By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
GOOD HOPE —
You know it’s a good day when you’re mildly frustrated about missing out on your fourth perfect game of the season.
That’s exactly the position Good Hope’s Cara Goodwin found herself in on Tuesday evening, issuing a two-out walk in the seventh inning to come up just one batter short of notching another perfect outing under her belt.
“I wanted that (perfect game) so bad,” Goodwin said with a laugh. “But a no-hitter is just as good.”
It was about the only thing that went wrong for Goodwin and the No. 6 Raiders, however, as they blasted Cold Springs 8-0 to improve to 20-5 on the year.
Goodwin was electric once again for the Red and White, striking out 13 batters and walking one to pick up the win.
“Cara pitched really well again tonight,” coach Wayne Harris said. “We made plays behind her when we needed to and got some good hits as well.”
Good Hope staked itself to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, taking advantage of three walks and a throwing error from Eagles’ pitcher Rilee White.
The Raiders went on to add two runs in the third inning — a Darby Randolph hit-by-pitch and a Kayla Tillman RBI single — to extend their advantage out to five runs.
That was plenty for Goodwin, who effortlessly mowed down the Cold Springs’ lineup throughout the game.
The UAB signee struck out the side in the second and third innings and didn’t allow a ball out of the infield until the fifth.
“Darcie (Wilson) called a good game for me,” Goodwin said.
Good Hope tacked on three more runs in the fourth. Alannah Henke singled home Goodwin before a sacifrice fly from Josie McDonald and a single by Savannah Fendley plated two more.
It turned out to be fitting that Good Hope choose to honor its seniors on this particular night.
Goodwin, Tillman, Fendley and Wilson all did their parts in the victory. Goodwin was lights out on the mound and pitched in with a couple of singles at the plate. Tillman collected a hit, a walk and scored a run. Wilson lined a hit late in the game to go along with her fine defense behind the dish, while Fendley recorded three hits to lead her team.
“Savannah played her best game tonight,” Harris said. “All those seniors have matured so much since they started. Some of them started playing in eighth grade. You really couldn’t ask for a better group.”
Having been left with a bitter taste in their mouths during their last Senior Night, the four seniors — all basketball players — found redemption on the diamond.
“It felt really good to win tonight,” Goodwin said. “Especially after what happened during basketball season.”
Maegan Sterling found herself on the basepaths quite often, collecting one hit and two walks. She also scored a couple of runs. Bailie Andrews laced a single in the sixth inning to round out the hits for Harris’ squad.
“We are playing better,” Harris said. “You hope to play well coming out of spring break, but you never know quite what you’ll get from them.”
The Raiders are scheduled to take on Danville in an area game Thursday at 4 p.m.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.