GOODLAND, KS — The last time the Goodland Cowgirls were on the diamond was in the 2019 sub-state title game in Lakin. A game that featured a long rain delay and ended in a Cowgirl loss to rival Colby, who went on to the state tournament. And that moment still lingers in the mind of head coach Tess Smith & seniors.
“That’s our last game before the shutdown and I hope the girls who were there have that drive and revenge mode like coach (Joy Braun) & I do” head coach Tess Smith said.
The Cowgirl softball program has been one of the most, if not the most, consistent when it comes to Goodland High School athletics overall. Having just one losing season in the past five and going to state in two of those five seasons. After a great run in 2015 & 2016 which saw GHS win 31 games and two GWAC titles the Cowgirls have dipped a bit finishing just above .500 in two of the last three seasons. Including a 10-9 overall & 5-5 record in 2019.
Last season was shaping up to be a good season with a solid number of returners and a top-notch pitcher in Brooke Livengood. But then COVID hit. In 2021 things are looking up again with five girls who played in that final game of 2019 back and hoping to make up for lost time.
Four seniors will lead the way GHS this season in Anna Gutierrez, Atatlee Amthor, Makayla Wolak & Sara Syverson. Gutierrez enters as the top pitcher for GHS and has worked hard at becoming the team’s ace in circle. Amthor looks to anchor the outfield after starting there as a sophomore and showed flashes at the plate with the bat. Wolak might have the most experience having started and played at shortstop a lot since she was a freshman. And Syverson returns after catching in 2019 but could see her roll change this year and might have more of a utility roll.
Also, Junior Eve Cole returns after finding her niche at second base towards the end of the 2019 season. But past that the Cowgirls will lean on their young & big underclasses. Coach Smith will have her biggest roster in years with 25 ladies on the team.
“I’m excited, I have no idea what next Tuesday brings for us, but it’s been a fun ride getting there and I think everyone is going to keep improving and getting better” coach Smith said.
Goodland opens the season on Tuesday, March 29th at Colby.
Catch road and other select home games on 102.5 KKCI-FM, nwksradio.net & the Rocking M App with Ross Volkmer.