Most teams don’t even have one dominant pitcher, but luckily for Du Quoin, it has a pair of aces on the mound.
While Alexis Kohrs continues to recover from a knee injury, Cassidy Rice has been mowing down hitters on the softball field.
The senior is 4-0 so far and hasn’t given up an earned run. Rice has thrown shutouts in three of her wins and has 46 strikeouts in 27 innings. The weather hasn’t exactly been ideal either.
“I am not good in cold weather anyway, so pitching in it is difficult for me,” Rice said. “But I just can’t let the cold weather affect me. I knew coming into the season with Lex hurt that I really had to step up. Being a senior, I knew I had to come out strong.”
The Lady Indians finished 36-3 last year, which included an SIRR Mississippi Division championship. The team ultimately fell to eventual state champion, Nashville, in the super-sectional.
When Kohrs moved to Du Quoin from Sparta, it could’ve caused all kinds of problems. But both girls have handled the situation well.
“I was actually glad she came over because it’s hard to basically pitch every game,” Rice said. “Alexis is an amazing pitcher and athlete, and to have that kind of competition really helped me out. It made me become a much better player all the way around.”
It’s certainly a luxury for Jason James, Du Quoin’s head coach, to have two of the best pitchers around.
“Cassidy has always been great for us since she was a freshman, and she is one of the top pitchers in Southern Illinois,” James said. “Last year toward the end of the year we went with Kohrs because Cassidy is a heck of an outfielder, too.”
Rice is excellent in center field and hits for average and power in the batting order.
“She is one of the best all around athletes I’ve been around,” James said. “She has a cannon of an arm from the outfield and runs down every fly ball. She hit 10 home runs as a freshman, so she swings an awesome bat, too.”
Rice will suit up for Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville next season. It’s a long way from home, but she’s ready for the challenge.
“It’s just a great opportunity that I’m getting the chance to go to Georgia to play ball,” Rice said. “It’ll be tough on me because I’m a big family person, and I love being home. But to get to travel like that and experience a whole new place is very exciting to me.”
Rice and the Lady Indians host Benton Monday.