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June 29, 2013

PREP SOFTBALL: Goodwin tabbed NFCA All-American for second-straight season

CULLMAN — Actually, there’s no oops about Cara Goodwin’s latest — and likely last — honor as a member of the Good Hope softball team. On Friday morning, the Raiders’ first All-American athlete became the school’s first two-time recipient of the national honor, cracking the National Fastpitch Association’s first team as a pitcher for the second year in a row.

This particular recognition is no small feat, either, as Goodwin was one of only 48 players across the country to be selected to one of three honorary squads.

“It’s exciting for me,” Goodwin said. “It was my goal before the season to make it back here again. It feels amazing.”

To say Goodwin went out with a bang her senior season would be putting it lightly. In fact, the term amazing fits the bill pretty well.

She dazzled opponents to the tune of a 41-8 record with an exceptional 0.54 earned run average. She also collected 514 strikeouts, 29 shutouts, 13 no-hitters and seven perfect games, the latter being good enough for a state record. In almost 300 innings of work, the UAB signee allowed opposing players to cross home plate just 23 times during the season.

At the dish, Goodwin batted .396, smacked 63 hits and contributed 46 RBIs. She also padded her stats with four home runs, 13 doubles and two stolen bases.

“My last year was really everything I could have asked for,” she said. “It was the way I wanted to finish my career.”

Raider coach Wayne Harris was almost out of things to say about his now former prep star.

Having mentored Goodwin for five seasons, the veteran coach said this most recent award has put the finishing touches of her terrific high school playing days.

“It’s one last thing to add to her trophy room,” Harris said. “Other than that, I’m having a hard time saying anything because I’ve already said everything I can say about her.

“She put Good Hope softball on the map, and all of this is just a great end to a phenomenal career.”

With Cullman County in the rearview mirror, Goodwin will now look ahead to acclimating herself with her new team — the UAB Lady Blazers.

Goodwin has been hard at work in tournament play and in the weight room trying to get prepared for the next level and said even though it’s been difficult, she feels up to the challenge.

“I’ve been facing a lot of tough competition for sure,” she said. “I’m been working out with the trainers and doing the program UAB does, so I’ll be ready to go.”

Although Goodwin is excited to forge ahead, she’d also be remiss if she said she wouldn’t miss her friends and coaches and the relationships she’s built at Good Hope.

“I was so blessed to have the best teammates and coaches at my high school,” she said. “I really hope that carries on to college.

% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham and sports writer Jake Winfrey contributed to this report.

 

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