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Emily Goodin adjusts to new role with IU softball


Then-junior, now-senior Emily Goodin pitches the ball April 10, 2019, against Purdue. Goodin will lead the Hoosiers from the circle this year. Sarah Zygmuntowski

Senior pitcher Emily Goodin always tries to give 150%. 

It’s something she learned from her dad when she was younger. He’d tell her, “One fifty! One fifty!” when she was in the pitcher's circle. 

IU softball head coach Shonda Stanton doesn’t like that. After all, how can you give more than 100%? You can’t, Stanton said. All she wants is as much effort as Goodin can give.

Goodin listens to Post Malone or Morgan Wallen before games to keep out of her head. By getting pumped up and staying loose in the locker room, she keeps a smile on her face and stays ready to go. 

It’s when she’s relaxed that she does her best work. She'll have to be relaxed to take over the lead pitching role from one of IU's best pitchers in program history.

Tara Trainer graduated from IU last season as one of the greatest pitchers in program history. She finished her career ranked second all-time in strikeouts, appearances and games started. She was third all-time in career wins and innings pitched. 

And for three years, Goodin has been right beside her. Now, as she enters her senior year, it’s Goodin who will be leading the Hoosiers from the circle. 

“It’s a challenge that I’ve been ready for since the end of the season last year,” Goodin said.

Goodin hasn’t shied away from a challenge to lead a team yet. She led her high school team to its first state championship during her junior year, only allowing two hits while striking out 11 over seven innings in a 1-0 victory. She finished the season with 21-4 recording, earning her All-State honors.

Instead of returning for her senior year, Goodin took on a new challenge: collegiate softball.

Goodin came to IU after graduating from Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Indiana, a semester early. Now, in what should be her junior year, Goodin is a senior taking on a leadership role. 

She’s been working on her endurance and doing cardio to make sure she can get through this season. Since Goodin will see a majority of the innings this year, she needs to be prepared to pitch almost double what she has in years past. Goodin made 101 appearances during the same time Trainer made 134, and now she'll have to pitch a majority of those innings lost with Trainer's absence.

She often worked with Trainer, getting pointers on what she could do better. Now she's working on being the senior leader that gives tips to the younger pitchers on the staff. Outside of Goodin, IU has a staff full of young, inexperienced pitchers.

“She had that mentality where she’d just put her head down and fight through,” Goodin said of Trainer. “She was a fighter. She had a lot to give. I'm still trying to take on that role.”

Stanton tries not to let Goodin feel the pressure of stepping into Trainer’s shoes. Stanton takes each player's strengths into account, setting a floor for each athlete instead of a ceiling.

“I wouldn’t say she's stepping up, per se, in Tara Trainers role,” Stanton said. “Anytime we graduate any pitcher or any great hitter it's not like we're trying to replace what they've done.’”

Stanton knows what the floor is for Goodin. Skill-wise, it's one strikeout per inning. Mentally, it’s about being in command. 

“We’re excited to see how she'll write her history,” Stanton said. “She has an opportunity to write her finish right now.”

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