Staci Alford Casey began her fastpitch softball career in 1979 at the age of 8. At the end of her first season, all members of the team were called to a makeshift audition on the mound. The team’s coaches needed to determine if any of the little girls had pitching potential, as their starter was graduating to a higher age division.
When it was her turn, Staci threw two strikes and one “almost strike,” and the pitching job was hers.
Her first year as a starting pitcher wasn’t as easy as her audition, and Staci struggled. But she was determined to succeed and eventually flourished. She was named MVP of the Bob Watkins Memorial Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1983. Her summer league teams won numerous state and regional titles and made three trips to the American Softball Association National Fastpitch Tournament (1983, 1986 and 1987).
At St. Joseph’s Academy, Staci was a three-year starting pitcher and led the Redstickers to district crowns in 1988 and 1989. She was named to the All-District Team as a sophomore and District MVP as a junior and senior. As a senior, she pitched three perfect games and four other no hitters, striking out 164 batters in 160 innings en route to a 0.40 ERA. She capped her senior year being voted the State Times Prep Performer of the Year for fastpitch softball.
Staci’s pitching success continued at Notre Dame, where she was a four-year starter. She was known for having one of the best changeups in the country. Her repertoire of off-speech pitches was made all the more dangerous by uncanny control.
As a freshman, she pitched the first no hitter in Notre Dame softball history. During her career, she threw 15 shutouts with 369 strikeouts, leading the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in strikeouts per game for three consecutive years. Twice she was named to the All-Conference Team, garnering first-team honors in 1992 with an impressive .99 ERA.
As a senior in 1993, serving as co-captain of the softball team, she was second in the nation in saves. She had a 1.43 ERA, five saves and 57 strikeouts.
Staci led the Irish to MCC championships in three of her four years. Her career record was 47-26. She was a four-year Notre Dame Monogram winner and graduated in 1993 as one of the most decorated softball pitchers in Notre Dame history. Indeed, she still holds the school record for walks allowed per seven innings (0.81).
Staci earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. She would later return to college at Louisiana State University to earn credits needed to enroll in dental school. She graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans in 2001.
Today, Staci lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Matt, an attorney, and their children, 8-year-old twins Ellen and Charlie. Her mother, Pattie, and her brother, Kevin (Catholic High School class of 1999), still live in Baton Rouge. Her father, Charles, whom she lost this summer to Alzheimer’s disease, played a critical role in her success. When Staci didn’t have a game or a team practice, she and her dad could be found in the backyard, practicing softball.