Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 16
Athlete of the Week: Hope Goodall
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
The Nipomo Heat 12U softball team is on fire this All-Star season, with pitcher Hope Goodall fueling the flames. The 13-year-old Nipomo resident helped lead her team to a first-place trophy on June 24 at a tournament in Clovis.
The Heat run-ruled all of their opponents in the tournament, except for the semifinal game, when they pulled through with a 1-0 victory. Goodall pitched three complete games in the tournament and contributed to the team’s solid defense to earn the wins.
According to the Heat’s manager, Lisamae Neel, Goodall is successful as a pitcher because of her ability to handle stressful situations.
“When the heat is on, she pulls through,” Neel said. “She’s great at fastball placement.”
Goodall has been playing softball for seven years and pitching for six. According to Goodall, she became a pitcher by chance.
“It just sort of happened; my dad had me try it and I liked it, “ Goodall said.
Goodall practices with her father and with her pitching coach, Jessica Dean, with whom she’s been working with for four years. Dean was a collegiate pitcher and has coached at both Nipomo and Arroyo Grande high schools.
She already has an arsenal of pitches: a rise, a drop pitch, a curve for left and right-handed batters, a screwball, and a change-up. According to Goodall, the change-up is her go-to pitch.
“I just try to go out there, throw all my pitches, and try to strike everyone out,” she said. “The game counts on you to be a leader and not get your head down.”
When she’s out on the mound, Goodall takes her pitching seriously and tries to control the game. More importantly, she said, every pitch she throws is for her mother, who passed away when she was 9 years old.
Goodall said she’s excited about this All-Star season because no one believed the team was good enough, and they proved everyone wrong by making it to the state finals. The team has one more tournament in Orcutt before heading to San Diego for the championships.
“I’m really close with the team. We’ve been together since we were little, and I know they have my back,” Goodall said.
Goodall said she wants to play in high school and eventually college. According to her father, other parents and coaches often tell his daughter that if she keeps progressing like she is, she could get a scholarship almost anywhere. Not one to be conceited, Goodall just shrugs it aside.
“I’m just really happy to be able to play,” she said. “I just want to have fun.”