A young lady with roots running deeply through the Rim Country has her sights set on helping the eighth-ranked Arizona State University Sun Devils softball team (19-2) win the NCAA championship.
Lacy Goodman, a 21-year-old junior catcher at ASU, is now taking huge strides toward that goal with both her bat and glove.
For the Lady Devils, she’s hitting .353, and defensively has 30 put outs, six assists and just one error.
Although Goodman attended Mesa Red Mountain High School and Phoenix College before accepting a softball scholarship to ASU, she’s no stranger in the Rim Country.
“My extended family lives up there,” she said.
They include her grandfather, Ken, grandmother, DeJo, and uncle, Ty.
Also her father, Troy, attended Payson High School and was a member of the Longhorns’ 1982 state championship football team.
Her uncle quarterbacked the PHS team that advanced to the 1986 state football championship.
Both Troy and Ty also excelled in baseball at PHS.
Lacy says about Payson, “I always enjoy going up there because the atmosphere is so different from down here in the city.
“The memories I have of visiting my family in Payson are truly priceless.”
On her Arizona State bio, when asked “Something most people don’t know about me is….” she answered, “I’ve been riding horses since I was three.”
Most of that time on horseback was spent at her grandparents’ home in rural Diamond Point.
“I grew up taking rides with my grandpa for as long as I can remember,” said Goodman. “I may not be able to do it as much as I want because I am so busy, but whenever I do get a chance, it’s something I really enjoy and find relaxing.”
She also is a big fan of the Payson rodeo and likes nothing better than visiting each summer for the historic August Doin’s.
On the diamond
Although the collegiate softball season is still young and the chase for ASU’s second NCAA championship is just now heating up, Goodman is adjusting to life on the big stage.
In ASU’s 6-3 win over Texas State, she finished two-for-four at the plate with an RBI, run scored and three put outs.
Against Rutgers, a 14-0 Sun Devil win, she was one-for-one with two runs scored and an RBI.
Her finest effort behind the dish might have been in the Devils’ 8-7 victory over South Florida when she had six put outs and two assists. She also had a single and RBI.
As well as she is fitting into the ASU sports scene, life on the sprawling Tempe campus takes some tweaking for a young lady that enjoys life among the Rim Country’s ponderosa pines, calls country music her favorite, yearns for long, solitary horseback rides and listens to Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” before every game.
“ASU is an adjustment because your life is based around school and ball,” she said. “The biggest adjustment, I believe, is learning to have good time management at school and into softball.”
Her commitment to academic success is further born out in her bio where her advice to young players is “to work hard and get good grades.”
Moving to ASU from junior college has had its perks for Goodman.
Among them, she says, “Is getting gear such as clothes, shoes and bats — we had to supply those at PC.”
Although PC and ASU are vastly different, she credits both, “for helping me grow, and I appreciate the two schools.”
Goodman attended PC from 2007 to 2009 earning Diamond Catcher of the Year honors in both 2008 and 2009. She also set the school’s home run record for two years, punching 59 round trip tickets.
ASU coaches say her efforts on the field were impressive but it was her leadership that attracted them and helped PC earned National Championship honors in 2008.
She graduated last spring with an Associate Degree in General Studies.
At Red Mountain, where she graduated in 2007, she lettered for three years in softball while captaining the team her senior season. She also helped lead the Mountain Lions to the 2006 5A state title and was eventually named the National Player of the Year.
She also played club ball for the East Valley Pride.
While she obviously enjoyed an illustrious, memorable career in high school and junior college, she now calls her most exciting moment, “when Coach Wagner asked me to play for Arizona State.”
Now that she attained her dream of playing for Team Sparky, Goodman looks back saying she’s grateful to all those who helped her pave the way to success, “I have the greatest support system that an athlete can ask for, whether it’s family or friends.”