplished in 2018, Sadie shares an experience that makes it ALL WORTH IT as she--like Extra Inning Softball for which she writes--has made it her mission to "Grow The Game!"
You'll have to read to the very end... it's a perfect way for Sadie to be rewarded for all her hard work on and off the field!
The honors for the Northeast standout softball player have included being named a two-time All American by USA Softball, a member of USSSA Elite Select Futures and chosen as a Pre-Season Rookie by Under Armour Softball Factory thanks to a 62-mph screwball and a 61-mph dropball with consistent ball exit velocity speeds in the high 60s to low 70s.
This summer she led her USA All American Northeast Region One team to a 5th place finish at the USA Softball All-American Games with a 0.00 ERA.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
It is a real thing.
I felt it when I heard the girls in my morning carpool talk about the slumber party they had over the weekend.
They had private jokes of which I would never be a part, and all I could do was smile and be happy they had fun without me (of course, they were not part of my softball adventure, so I wasn’t jealous, just left out).
THE PLAYER WITH THE FACEBOOK PHOTO: SHE’S ON CAMPUS… & I’M NOT
Then this happened: I saw this great photo on Facebook of a player I don’t know well, but who is the daughter of someone our family knows.
I felt so good about my year in many respects. I made great progress, but still I saw a nice photo of a girl doing something I wasn't and I did not feel jealous, exactly, but it made me feel like despite everything I had done, there was more I could've done.
It reminds me of when you play softball and someone asks if you gave 110 percent and there is always something to pick out that you could have done better.
Sometimes it feels like no matter what I do, I can always think of something else that I could have done.
If I am watching TV, I should do burpees during the commercials. If I am sitting in class, I could squeeze a tennis ball for strength. If I am walking to school, I should do lunges and high knees. If I am home and someone else is at camp, then maybe they are getting an edge that I won't.
In my mind, I imagined I was talking to that girl in the photo I saw online, but it was more of a conversation for me.
I saw the picture that your dad proudly captured, I told her (in my internal voice). I bet your face twitched from holding your pose so long. Your mom posted it on Facebook because you just had an awesome experience and they were so happy to provide that opportunity for you.
Of course, they wanted to share the photo with your family from out of town and the “thumbs ups” are proof of just how many people liked that you are working hard and seeing awesome results and chasing your dreams.
Your family is thrilled to see a photo of you without the Instagram bunny ear filter! You must feel a ton of support and be encouraged by your circle. You confidently wore your gray dry-fit t-shirt emblazoned with the logo from the major college you visited for camp. I could still see the crease in it from where it was kept folded in the school’s store (sorry).
Your hair was in a sleek ponytail and you look pretty and cool in your black leggings and clean sneakers: the epitome of the All-American Girl. Your smile was healthy, brilliant and real and I bet you also had some goosebumps on your arms under that cool new shirt that your parents made you buy one size too big so it would last more than the winter (tourney t-shirts are my go-to wardrobe of choice, too).
The Head Coach has her arm around you and although she has probably taken a dozen or more of these photos that day, she looks genuinely happy to have met you and she exudes warmth and power simultaneously.
I wonder if she looks different in person than she does on television.
The background of your photo is equally spectacular and to a non-athlete, the most impressive part of the photo. There, behind you, is a dusky sky streaked with gray, pink and a little blue. I bet the optic yellow of that 12” orb floating through that contrasting sky was awe-inspiring.
The giant scoreboard is dim, but I imagine all the players whose runs were counted on it and how much that thing must’ve cost the program. Totally worth it.
There is a color-coordinated windscreen on the outfield fence and it, too, is covered in the school’s unmistakable logo and images highlighting game-changing moments and impact players from the previous season.
The familiar variegated shades of green and brown with lines of chalky white compose the bottom of the photo and I can barely see just a corner of a painted concrete structure that must be the dugout.
I bet you feel like you are walking in the steps of your heroes. You are!
I bet that coach will remember your name…from camp…when you had your photo made with her. And I didn’t.
WHY IT FEELS LIKE IT’S NEVER ENOUGH
So there you have it.
I spent two-thirds of my weekends this past year on a softball diamond of some sort, playing my heart out all around the country, and I am looking at ONE of the very few event-free weekends where my family saved money, time, and their sanity, and I am wondering if I might have just screwed up my chance of playing college softball because I wasn’t at this particular camp in order for a coach whom I greatly admire to see me in this more personal setting.
I must sound positively insane but I know very well that everything I accomplished this past year is simply the past and as Babe Ruth said, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.”
I need to put things into perspective.
In 2018, I rostered with a new team, the Central Mass Voodoo 14U-Asadoorian, as a 12U playing up at 14U this spring, and we made a Top 100 14U team list as one of very few teams north of the Mason Dixon Line to do so.
Although we are 14U this season, we are playing “up” at 18U for many events and were invited to play in the 2019 14U Junior Olympic Cup!
I also played with my age group via the Firecrackers Bordeau/Sewell team which was recently ranked at 48th and we moved to 14U this past fall. I had the time of my life pitching in a game for the Firecrackers-Sewell 16U Team and struck out the side in the first inning!
I even got to meet the inspirational Tony Rico at the Firecrackers vs. Batbusters Experience in Florida a few weeks ago where I got to take my picture with him, sort of like the photo I just described above.