Elyria’s Maycee Godbolt was enveloped in a heavy-hitting lineup her freshman season and was surrounded by seniors as a sophomore. This season, the power-hitting junior has been the outright leader of the Pioneers’ potent offensive attack.
“My first two years I was living under everyone,” Godbolt said. “I felt like I couldn’t really break out of my box. Sometimes I’d get into a slump but I always kept going, at least try to produce some hits. I wasn’t going up to the plate trying to hit home runs — I’m not trying to hit home runs this year, either — but I was just trying to help the team score.”
Godbolt is leading Elyria in just about every offensive category as the team prepares for Wednesday’s regional semifinal against Oregon Clay at Clyde High. She is batting .548 with 10 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs, 46 RBIs and 42 runs scored. Her 12 home runs are one shy of the Lorain County single-season record.
“This year it just totally exploded,” Elyria coach Ken Fenik said. “She’s one of the feared hitters around — a lot of teams are intentionally walking her. She’s got a beautiful swing, tremendous power and she’s definitely been a big spark, especially in those early innings of a game.”
Godbolt started playing at 8 years old, skipping T-ball and coach pitch in the Little League East system in Elyria. She said her memories are fuzzy of the first few years, but she felt like she was a pretty solid hitter from the start and kind of remembers being able to hit the ball farther than most girls her age.
“I do remember this one game we were playing this light blue team and I had a really good hit to the outfield and I was so excited,” she said.
More vivid is the recollection of her first home run.
“We were playing in a (10u) tournament in Youngstown and there was a free pizza sign in the outfield and all my teammates wanted me to hit it, and I was this close to hitting it,” she said of her time playing with the SunDogs travel organization. “I didn’t hit it, but I hit it over the fence. Everyone was so excited. It was a great feeling.”
Godbolt played on that SunDogs team, which later became Ohio Impact, for years with Pioneers teammates Izzie St. Peter, Madison Olszewski and Mallory Phares. St. Peter and Olszewski are Elyria’s top pitchers.
“I feel like it’s great that we’ve known each other that long because it helps so much,” Godbolt said. “When you’re coming in with new people you don’t really have a feel for them at first. I’ve been playing with these girls for seven years, so I know if Izzie or Maddie is having a bad day, I know what to say to help them.”
The seasoned battery was one of the reasons Elyria won the Division I state championship during their freshman season. Godbolt’s hitting could be key to the Pioneers’ chances of making a run for the title this spring.
“Each year she’s got better and better and I know last year she put in a lot of time in during the offseason to work on her hitting, and it’s definitely paid off,” Fenik said. “It can be a ground ball to the infield, and if you don’t field it cleanly you’re going to take home a memory of that ball because she hits it so hard.”
Hitting is her forte, but Godbolt is also one of the top catchers in Northeast Ohio and she’s a huge asset on the basepaths, going 8-for-8 in stolen base attempts this season.
“She’s definitely a position player,” Fenik said. “A lot of times when she gets on base I know the opposing teams are looking for us to use the old courtesy runner, but we don’t need that with Maycee. She comes from that bloodline of Godbolts, the runners, and she does a nice job of running the bases — she’s smart and she’s quick.”
“It’s great to be a part of every aspect of the game,” Godbolt said. “I know when they walk me I get frustrated, but I know I can help on the bases. Whether it’s taking good leads, advancing on passed balls, tagging up when I need to, bluffing the throws and seeing if they’ll throw it away … just seeing if I can score on any chance that I can.”
Godbolt has also been a help in the dugout. She calls herself “a goofy person” and enjoys keeping her teammates loose before, during and after games.
“This has been a great year for her — the amount of runs she’s scored, the amount of RBIs, the amount of hits,” Fenik said. “Actually after the first few weeks of the season the other thing I’ve noticed is her leadership ability. For a junior to come in and do that, that’s exactly what we needed this year.”
That leadership was clear when Godbolt was asked about the team’s mindset heading into the regional tournament.
“We’re ready to do anything and everything we can to make it back to state,” she said. “Nobody should count us out. Not to be cocky, but I feel my team is really good and we can do really good things.”
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