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Softball’s Lillie Goetz expects freshman success to continue
By Jeff Milby–
Lillie Goetz did not expect to have as much success in her 2016 freshman season as she did.
The sophomore infielder from Owensboro, Kentucky contributed right away in her first year, batting a team fourth-best .327 in 41 games, including 37 starts.
“Honestly, I did not know what to expect at the beginning of last year,” Goetz said. “I knew the game would be faster and it would be a higher intensity, so I just prepared myself the best I could.”
Goetz’s preparation paid off. She hit two grand slams – in consecutive games, no less – a first for a Louisville softball freshman. She also led the team with a 21-game on-base streak, lasting from late February through early April. Don’t look for her to take any of the credit for her accomplishments, though. Her success, she says, is because of her teammates.
“Being a freshman, it was all new to me, so I relied on my teammates to help prepare me for my first season of college ball,” Goetz said. “Once the season was in full swing, I just tried to roll with the punches. If I was performing well, I would keep doing what I was doing. If not, then I would try and change something in practice. I definitely credit my teammates for keeping me grounded during the season and for constantly reminding me to just have fun and live in the moment.”
Goetz has spent the offseason trying to improve her strong freshman campaign at the plate, where she ranked second on the team in walks and third in on-base percentage.
“I have tried to reel in my swing and gain consistency,” Goetz said. “This year my focus has shifted to working on the smaller things such as going with certain pitches and being more selective at the plate.”
As for the adjustments she made to the college game as a freshman, Goetz is hoping to pass on her experience to the incoming class of newcomers.
“My teammates called me ‘20 questions’ last year because I always would ask questions about what was going on,” Goetz said. “This year, I feel more in the know because I have had that year of experience under my belt. I feel like I know what to expect this year, so now I can help the freshmen with their own transition into college ball just like my teammates helped me last year.”
Courtesy photo / Louisville Athletics