Former Sandiette To Play In Europe

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – Cadie Belle Currie was one of the greats on the Grapeland Sandiette softball team, going on to make First Team All-State twice, pitching the Sandiettes to two district titles and the Regionals Finals in 2018, before being accepted into St. Edwards University in Austin to continue pitching. 

Now that Currie is graduating from college, the big leagues of Europe are already calling and the young lady will have a six-month stint playing in Belgium to show her skills off on an international stage. 

Currie is known as “Cadie Belle” among her Grapeland neighbors, but for the more mature university scene in Austin, it’s just Cadie. Humble and outgoing as always, she has been able to adapt to the bigger city and the better players at the college level. The school was known for its forensic science program, but for Cadie, it was all about softball. 

“I just wanted to play – I didn’t really have a dream school. This was a good place to start and get my degree and I’ve held my own,” she said. “ I have pitched every year and had a pretty good track record.”

Currie had pitched in some big games at Grapeland and knew when to “step it up” on the mound against some of the best hitters. At the college level, however, they’re all that good. 

“When you get to college, all of them are great hitters and I had to adjust accordingly with my pitching,” Currie said. “I had to really focus on making sure my pitches do their thing and move where they’re supposed to and every pitch – not just every once in a while – but really focusing on getting it done for every batter.”

Playing in college taught Currie the discipline off the field that often leads to success, being forced to make those good habits which are so hard for a high school kid to stick to. 

“I realized I needed to do a lot more strengthening. We did some in high school but whenever I got to college, I needed to ‘muscle up,’ basically having a consistent weightlifting program and eating well,” Currie explained. “Here, they focused on doing all the components it takes to be a good player and I was able to do that: getting the sleep I needed, eating right.”

How did the former Sandiette fare in the state capital? Her pitching was better than ever, but what about her as a person? Did Austin succeed in making her ‘weird?’

“I enjoyed it. I like to call myself an extrovert. I love making new friends. I love seeing new people. I appreciate my small town living but I enjoy seeing new people every day. And so I think coming to a big city like this really helped me grow that way as enjoying new people and having new friends but on a small campus,” Currie explained. “I know all my classmates, and our professors are very personal. That would be a lot harder to do if I was at a bigger school. I think being a small community here at the school, but in the big city of Austin is kind of a happy medium.”

Grateful to get home to Grapeland when she can to avoid the noise and traffic of the big city, Currie hasn’t been able to visit often, keeping busy with her practices, games and working on her degree in forensic science. 

Thinking she might be interested in working as an autopsy technician, Currie worked an internship with Travis County Medical Examiner, but was sent instead to Investigations, gaining real-world experience in coming on a situation with no prior knowledge and reconstructing what happened, based solely on physical evidence. 

“That’s what I did for a good six, seven months. Investigations is not really your typical nine-to-five job where you’re sitting at a desk. You go out to cases, you investigate the scene, take pictures, do a report and then come back to the office and talk with your co-workers about it. I think that’s more my speed,” Currie reflected. 

Currie had been focusing on graduating and making career decisions and hadn’t yet gotten around to thinking about playing softball after college, until a friend came back from the Belgian leagues and told her the team she had just been playing for needed a pitcher. 

Doubting if she was good enough to play internationally, Currie contacted the coach and the deal was made. She will play in Belgium for six months. While most speak French in Belgium, Currie will be living in a part where the language is more like Dutch. 

Currie agreed sight-unseen and her first trip to Belgium will be her first trip to Belgium. 

“I will show up with a glove and a ball and go from there!” Currie said. 

With her love of people and trying new things, Currie is looking forward to another interesting chapter in her life, saying she will be fine – growing up in little Grapeland has taught her just being nice to people takes you a long way in this world. 

Currie makes these accomplishments look easy; not everyone can pitch their teams to division titles, show up in Austin and thrive, investigate crime scenes and then get a call to play softball in Belgium. For this Sandiette, this is all prelude to whatever comes next in her still young life. 

Does she have any words for any Grapeland kids wanting to follow in some of her footsteps?

“I would say there’s a lot bigger world out there – jump into it full-on. You know, I was a little nervous myself, coming here to Austin,” Currie paused. “As long as you go in confidently, everything will work out for you.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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