Softball | American Heritage

New arms fill needy position

 

Freshman Madison Candy and sophomore Jenna Goodrich are expected to fill American Heritage’s pitching void.

Special to The Miami Herald

For six years, pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine constantly fooled hitters, leading American Heritage to three state titles.

Chapdelaine, however, is now a member of the University of Virginia softball team. Her backup, Chase Redington, moved to California. Senior Alyssa Enrique had surgery in the fall and has begun a rehab schedule.

That leaves the defending champions with freshman Madison Candy and sophomore Jenna Goodrich, who will split time in the circle this season.

“We don’t have a senior leader, but they’ll be ready by the end of the season,” Heritage coach Marty Cooper said. “They’ll be battle-tested. Our schedule is very difficult. ... They’re going to pitch against the top teams in the state and hopefully prepare them for the playoff run — the state championship run.”

Candy, who started one game and recorded a few relief appearances last year as an eighth-grader, averages a pitching velocity in the high 50s.

“I’m confident,” said Candy, who has played softball since she was 7 years old. “It’s a big step. I was kind of preparing for when I would pitch, so it was nothing new. I was ready.”

Cooper and his staff have told Candy and Goodrich, who transferred from Archbishop McCarthy as a shortstop, to trust the defense behind them instead of trying to strike out every batter. During her senior year, Chapdelaine fanned 198 hitters.

The veteran infield includes a senior double-play tandem, a senior catcher and juniors at the corners. As Goodrich explains, the older girls keep her “calm, cool, collected.”

“Just do what I do and know I have a team behind me and rely on them to make the plays for me when I get in trouble,” said Goodrich, who pitched over the summer for her club team. “Know I have a good defense and a set of girls backing me up mentally and physically.”

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