It took Krystal Goodman an inning or two to realize she was on her game.
The Alabama softball pitcher needed a reminder from a teammate.
Goodman struck out a season high six batters and allowed four hits in a complete-game 4-0 shutout of McNeese on Sunday in Alabama’s final game of the Crimson Classic at Rhoads Stadium.
“I came out in the second inning and (third baseman) Maddie Morgan was like, ’You’re killing it, just keep doing what you’re doing,’” Goodman said. “After that I was like, ’yeah, I am doing good so we’re just going to keep it here.’“
It was senior day for Goodman, who was recognized before the game for her two years as Crimson Tide pitcher. Goodman, from Long Beach, Mississippi, had several family members in attendance.
“Some of my family never gets to come see me pitch,” Goodman said. “Getting to play in front of them was unlike anything else. Getting to do well while they were watching, you couldn’t wish for anything better.”
Goodman gave up a stand-up double to start the game but was lights out afterward. She got in trouble in the seventh, giving up two hits, which prompted a visit to the circle from pitching coach Stephanie VanBrackle Prothro.
“She told me to keep it tight, keep it together, keep doing what I’ve been doing the whole game,” Goodman said.
She struck out the next batter for her sixth of the day and for the final out.
Goodman got some help from her defense with Morgan taking away a base hit after snagging a line drive over her head. Shortstop Skylar Wallace also took away a hit with a diving catch and was part of a double play involving second baseman Savannah Woodard and first baseman Bailey Hemphill.
“The infield in particular and the whole team really set the pace of the game,” Goodman said. “I think I get into a good rhythm when I’m steady, when I’m level-headed the whole game. That’s when I thrive. The team did a good job of keeping me in that zone.
“When your defense is getting outs for you and especially when they are coming through on offense too, you want to work harder for them.”
Alabama (12-7) got all the offense it needed in the first inning with Alexis Mack scoring on an error and Hemphill belting a solo home run to center field for a 2-0 lead.
The No. 8 Crimson Tide added a run in the third on an RBI single from Morgan, and again in the fourth on an RBI double from KB Sides.
Alabama is back in action Wednesday and faces Alcorn State at 6 p.m. before SEC play begins Friday with a three-game home series with Arkansas.
Reach Edwin Stanton at 205-722-0226, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @edwinstantonu2