Prep softball: Carly Goodwin named Gatorade Player of Year

EDDYVILLE — Dreams are starting to come true for Carly Goodwin.

This past Friday morning, Goodwin started her day with the news that another dream had been realized after being named the 2023-24 Gatorade Iowa Softball Player of the Year. The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguished Goodwin as Iowa’s best high school softball player after guiding the Savages in the pitching circle and at the plate to a fifth-place finish in last year's Class 1A State Softball Tournament and the current No. 3 IGHSAU statewide ranking.

"It's something that's been a dream of mine since I was a young girl," Goodwin said. "I really helped myself out last year by building some really good stats. I knew it was going to be pretty close, so feeling that excitement when my parents gave me the news on Friday is something I really can't explain."

The award is given out annually to one softball player and one baseball player in each state. Among the former award winners Olympic gold medalists Amanda Freed and Cat Osterman as well as current collegiate All-Americans Rachel Garcia and Ava Brown. Goodwin has a chance to follow in those footsteps next year as the Sigourney senior will join the University of Northern Iowa Panthers to begin her college softball career.

"There are a lot of great softball players in Class 1A alone as well as all five classes throughout Iowa," Goodwin said. "Being able to come from a small school in a small conference really shows people that you can dream big and do anything."

"It's not just me. I have to give credit to my teammates, my parents and my coaches for my success."

The 5-9 senior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Savages to a 27-5 record last summer, posting a state-best 0.19 ERA while going 23-3 with 325 strikeouts and just seven walks allowed over 144 2/3 inning. Goodwin also produced a .433 batting average while driving in 41 runs at the plate, earning Class 1A first-team all-state honors.

“She is, hands-down, the best pitcher we have faced in my coaching career,” Wilton head coach Kortney Denkman said of Goodwin. “With her speed and ball movement, it’s hard to get a run on the scoreboard.”

Goodwin joined elite company this season scoring her 1,000th career point on the basketball court while recently recording her 1,00th strikeout on the softball field. Besides her athletic achievements, Goodwin has also excelled in the classroom maintaining a 3.39 GPA while serving as Student Council Vice President at Sigourney.

Goodwin has volunteered locally with Toys for Tots, providing Christmas gifts for needy families, in addition to donating her time as part of clothing and blood-donation drives. Goodwin has also served as an instructor at youth basketball and softball camps, hoping to inspire the next generation of Sigourney student athletes.

"She's been such a great mentor to the little kids," Sigourney head softball coach Shelly Streigle said. "When she was at our softball camp, the kids all wanted to take pictures with her. She's always been very giving of her time to those little kids and has always been there for them."

Goodwin joins recent Gatorade Iowa Softball Players of the Year Jena Young (2022-23, Winterset High School), Jalen Adams (2021-22, Fort Dodge Senior High School), Ayana Lindsey (2020-21, Iowa City High School) and Mikayla Houge (2019-20, Collins-Maxwell High School). Every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner.