FREDERICKTOWN — The Fredericktown Freddies brought 14 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring eight runs to support pitcher Danielle Goeppinger’s one-hit shutout as they cruised to a 13-0 drubbing of visiting Fairfield Christian in their opening round tournament game on Monday evening.
“It was nice to win the last game on this field,” said Danielle Goeppinger. “Everyone hit the ball well today.”
It hasn’t been an easy week for the Freddies’ ace as Fredericktown coach Jeff Keener can attest to.
“Dani, bless her heart, she’s been a fighter all year long,” said coach Keener. “It starts with her. To show you what kind of a kid she is, they had a death in the family on Friday night. She’s going through that emotion and you don’t know there’s anything wrong.”
The Freddies also brought 11 batters to the plate in their 13-hit attack in a run rule shortened, 4 1/2-inning game.
Fairfield Christian managed three base runners in the game and were never a factor.
Rachael Goeppinger smacked an inside-the-park homer to lead things off for the Freddies. After that, it was off to the races.
“I knew I wanted to hit and, as long as I could believe in myself, I could do it,” said Rachael Goeppinger. “I was excited.”
“She’s doing good,” said her older sister, Danielle. “She’s stepped up pretty good. Seeing her do that makes me want to do better. She’s got one on me now.”
Jess Gable, who was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, agreed.
“Rachael just started us off and then we were all pumped and ready to go,” said Gable. “We pulled through and we did great. We kept our hitting going. It was one of those exciting moments when everyone comes together and hits the ball.”
Rachel may be younger, but she doesn’t play like a little sister.
“They used to call her ‘Little Goepp’, but now, I think there’s some pressure on big sister from little sister,” said coach Keener. “She’s a leader and if we can get her on base, she’ll make something happen.”
Once things got going, they shifted into high gear.
“We all started out really strong,” said Taylor Keener. “Everyone was hitting good and doing everything they could to get on base. We didn’t lay down any bunts, but we started out with good, solid hits.”
Taylor Keener scored in the first and had an RBI single in the fourth.
“I had two walks and I was waiting for that perfect pitch and just rip it,” said Taylor Keener. “It ended up going up the middle. I’m not sure if it nicked the pitcher’s glove or not, but she didn’t catch it.”
Freshman catcher Shannon Bywaters reached on an error to the third baseman and a three-base throwing error to the shortstop, scoring both times.
“(The first) was a really good inning,” said Bywaters. “We always have one good inning we need to spread out the hits and have more good innings. I love softball. As long as were winning, I’m happy.”
Basically, this is one to savor for a day or two. The Freddies face Newark Catholic on Wednesday and Jeff Keener knows that his team had to be ready.
“We just got to play,” said Keener. “We’ve got to show up. We’ve got to hit. We’ve got to make the plays we are capable of making and let everything else take care itself.”
“It will be a game to watch,” said Taylor Keener.
It promises to be exciting, but tough.
“That’s not going to be an easy one,” said Danielle Goeppinger. “We’ve got to get ahead of them and play like we’re down one or even tied.”
The Freddies know what they will need to do to stay alive in this tournament past Wednesday.
“If we play Newark Catholic the way we played today, we’ll have a chance,” said Gable.