Softball is taking her places.
Kassidey Borland, a former Carthage Tiger and sophomore at North Central Missouri College, has been selected as one of the members of the USA Athletes International (USAAI) Softball Team that will compete in the 2013 Aruba Friendship Series in June. She is the only one from southwest Missouri that will represent her school and nation in the seven-day tournament involving teams across the world.
She left the state of Missouri for the first time in her life during spring break last year to play softball in Kissimmee, Fla. Next year, she's hoping to go a bit further.
“I think it's going to be a great experience,” she said of the opportunity in Aruba. “I'll be learning about different cultures and meeting new people … It's definitely a confidence booster. It's huge. I'm so happy I was selected.”
For this 2011 Carthage High School graduate, sports have always been a fun way to be involved in the community. Now, softball is a big part of her academic life and future.
“I wouldn't be where I'm at today without softball,” Borland said. “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and go to class – I haven't missed a day.”
Borland plans on graduating in May 2013 with an associates degree in physical education. She said she hopes to continue to play softball and continue her education in athletic training – but a little closer to home.
“Five hours from home is a ways away,” she said of Trenton, Mo. “I'm big on family, and I do get homesick. So I just focus on school and softball. I have a really good coach, she likes two-a-days in the off season and we do a lot of running.”
Borland's coach, Megan Cairns, will be her USAAI coach, and teammate Lindsey Derry will be joining the team as well in Aruba.
“Kassidey is a tremendous addition to our team at North Central Missouri College,” said Cairns. “When I was chosen as one of the coaches for the USA Athletes International trip to Aruba, Kassidey was one of the first names that came to mind to recruit. She is a two-tooled leader on the field. She leads by example, with her exemplary effort and level of play. In addition, she is one of our most vocal leaders on the field. Kassidey is an exceptional athlete and will add a quality bat to the lineup and will in all likelihood be the quickest player on the field. In addition, Kassidey worked very hard and did a great job in the classroom this semester.”
Borland was a Carthage athlete in swimming, and went to the state level four years in track / field. She said choosing between two sports she found enjoyment and success was a difficult decision.
Page 2 of 2 - “You can tell where my track comes into my softball,” she said, referring to her centerfield position where speed is essential.
Borland was jersey number 14 all through high school, and remained number 14 through her two years at North Central. (A happy coincidence for any athlete.)
Borland is the middle daughter of three for Eric and Lori Borland, of Carthage. Courtney, the eldest, will graduate in May from Friends University in Wichita, Kan., and Cami, the youngest, attends Pittsburg State University.
“I'm proud of all my kids,” Eric Borland said. “They far exceeded what their father has done.”
To participate in this opportunity, Kassidey Borland will be fundraising through April 2013. To help her efforts, inquire through email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 417-793-9191.