By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Second-year Goshen High School girls softball coach Cassi McCormack felt the Redskins would have more pop in the lineup this season.
The Redskins backed their coach up as senior Lacee Mulcahey homered twice and classmate Kaylee Shepherd once in a 14-4 season-opening win over the West Noble Chargers Friday night at Shanklin Park before a good-sized crowd considering the chilly weather conditions.
“That is more homers than we hit all last season,” the coach said. “It was kind of tough making out the lineup. I thought we could be pretty powerful and the girls proved me right tonight.”
Shepherd was the second Redskin batter in the bottom of the first when she started a six-run inning by belting a pitch over the 200-foot sign in center field. The next hitter junior Taylor Caouette walked before Mulcahey slugged a pitch over the fence in right center.
Goshen then loaded the bases as senior Emily Mullet singled followed by walks from senior Morgan Vanover and junior Jessica DeStefano. That brought sophomore Yadira Cabrales in her first-ever high school plate appearance. She responded like a veteran with a bases-clearing double.
“This was Yadira’s first high school game,” McCormack said.
Goshen’s six runs were in answer to the one the Chargers scored in the top of the first. Junior Kelsie Peterson lead off with a single and scored one batter later on a double by senior Ashley Shepherd.
The Redskins kept the pressure on in the third adding five more runs. Junior Brittany Jones had a run-scoring triple and Vanover a three-run double.
Mulcahey began the fifth with her second long ball.
“I’ve never hit two home runs in a game before,” she said. “I was really excited to begin the season. The first pitch must have been an outside one since it went out in right center. The second one I have no idea. It just felt good when I hit it.”
The Redskins pounded out 15 hits in the contest, seven of which were for extra bases. They had three doubles, a triple and three homers.
“I kind of expect Lacee to have power like that,” McCormack said. “It was a little unexpected to see it from Kaylee. We have her in the second spot in the order to set the table for Taylor (Caouette) and Lacee.
“Since we have not been able to get outside this spring most of our work has been inside on hitting. It was nice to see the defense do a pretty good job considering that. We have a few things on defense to clean up, but I’m pretty happy for an opener.”
As if two homers weren’t enough for Mulcahey, she ended the game in the bottom of the sixth with a single that scored sophomore Brooke Miller and Shepherd.
“It felt pretty awesome to end the game,” Mulcahey said. “It reminded me of a single I had to win the sectional championship in my sophomore season.”
Mulcahey was referring to her single in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Aimee Swihart in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Warsaw Tigers in 2011 that gave the Redskins their only sectional title.
Caouette was the winning pitcher. She went the distance, striking out six and walking two.
Sophomore Alexis Morris drive in three runs for the Chargers with a ground out in the third and a two-run double in the fourth. Shepherd had three singles.
West Noble 101 200 — 4-9-1
Goshen 605 012 — 14-15-2
Pitching: (Goshen) Taylor Caouette (W) six strikeouts and two walks. (West Noble) Ashley Shepherd (L) and Janelle Miller.
Hitting: (Goshen) Lacee Mulcahey two home runs, single, five RBI: Kaylee Shepherd home run, single, RBI; Brittany Jones triple, RBI; Morgan Vanover two doubles, three RBI; Yadira Cabrales double, single, three RBI; Brooke Miller double, single; Taylor Caouette two singles, Emily Mullett single. (West Noble) Alexis Morris double, three RBI; Ashley shepherd double, RBI; Kelsie Peterson three singles, Molly Marsh two singles, Taylor Fisher single, Kelsey Kiser single.
Records: Goshen (1-0) hosts South Bend Riley today. West Noble (0-1) travels to Wawasee Tuesday.