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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
Sporting Times

First Pitch!

First Pitch!
If you ever met Kaci Goedde, you might be struck by the fact that she seems to be very simple in mind and personality. If you were to ask her if there was anything exceptional about her, she would probably tell you that there isn’t anything whatsoever. But at first glance standing at 5’11, Goedde could have played basketball, but somehow softball dug it’s roots into her physical well being and she became a pitcher.


Following in the footsteps of her older sister Abbi, who also played for Central Hardin, Kaci made her varsity debut in 2015 and hasn’t slowed down since. A five year history starting with a 5th Region Championship start against Taylor County and it all ended in Lexington with a Final Four appearance in the KHSAA State Tournament. Her fifth straight to be exact.
Softball started early for her as she began to become an early fan of the sport as early as six when she began to play, but she was no stranger to the ballpark as she was a spectator as early as one she claims while Abbi played travel ball. “I don’t really remember much because I was young, but my mom told me I was really quiet and she would bring toys and I always sat next to her.” Growing up she really enjoyed the intensity as a participant, but as she grew up and played she always felt a little pressure because she came to Central Hardin several years after Abbi graduated on several Lady Bruin teams which made multiple state tournament appearances.


Also, another fact was that Abbi played infield and Kaci became a pitcher. Probably because as she put it, her Dad had always said that if they had another girl, she would probably become a pitcher which explains her career path (although she has played first base and third).
Her first season as a varsity starter was 2015 and she shared the circle with senior pitcher Alex Griffith, but before the Region final, was asked by coach Jaime Goodman if she was ready to go. Despite the fact that she hadn’t pitched nearly as many games that season was ready and threw a complete game 10-5 win over Taylor County.
The following season, Goedde became the Ace and pitched Central Hardin to another Region Championship against Washington County, 8-0. That season, the Lady Bruins went 2-2 in the state tournament finally losing to East Carter and another great pitcher in Montana Fouts. Goedde had an unforgettable memory afterwards about the encounter. “We were all like “God, She throws like 63 MPH and she was a really good player and we hadn’t seen anyone like her. I think she got a big hit off me, but she is a really great player.”


Sophomore season, the Lady Bruins were back in the Region final and Goedde, who was having a great season once again faced another great pitcher in that game named Haley Mattingly, who hadn’t allowed a single run in the tournament, but the powerful Lady Bruin hitters bit her for four runs and despite allowing an early run, Kaci shut out Marion County the rest of the way in a 4-1 win. Central Hardin went 2-2 in the State Tournament and Goedde had a great outing.
Junior season was another great year for Goedde and after breezing through the District and Region schedule, the Lady Bruins had made another Region Final and facing Green County (the last team to beat Central Hardin in a Region Final in 2014) it looked like a classic matchup. The dangerous Lady Dragon batting lineup has given Kaci trouble in the past and no one could have seen her being so razor sharp in a game of such importance as she allowed only a single hit in that game and Central Hardin was on their way to another state tourney. Goedde was now 4-0 in Region finals and gaining quite a reputation as a big game pitcher.


The most interesting thing about Goedde is that she really isn’t a strikeout pitcher like say Montana Fouts (who is 6-2 and Goedde isn’t too far behind at about 5’11). Her strength is hitting her spots and making you hit her pitch while allowing her defense to make the play and get the out. Goedde has credited pitching coach Kim Borders for her continued development the last several years. Borders gives lessons to many of the great hurlers in the area like Abigail Keltner and Haley Mattingly.


Her senior season got off to a bang as the Lady Bruins and Goedde was lethal going 20-6 through the regular season and playoffs. She did have 134-strikeouts I 172-innings and after winning a nail-biter against an old rival Green County in the Region Final, 3-2, the Lady Bruins headed to Louisville for the first year of the new Semi-state Softball format. Central Hardin faced Butler at University of Louisville’s softball stadium and the Lady Bruins got a little revenge against the team which eliminated them last year in the state tournament, 6-2. Goedde kept the Lady Bears off balance all day long, but her crowning glory was the following game when they traveled to Lexington to play Pendelton County as she threw a perfect game in a 12-0 win. Although the Lady Bruins were beaten the following day against Warren East, the Final Four finish was Central Hardin’s best.
For the most part, Goedde will probably go down as the best pitcher in 5th Region history in terms of winning big games and tournament appearances. No other pitcher in the Region has won five 5th Region titles and she will take her act to the University of Cumberlands next season, so like her older sister Abbi, who played at Lindsey-Wilson will have her career extended.


Still, there is so much more to Kaci Goedde
– Her fear of Clowns. She hates them and snakes.
– The five people she’d have for a dinner date: Her grand parents, her parents and her great grandfather, because I really didn’t get to meet him.
– If she had been born a boy instead of a girl, “My dad would have been a lot harder on me. I would have been playing basketball like my dad. I would have still been named Casey (different spelling)”
– Her only injury was my seventh grade year , but she was out two games. “I ran to the bus and fell scrapping my hand. That’s about the only way I could get hurt I guess.”
– She likes the face protector that is mandatory in softball and she thinks she’s never been hit by a line drive or at least that she remembers.
With that being said, Kaci Geodde has had quite a five year varsity career with five Region Final wins and numerous state tournament appearances. For the girl, who took the circle for the first time in a big game in 2015, Goedde proved that her first pitch was most definitely not going to be her last and if her continued success follows her to Cumberlands then there will be more wins and playoff games to come for the 5’11 pitcher, who hates clowns and snakes, but loves winning and the intensity it brings.

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