When Cassie Cannon called women’s softball coach Vickie Dugan of Porterville College in mid-March, she wasn’t planning to verbally commit. But that’s exactly what happened.
Cannon, a senior shortstop at Tenino, garnered a scholarship offer from Dugan and Porterville just a week or two previously after the Pirates found her hitting videos on FieldLevel, an online recruiting network.
Cannon is a two-time all-league selection and likely would have been three-time had the 2020 season not been canceled due to the pandemic. The four-year starter first stepped up as a pitcher for the Beavers her freshman year, then moved to shortstop as a sophomore and has been there ever since.
When she called Dugan up on a whim for some follow-up information in mid-March, she had no plans of committing to the Pirates. But plans change and before she knew it, she was giving Dugan her verbal commitment.
“I talked to her and said, ‘This is my verbal. I think I’m going to do it,’” Cannon said. “I was honestly just winging stuff. I was just talking to her and it felt right. It was the right move for me to get out of Tenino and go figure out who I am on my own and play ball down in California.”
Cannon has been playing softball since she could walk, hold a bat and slip on a mitt. It was meant to be as baseball has always been a part of her family. She remembers watching her older brother play when she was little.
“It was kind of just born into me,” Cannon said.
She’s been playing travel ball since she was 10 years old, and the first team she joined was made up of her current Tenino fastpitch teammates. It was tough losing out on her junior year in 2019, but she’s savoring every last bit of her final year as a Beaver with her childhood friends.
“So it’s kind of bittersweet that this is the last year with the team I grew up with,” Cannon said.
She’s looking forward to joining the Porterville Pirates, a public community college in California located 160 miles north of Los Angeles near Fresno. It’s not something she thought she’d ever be doing one day.
“It was always a dream of mine since I was little,” Cannon said. “So it was exciting to get that call from someone saying they’re interested in me playing at the next level. You don’t think about it as a little kid. It’s just a dream. You never think that you actually can, but it’s cool that it’s the truth now.”
The Pirates are coming off a 2020 season in which they went 7-13 overall and 3-2 in conference play, finishing fifth of seven teams in the Central Valley Conference, before the pandemic canceled the season on March 14, 2020. Cannon is looking forward to helping the team get back on track and continuing her softball career for at least another four years.
“I’m most excited for going down there and continuing my dream of playing softball,” Cannon said. “I’m excited to move down to a new state, meet new people, be a part of a new program and get that feeling of really being a family with a program.”