Holy Cross junior Carson Goatley is in the zone.
For the second time in a week, Goatley tossed a no-hitter and struck out 17 in a 4-0 victory over No. 14 Ballard Tuesday night.
Just seven days earlier, she fanned 19 and no-hit fifth-ranked Scott County to win 1-0.
“It’s great confidence for me, but my teammates are always behind me if I make a mistake,” said Goatley. “They’re always there to back me up. If we don’t have a good hitting night, like tonight, they still find a way to scrounge up runs and still back me up no matter what the situation is.”
Goatley’s only blemish on the night came in the form of four walks. Still, she struck out the side four times Tuesday, and no Ballard baserunner advanced past second.
“I felt pretty good,” Goatley said. “The walks were pretty bad, more than I usually have. But my defense was there to back me up. We had a great game.”
“Carson has pitched two really good games in a row,” said Holy Cross head coach Tony Young. “And that has happened because we have a great pitcher right behind her pushing her every day. Bella (Velez) is just as good as Carson is. They both push each other. They’ve been pushing each other since they were eleven-years-old.”
The victory improves the Cougars to 15-1 on the year and 3-0 against the top 15. But Young isn’t satisfied and sees a lot of room for improvement.
“We have to learn to play more as a team and less as individuals,” he said. “We’re worried much more about our individual performances than we are about how the team is doing, and what we can do individually to help the team be greater.
“It’s not an individual team sport. Our names aren’t on any of these jerseys. The only thing on this jersey is Holy Cross. We’re playing for our family, playing for God, and we’re playing for Holy Cross.”
The Cougars scored two runs in the first off two sacrifice flies with the bases loaded. It remained 2-0 until the fourth inning when Goatley hit a two-out, RBI-single to score Amber Kaufman for a 3-0 lead. Chela Johnson made it 4-0 Cougars when she scored on a Ballard fielding error in the same inning. Goatley then proceeded to retire 12 of the final 13 batters she faced to seal the win.
The Cougars host PRP on Wednesday, and then travel to Owensboro for this weekend’s All “A” State Tournament, which they have won four years in a row.
This season marks the drive for five.
“It’s a very big thing for us,” said Young. “We are a very small school. We have less than a hundred girls in our whole school. Winning the All A state championship is a huge thing for us. We still compete against schools that are a lot bigger than we are in that All A. We feel like we have a really good chance to win if we go down there and hit, pitch, and play defense. It’s a simple game.”