Alexis Goeke started her softball career as a catcher but eventually decided that she didn’t want her older brother to be the only star pitcher in the family.
“I started pitching three years ago, I used to be a catcher,” said Goeke. “With my brother, Austin, pitching all the time, I also wanted to be a pitcher. I like being in the head of the game and having the leadership position.”
Austin, for his part, has earned a position at the top of the rotation for the Hun School baseball team and the senior is starring this spring for the Raiders on his way to the Wagner College program.
The younger Goeke meanwhile joined the Hun softball team this season and immediately assumed the role of ace. She made her impact felt in her debut against the Hill School (Pa.) in late March, striking out 12 and giving up two hits in a 9-0 win.
For Goeke, having the responsibility of being the team’s top pitcher is something she relishes.
“It doesn’t feel like I have a lot of pressure on my hands but I have a lot to prove,” said Goeke.
“With the upperclassmen’s help, it makes it much easier on me. All I want is to be in the circle. As a freshman, it feels good to have that opportunity to be out there and pitching.”
Things came easily for Goeke last week as she pitched a three-inning no-hitter in a 17-0 win over Rutgers Prep, striking out eight of the nine batters she faced.
“My focus was to really buckle down and pitch strikes and pitch really well,” said Goeke.
“The team was good with the bats today. It helps support us when we are on defense when you have runs behind you. I worked really hard over the winter to get all six pitches working really well so I tried to move it around the strike zone as much as I could. It is great practice.”
Goeke helped herself with the bat in the win over Rutgers Prep, pounding out a double and getting five RBIs.
“I like both parts; a lot of people say pitchers can’t bat but I really think the opposite,” said Goeke. “It is a great break. You get off the field and you go hit.”
Hun head coach Kathy Quirk likes the way Goeke has started her career.
“I am very impressed with her,” said Quirk, whose team improved to 5-1 with a 15-4 win over Lawrenceville last Monday.
“I think she is a very composed freshman and she wants to be out there. She knows what her role is, she knows what her job is. She doesn’t say to herself I have to strike everyone out. She knows she has good fielders behind her and she depends on them and if she gets a strikeout, she gets it.”
Quirk is also impressed with Goeke’s good hitting. “Today, she had two really nice drives,” said Quirk.
“I haven’t been getting that power hit out of her, I have been getting hits but not the power she had today. I think it is a boost to her confidence.”
With Hun having produced a superb start, Quirk is gaining plenty of confidence in her club.
“I am happy with their attitude,” said Quirk. “I think they are a good bunch of girls who want to come out and play and have fun. Sometimes I worry that they are not focused but I know that they are focused.”
In Quirk’s view, her trio of seniors, Carey Million, Danielle Beal, and Joey Crivelli, has helped keep the team focused.
“The seniors are doing a nice job with the leadership,” said Quirk, whose team hosts Hopewell Valley on April 18 before playing at Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on April 20 and Peddie on April 23.
“Carey is doing a great job behind the plate. She is having fun with it. Dani Beal is the same way; she has been solid for us at third base. I took her out of No. 4 in the batting order and put her up to No. 1 because she gets on base and she is smart. Joey, who we didn’t know if she was going to play because of her knee injury, has just come in and stepped it up as a second baseman.”
Goeke, for her part, believes she and Hun will keep stepping up.
“I am looking to limit hits, do my best, and stay focused,” said Goeke “We need to make sure we just play as a team and it will lead to our success.”