“I guess when we're not on the field, we act kind of silly,” Tillman said explaining the chemistry that's been just as crucial to Good Hope's girls over the years as their athleticism. “But when we get out there, even though sometimes we don't, we know we're supposed to care of business.
“And we have each other's backs. Like I know Cara had those home runs,” she added, referring to Winfield's three solo shots in Saturday's loss. “I was like, 'Cara, you're still the best. I got you. You're good.'”
Good wouldn't even begin to describe Goodwin's high school softball career. Brilliant would be more like it.
The Raiders' reliable ace was an All-State fixture, a strikeout queen — she notched more than 1,000 in her last two campaigns — and a bit of a perfectionist, setting the state record (seven) for perfectos in a season earlier in the year.
Goodwin became Good Hope's first All-American in 2012 and could very easily add first two-time All-American when the National Fastpitch Coaches Association doles out its annual awards later this summer.
“It doesn't matter who she's playing, who she's throwing against, she wants the ball,” Red and White coach Wayne Harris said of Goodwin. “She's going to be one of those players where everybody is relieved she's gone except for us. She's done so much, not just for softball, but for her school, getting her name out there and getting Good Hope's name out there, some things that are just irreplaceable, that you can't put a value on.”
A teary-eyed Wilson was understandably proud of the Raiders' resume throughout her playing days, as was Goodwin, who joked she'll one day drive her kids crazy telling them about her softball team's lofty accomplishments.
In the best old-lady accent she could channel, a sly-smiling Goodwin said, “I'm going to be like, 'When I was in high school, we went to Montgomery twice.'”
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.