Cam Caswell plays the game with all the determination and focus one could muster. Anyone who is a fan of the Woodland Hawks could attest to that, having seen the three-sport athlete excel in volleyball, basketball and softball during her high school career.
This season, Caswell took her game on the softball field to the next level at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. where the surprising freshman shortstop for the Engineers was named to the All-Liberty second team.
“The biggest challenge was getting used to the coaching expectations between high school and college,” Caswell said. “Playing for RPI, my teammates accepted me right away, which was a huge help making the adjustment as a freshman.”
Caswell made an immediate impact. She was named All-Liberty League Rookie of the Week twice early in the season. Her prowess in the field produced a .945 fielding percentage at shortstop, showing her worth as an everyday player.
The Engineers went 27-14, which tied the second best record under the tenure of head coach Amber Maisonet. RPI reached the NCAA tournament for just the third time in the program’s history, and for the first time since 2006.
Caswell started in all 41 games, batted at a sturdy .298 clip and was second on the team in runs with 27 and RBI with 26. She added a team-high 18 walks and slugged two home runs and five doubles.
“I attribute the success I had with all the hard work that went into it,” Caswell said. “Obviously, I wouldn’t have gotten that far without my coaches and teammates helping me every step of the way.”
The former Hawk had to utilize her ever-present tenacity to even get through the season.
“I suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum back in December,” Caswell said. “There was no way I was missing my first college season, so I played through it and eventually got surgery in June.”
The Engineers won the Liberty League championship and went on to post a 2-2 record in the NCAA postseason tournament.
“Ever since day one I knew we had the skill and the ability to win the league championship and move on to the regionals,” Caswell said. “The experience of making the NCAA tournament was surreal, especially with this being my first year in college it has set the bar really high. So now I expect nothing less.”
Caswell spent the season taking advantage of every opportunity. Even in the final game of the season, when RPI lost in the regional finals, Caswell hit a one-out single in the top of the seventh not wanting to call it a season just yet.
“Maintaining grades while playing was probably the most difficult obstacle,” Caswell said. “But the rest of the team was dealing with the same thing, so they helped me out with time management and getting my work done.”