GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBLE: Former Bunker Hill standout softball pitcher Payton Goble will look to feast on opposing batters with Red Hawks

Former Bunker Hill softball standout Payton Goble (4) during her final season in a Bears’ uniform in 2018. (O-N-E file photo)Payton Goble (15) on the mound during the Hickory Post 48 Senior Legion softball contest against North Gaston on June 11, 2019. (O-N-E file photo by Marcus Smith)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Coming on the heels of Catawba Valley Community College's second annual “First Pitch” banquet held on Thursday, the Red Hawks will usher in its first-ever softball season on Monday, February 3. It will be a double-header that begins at 3 p.m. against Belmont-Abbey JV at the Highland Recreation Center in Hickory.

One feature athlete that will look to make her presence felt this spring is former Bunker Hill standout pitcher Payton Goble.

With the Bears, Goble was a three-time All-Conference, All-District and All-State player, as well as the 2017 District 7 Player of the Year.

She posted a .468 career batting average with Bunker Hill while also scoring 59 runs and drove in 47 via RBIs.

As a pitcher for the Bears, Goble went 10-4 with an ERA of 3.26 in 101 innings pitched. Her career batting totals on varsity also included 37 doubles, three triples and two home runs.

In addition to her prep softball career, she was also a part of the Hickory Post 48 Legion team during the summer coached by Bandys' softball coach Todd Smith.

In her lone year at Surry Community College during the 2019 season, Goble pitched through 81 ½ innings in 17 appearances with three starts. She obtained an 8-5 record and struck out 34 batters while garnering a 3.70 ERA. In her eight wins with Surry, Goble allowed 43 hits, 22 runs (15 earned), 14 base on balls, one homer and 17 strikeouts.

Her first-career start came in its first contest of the season on February 3, 2019, in the second game of a double-header against Spartanburg Methodist. In that match-up, she pitched two innings while allowing five hits and seven runs (including a home run). Goble also spent some time playing in the outfield.

“I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for this season,” said Goble. “We have worked hard all fall and I'm excited for everything to pay off...I feel like I fit right in with the girls and coaches, and I'm truly grateful I get the chance to play with such a great group.”

Goble spoke on her decision to transfer to CVCC after only one season with Surry:

“I knew after my first year at Surry (that) I was moving home, playing softball or not,” she said. “Of course I did not want to give up softball at the end of the day, so I then reached out to CVCC to see if I could have just one more shot at doing what I love to do; that's when I met coach Bumgarner and decided CVCC was my best option and chose to continue playing the game I love.”

She said that she's looking forward to putting it all out on the field and really surprising some people.

“My biggest goal for the season is to be an effective pitcher, keep my walks low and strikeouts high and of course be a competitive batter,” said Goble. “I think coach Bumgarner is going to help me in any way possible and really help me focus on being the best player I can be.”