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Hard work pays off for Turlock Christian's Cassie Balswick
Eagle signs with Vanguard for softball
Cassi Balswick
Cassie Balswick of Turlock Christian poses for a picture with her family after signing her letter of intent to attend Vanguard University on a softball and academic scholarship on Thursday. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Cassie Balswick of Turlock Christian is a unique student athlete.


Balswick dominated in every sport she competed in during her four years at TC, but she ultimately found so much success in softball that she achieved an athletic and academic scholarship to Vanguard University and made it official on Thursday after signing her letter of intent.


“I chose Vanguard University of Southern California because it is a great school with an environment that I am comfortable with,” said Balswick.


Balswick will be joining the Lions of Vanguard, a Christian university, and credited the coaches as well for playing a pivotal role in her decision.


"The coaches are great and they have a great competitive softball team,” said Balswick. “I also knew that I wanted to stay in California for college and the school is located in Costa Mesa, and I love it down there.”


It all seems like it was a perfect fit for Balswick — and her future school.


Balswick, who was a star on her basketball team since stepping on to the court as a freshman, was able to lead her TC Eagles squad to three consecutive Section title games and four 20-plus win seasons in all four of her high school years.


During her senior year this past season, Balswick averaged over 10 points per game and also averaged 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals per game.


“I love playing sports, but softball has always been my favorite sport and I have been playing it the longest,” said Balswick. “Playing other sports like volleyball, basketball and track helped me know what it is like to be part of a team. They also helped me stay in shape and stay involved with TC.”


Balswick was also part of a winning volleyball team that clinched three consecutive Section titles during her freshman, sophomore and junior years.


However, Balswick always knew that softball was her true passion since she started playing at the age of 10.


Balswick ended her career at TC with a batting average of .622. She was such a dominant hitter while at TC that she only struck out five times in 219 plate appearances.


“I realized that I wanted to play college softball when I was around 14 years old,” she said. “I started the recruiting process, and by making connections with the coaches and hearing their feedback, I knew that it was possible.”


Balswick was also as competitive in the classroom as she was in any sport she competed in.


She maintained a grade-point average of 4.1.


“I was always told that the best softball players are also the best students,” said Balswick. “So if I wanted to play in college, I had to have good grades. I always tried my best in the classroom. My good grades really helped me.”


Balswick currently plays for the OBS Monarchs 18 gold, which are based out of Oakdale and hopes to continue the same success she has seen here, but at the collegiate level.


“I'm just very thankful for my parents for all the support they have given me since I first started playing travel ball,” said Balswick. “Without them, this opportunity wouldn't be possible. I'm also thankful for all my coaches for always pushing me to be the best that I can be. Playing college softball has always been my dream and now I get to pursue it at Vanguard and I am so excited.”