Chowchilla softball star Vlot taking game to Calvin College

slynch@mercedsunstar.comApril 12, 2013 

Cassidy Vlot kept things practical.

Sure, there was the allure of pitching for a Division I or II program. Especially since her older sister, Samantha, had signed to play softball at San Diego State the year before.

But nursing school was the focus of the Chowchilla senior's school search. Getting to play softball as well was just an added bonus.

That's how Vlot settled on a verbal commitment to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"You always dream of playing Division I, but a lot of the bigger programs didn't have nursing school to offer," Vlot said. "I was always kind of leaning towards a smaller school because of that.

"One of our seniors from a couple years ago went out there and really liked Calvin, so that's how I found out about them.

"I really enjoyed the campus and the coach and knew almost right away it was a good fit for me."

The Division III school is adding one of the elite players in the Central Section and a rising star in the state.

Vlot's 188 strikeouts on the season ranked sixth in the state heading into Friday's trip to Washington Union.

Vlot mixes in a low to mid 60 mph fastball -- which equates to a pitch in the low 90s in baseball -- with a devastating change-up that travels in at about 10 mph slower.

She has a record of 13-6 with a 0.91 ERA and has been a workhorse, pitching in every Chowchilla game this season. Her .474 batting average also gives Calvin an offensive boost.

"She's come a long way in the four years that she's been here," Redskins coach Fred Gaumnitz said. "From just learning how to pitch, to the development of four or five pitches that she can throw in pretty much any situation.

"She's worked really hard and deserves everything she's accomplished."

Vlot said the small private school can only offer academic scholarships, but that it wasn't a deterent.

The senior is tops in her class.

"I've always been really competitive and I've always had a pretty good work ethic," Vlot said. "I don't just compete on the field, I want to get grades that are better than my friends.

"I'm excited to have my future set and know what I'll be doing the next four years, but right now I just want to focus on trying to go out a Valley champion.

"It would mean the world to me."

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