Lakewood Ranch High senior shortstop McKaleigh Goodale hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to help lead the Lady Mustangs to a 9-1 victory over Tampa Sickles in the Class 6A-Region 3 quarterfinals April 25.
In addition to her home run, Goodale, who was playing in her final regional quarterfinal of her high school softball career, hit a double, drove in three runs and scored a pair of runs.
"I usually bunt in that situation and my coach told me to swing. He obviously expected me to do something big. After I hit it, I thought, “It’s about time,” because I hadn’t hit one since the beginning of the season.
I don’t really consider myself a power hitter or anything. It all depends where you are in the lineup and what the coach needs you to get done. It’s important to be versatile.
I enjoy the team unity of softball. You have to trust that your teammates are going to get the job done and they’ll be there to pick you up. Softball isn’t a game that you can play on your own.
I started playing softball when I was 4 years old. We had just moved to the area, and my sister was signing up for rec ball. She was 8 years old, and the youngest age group they had was T-ball. A lady asked if I wanted to play and then how old I was. After she told me I was too young, my dad said, “You can’t give her the option and then tell her she can’t play.” I was the first 4-year-old to ever play on Miss Manatee (Softball).
My goal is to make it to states again and make it one step farther than we made it last year. I just want to keep improving and end the year with no regrets. It’d just be good knowing you’ve improved and learned more and done more than you had done previously. It’s all about progression."