The Cape Central varsity softball ended its season Wednesday in the Class 4, District 1 tournament held in Farmington. The Tigers couldn’t muster a hit in a five-inning setback at the hands of the Jackson Indians, losing 10-0. Central ends the season with an 11-14 record.
The Indians scored two runs in the first inning, and the game stayed that way until the fourth. Keri Williams, pitching for the Tigers, worked around a lead-off walk in the second inning, and retired Jackson 1-2-3 in the third. But a walk, an error, and two hits plated two more runs for Jackson in the fourth, and then an inside-the-park home run scored three more runs, and the game was out of reach.
Honestly, the Jackson pitcher never gave Cape Central a chance in the game, no-hitting the Tigers and striking out ten. Every single player in the lineup struck out at least once with the exception of Valerie Greenley and Kayleigh Turk. The only baserunner was Catie Davis, who reached on an error and stole second. But that was it for the Tigers’ offense. Williams would pitch the shortened game, allowing ten hits, striking out three, and walking two.
And while the season obviously didn’t end the way the coaches and team wanted it to end, head coach Justin Lieser said there were a lot of highlights. “I think it always takes a little time for a full season reflection.” he said. “However, I am very proud of this group. The way we handled adversity throughout the season made us grow up a bit and show that life will always throw things at you that you might not expect. In that aspect, I thought we grew individually and as a team, which is definitely something to build off of. I think we saw some players grow and become better ballplayers throughout the season as well. For us to be successful in the future, that needs to continue to happen in the off season.”
And as with every ending to the season, a farewell must be given to those seniors who put on the uniform for the final time on Wednesday. “The four seniors each brought something to the program that will not be easy to replace,” Coach Lieser noted. “Lyvia Ford was such a great teammate, given her role and injuries. She would come to practice and work hard. Olivia Koch was a hard worker that was versatile and would do anything to help the team win. Aly Hetzel was such a positive force on the field…very resilient and one that strived to improve with each rep, either on the field or in the cage. And Erica Goodin was such a great leader and voice for our team. Erica was the perfect model of consistency…unemotional, but passionate about everything, whether it be practice or a game….the consummate student athlete.”
A couple of seniors were able to put into words what being a Tiger meant to them. “Well, I just moved to this school this year, but I love all the girls,” Hetzel explained. “They were all super open about me playing with them. Even though I’ve only been here for a couple months, the girls on that team are already like my family, and I’m sure anyone else will say the same. They are really the best group of girls. I’m a senior, so I won’t be able to continue playing with them, but I’m excited to see where next year takes them because they are really talented.”
Goodin had the same kinds of thoughts as her teammate. “I am so grateful for the group of girls and for the coaches,” she commented. “Even though we never ended the seasons how we wanted, we improved each year. I think this year has been the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here, and I really hate that our season had to end this way. Even though this was my last year of softball, I’ll take a lot of the lessons I learned in leadership and hard work on with me for the rest of my life.”
Thank you coaches and players…it was an honor to cover you this year. Here’s to many more years of a strong relationship between Ameritime Sports and Cape Central softball.