Megan Graf’s pregame jitters end as soon as she arrives on the field. Any nervousness the junior Goddard pitcher has is so minor that she brushes it off.
Graf not only has confidence in her own abilities, but she knows that even if she has an off night, Goddard has a lineup of hitters giving her a huge cushion.
The Lions swept host Eisenhower 12-0, 17-4 on Tuesday night to improve to 10-0. Eisenhower is 4-4.
Goddard has won seven games by double-digits.
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“It’s a relief to have all those runs,” said Graf, who gave up three hits in Game 1. “It takes a lot of pressure off.”
Teammate Julisa Ortega got the win in Game 2. Goddard had 29 hits in the two games.
“That’s normal,” Goddard freshman second baseman Talli Shepherd said. “Once we start working together, stringing hits together, we’re unstoppable.”
Goddard bunched most of its runs together, scoring its 12 Game 1 runs in three innings — four in the second, three in fourth, five in the sixth of the six-inning game. In Game 2, Goddard scored 15 of its 17 runs in three innings, including an eight-run seventh.
Goddard coach Rita Smith said, though, that the Lions’ hitting isn’t where it needs to be.
“Hopefully we’ll be there toward the end of our season,” she said. “We have a few days off this next week to get some of our swings, mechanics hopefully figured out so we’re ready to go.”
Um, this lineup needs improvement?
“Well, we have kind of one or two players who are sometimes off, but we always have seven others who can pick them up,” Graf said.
Goddard senior Morgan Bohanan has been in a slump. The third baseman, who signed with Kansas, was an All-Metro selection in 2013. She hit .629 as a sophomore, .582 as a junior.
Eisenhower coach Charlie Nally specifically noted a game plan was to keep Bohanan quiet at the plate. She was 1 for 7 with a two-run double and two runs scored.
“You have to hand-tie Bohanan a little bit,” Nally said. “We took care of that, but we didn’t take care of anyone else.”
And that’s what is so impressive with Goddard right now — the Lions have one of the area’s top hitters in Bohanan, and though she’s searching for hits, this team keeps scoring in bunches.
Shepherd scored four runs and had five RBIs, including a three-run triple in Game 1. Brianna Fuchs had three RBIs and three hits. Miranda Rohleder had four doubles, two RBIs. Megan Dougherty had a home run and four RBIs.
It should be a bit disconcerting for future opponents who are surely pondering what happens when Bohanan gets hot.
Goddard did have a worrisome few innings when Eisenhower cut its 5-0 deficit to 5-3 after Jillian Stockton’s three-run homer in the third inning of Game 2. Kilah Hoenscheidt hit a homer in the fifth to get within 6-4.
And then Goddard scored 11 unanswered over the next two innings.
Eisenhower has three players with returning varsity experience, and there were mistakes made. But Nally is confident that if the Tigers meet Goddard in the postseason, his will be a different team.
“We’ll play them better the next time,” he said. “Our defense will be a lot better.”
Goddard 12, Eisenhower 0
|Goddard||040||305||—||12 16 0|
|Eisenhower||000||000||—||0 3 3|
W — Graf. L — Minor. HR — Dougherty, Goddard.
Goddard 17, Eisenhower 4
|Goddard||401||013||8||—||17 13 2|
|Eisenhower||003||010||0||—||4 4 4|
W — Ortega. L — Wenzel. HR — Stockton, Eisenhower; Hoenscheidt, Eisenhower.
Goddard junior pitcher Megan Graf pitched a shutout in Game 1
Goddard freshman Talli Shepherd had five RBIs, a triple and was 7 for 10 at the plate.
Goddard coach Rita Smith