If getting solid pitching and playing tight defense are the keys to winning most softball games, Lansdowne (9-0) has a leg up on the rest of the competition.
If getting solid pitching and playing tight defense are the keys to winning most softball games, the unbeaten Lansdowne Vikings (9-0) have a leg up on the rest of the competition because they have one player that excels at both.
In Friday afternoon's 3-0 shutout of Perry Hall (6-2), sophomore pitcher Jordyn Goodman showed off both of those qualities.
She fired a four-hit shutout (four strikeouts, no walks) and helped herself by fielding three solid one-hoppers up the middle flawlessly.
"I've never seen somebody plays a position as well," said Lansdowne coach Ken Goodman, who is also her father. "After she gets rid of the ball, she's catlike to get the ball."
Her most critical defensive gem came in the top of the fourth with two outs and a runner on second and the Vikings clinging to a 1-0 lead.
Leadoff hitter Hannah Lewis, who will play at Division I Wagner University next season, smoked a liner that looked destined for center field, but Goodman calmly gloved it and tossed it to first for the final out.
"The ball just didn't go through," Perry Hall coach Brian Radcliffe said.
The out was even bigger because the Gators didn't get to the two, three and four spots in the lineup with their most dangerous runner on base.
"Our catalyst all year has been Hannah Lewis and they kept her off base today," Radcliffe said.
In the top of the sixth, Goodman got some defensive help from sophomore third baseman Jessie Trott when she made a diving catch lunging forward on a spinning ball off the bat of Briana Lowry.
That came with one out after a leadoff double by Caroline Frank.
"For about two seconds I was like, 'It's dropping, it's dropping and I'm trying to think what to do' and she catches it and that just boosted everybody," Goodman said. "It was a really great catch. She has been doing great over there."
Goodman retired six batters in a row in the first through third innings, got five straight in the middle innings and set down the final five batters in the sixth and seventh.
"She threw strikes at the end," Radcliffe said. "At the end, we were taking strikes to see if we could get anybody on and she's throwing strikes. Our hats off to her, she did a great job."
Goodman got all the offensive support needed in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Vikings pushed across their first run.
"That game could have turned on a couple of plays so that's not a game where we were not in contention," Radcliffe said. "That game was a well-played game."
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Vikings got a huge insurance run when Katie Amoss hit a line-drive leadoff home run to right-center field.
It was the sophomore first baseman's first homer of her career.
"I just knew it was a good pitch for me to hit and I swung at it and it felt good coming off the bat," Amoss said.
Coach Goodman liked the way she took advantage of overtime practice the previous night.
"She has been struggling lately," Goodman said. "She hits well against the slower pitchers, but we did two hours of cage time last night to kind of match what speed we were going to see."
Pitcher Goodman appreciated the extra run.
"It helped our defense," she said. "We still didn't want to make mistakes, but if we made one we could recover and it wasn't going to cost us much."
Lansdowne added its final run in the bottom of the sixth.
Emily Wilkens drew a two-out walk and advanced to second on a single by Thayer.
Trott scored on a throwing error.
It was the Gators only error and that matched the Vikings one miscue.
"Other than a few mental errors in the field, it was lockdown," Jordyn Goodman said. "It was the best game we've played all season in my opinion. It was great."
Radcliffe appreciated the effort of both teams.
"They are a good team. This is what fast-pitch softball is all about," Radcliffe said.
Lansdowne coach Goodman couldn't have been prouder of his team and his two daughters.
"Her [Jordyn] and Hannah controlled the game," he said. "The pitches were perfect, she knew her batters, off speeds were great and she had her stuff and it looked like it's the strongest she's thrown all week."
The coach estimated the southpaw hurler had throw at least 300 pitches in back-to-back-to-back games earlier in the week.
They defeated Hereford, 5-4 in eight innings, on Monday, Loch Raven, 9-6, on Tuesday and Patapsco, 20-0, on Wednesday.
"She had that day of rest and it really helped," Goodman said.
The loss ended Perry Hall's winning streak at four with its only other loss coming against unbeaten Eastern Tech (8-0).
Eastern Tech defeated Franklin 1-0 on Friday and will host Lansdowne on Monday.
Last year, the Vikings ended the Mavericks 43-game winning streak with a 5-3 win in the Class 2A North Region finals.
"We want to go in and we are going to play our best," Jordyn Goodman said. "It's not about last year. We are not going to take anything from that. We are going to play in the present and give them a good game and it should be fun."