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ThisWeek Community Newspapers Hilliard

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April 13, 2011

Softball

Bradley’s switches paying dividends By BRAD EMERINE ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Most of the components that helped the Hilliard Bradley High School softball team find success last season returned to the second-year program. But coach Kevin Moody made some changes anyway, and they appear to be working. The Jaguars won their first five games by a combined score of 4111. The biggest changes surround twotime all-state performer Kellie Roudabush. Hitting in the middle of the lineup last season, Roudabush batted .587, drove in 29 runs in the Jaguars’ 26 games and was named the Division II district Player of the Year. So Moody moved her to the leadoff spot. “We wanted to get her more at-bats because she’s such a great hitter,” Moody said. “She has responded by starting on

fire. And when the rest of the team sees her get on base, they loosen up.” Through five games, Roudabush was 14-for-17 (.823) with seven singles, three doubles, two triples and two home runs. She had scored 11 runs. The switch also showed that Moody had faith in the rest of the team, because he knew the move wouldn’t work if the middle of the lineup couldn’t produce RBI. Teams could pitch around Roudabush if her teammates couldn’t step up. “Our three, four and five hitters have really done their jobs,” he said. “Jordan Camp has 10 hits in the three-hole and although she’s primarily a slap-hitter, she has hit a few deep as well. Mickey Smith has been putting the ball in play and supplying timely hits at cleanup and freshman Abi Groseclose has really been strong with two triples and a home run in the fifth spot. Smith and Groseclose have 12 RBI combined.” Roudabush admits that the change

At a glance

Below are recent results and the coming schedule for the Bradley softball team: *April 4 — Defeated New Albany 8-2 in opener April 5 — Game vs. Marysville postponed. No makeup has been announced. *April 5 — Def. Franklin Heights 7-3

doesn’t seem natural to her yet. “It’s different, but you really only lead off once a game,” she said. “I need to be more patient. I just look at it as playing a different role. My job is to score runs, not bat them in. I think (Colleen O’Shea) is doing a nice job moving me around the bases and the middle of the order is doing their job. We’re scoring a lot of runs.”

*April 8 — Def. Big Walnut 10-3 April 9 — Def. Westerville North 11-1; def. Groveport 5-2 *April 13 — Played Delaware *April 14 — At Mount Vernon *April 15 — Played Olentangy Orange April 16 — Played Watterson *April 18 — At Watkins Memorial *April 20 — Home vs. New Albany Of note: The Jaguars were 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Capital before April 13. *OCC-Capital game

“She works her butt off in the weight room and is just a dynamic player wherever you put her.” If the team was struggling in the circle, Roudabush would be called upon more often. But senior Tayler Young, an all-league pitcher last season, has again started strong and given Roudabush the opportunity to play shortstop. “Tayler has been in command,” Moody said. “I think moving the rubber (from 40) to 43 feet has made her much better. Her ball movement is fantastic. I’m really excited about the way she’s pitching and the way her ball is moving. Kellie has been stellar at shortstop as well.” If things continue to progress at this rate, the Jaguars could be looking at a second OCC-Capital Division championship and a deep postseason run.

Roudabush also has a different role in the field. After going 14-4 with a 1.33 ERA last season while pitching in twothirds of the team’s games and going 21-6 with a 0.45 ERA as a sophomore at Darby, she may do less pitching this season as she prepares to play infield at the University of Akron next year. “She is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 24 bemerine@thisweeknews.com strikeouts in 21 innings,” Moody said. www.ThisWeekSPORTS.com

Softball

Changes give Davidson boost of confidence By SCOTT HENNEN ThisWeek Community Newspapers

By Paul Vernon/ThisWeek

Darby catcher Cheyenne Hamaker gets upended by DeSales’ Anna Gentile but holds on for the out during the third inning April 9. The host Panthers lost 13-3, but defeated Marysville 2-1 later that day. Hamaker has been solid on offense and defense for Darby.

Softball

Darby struggling on offense By BRAD EMERINE ThisWeek Community Newspapers

The Hilliard Darby High School softball team entered the season with high hopes because of the versatility of its athletes. But second-year coach Erin McClincy knew it would take some time to formulate a consistent lineup while seeing what the young Panthers could do. Now, injuries to pitcher Carole Allen and third baseman Mollie Obert have prompted changes. “Mollie Obert, one of our two seniors, has a finger issue that could keep her out a while,” McClincy said. “Carole Allen has a sprained MCL and we don’t know how long she’ll be out either. We’re still shuffling the lineup and checking up for our next plan of attack.” Allen pitched in three of her team’s four games before the injury. The good news for the Panthers is that freshman Savannah Pizzurro stepped in to pitch a three-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Marysville on April 9. “That was exciting to see Savannah pitch that well in her varsity debut,” McClincy said. “Hopefully that will give the girls some confidence and momentum heading into a big week for us with three league games.” Darby lost its first two league games to Worthington Kilbourne 4-0 on April 5 and Central Crossing 8-1 on April 6. The Pan-

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Darby softball team: March 30 — Game at Groveport postponed. No makeup has been announced. April 2 — Defeated Jonathan Alder 6-5 in 9 innings; lost to Pickerington North 8-4 *April 5 — Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 4-0 *April 6 — Lost to Central Crossing 8-1 April 9 — Lost to DeSales 13-3; def. Marysville 2-1 *April 11 — Game vs. Dublin Coffman postponed *April 12 — Played Westland *April 13 — Played Thomas Worthington April 14 — At Westerville South *April 18 — At Davidson *April 19 — Home vs. Upper Arlington *April 20 — At Kilbourne Of note: The Panthers were 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before April 12. *OCC-Central game

good speed. But you have to get on base to make it work and put the pressure on the defense.” Junior catcher Cheyenne Hamaker has been a bright spot for Darby. “She’s been doing her job at the plate and behind the plate for us,” McClincy said. “She’s hitting the ball, putting it in play, bunting and all the things a No. 2 hitter should do. She’s also calling the game behind the plate. She’s throwing out runners and is a wall back there. It’s a luxury to have a catcher who can do all those things. “I have all the confidence in her to call the pitches. As a former pitcher, I think it’s important for the pitcher and catcher to work together and trust one another.” McClincy also noted the defensive play of center fielder Tyler Kohli. Now, the Panthers hope to add timely hitting and a more efficient offense to the defense and pitching. “We’ll continue to work on things, but I think, especially with a young team, hitting is contagious,” McClincy said. “If one person can get on a roll, it certainly could lead us out of it as a team. Confidence is so vital to young players. In the meantime, maybe pitching and defense can keep us in games.”

thers scored just 16 runs in their first six games, with 10 of those coming in the first two games. “We’re struggling at the plate, definitely,” McClincy said. “Pitch selection is part of it. We just need to take what we’ve been doing in practice drills and put that into action during games. We should have an effective short bemerine@thisweeknews.com game because we’ve got some hitters and www.ThisWeekSPORTS.com

OHSAA Continued from page B1 Among the reasons the OHSFCA created the proposal was a concern regarding AAU flag football programs and their influence on OHSAA-sponsored football. In addition, it cited a lack of opportunity for Ohio high school football players to display their skills to college coaches during the May recruiting period. “I know a lot of people might be against it, but obviously I’m a football coach and I’m also a football fan,” Dublin Coffman football coach Mark Crabtree said. “Anything that can be done to promote the sport of football I’m in favor of doing. During the last two weeks of May, most of our players are doing absolutely nothing unless they’re competing in a regional tournament in their spring sport, and those are the kinds of athletes that we’d want to be competing at that time.

“Football is the one sport that gets the short end of the stick because all of the other sports you can do year-round in some form. We’re limited the most, yet it’s the biggest sport with fans and them being fanatical about it.” •The OHSAA voted 6-3 to approve a proposal from the soccer coaches association to expand the girls soccer state tournament from two divisions to three beginning this fall. Girls soccer surpassed the 501-team benchmark during 2010. Twenty-three teams from the Central District competed in Division II last fall, producing one district champion. Although the OHSAA has not announced breakdowns by division, teams such as Worthington Christian (116 girls) and Wellington (77 girls) likely would be among those that would drop to Division III. Worthington Christian was seeded third for the district tournament and Welling-

ton was seeded eighth last fall. “That gives us a better chance once we get into the tournament,” Worthington Christian athletics director Kevin Weakley said of his team’s likely drop. “The challenge in Division II is that there are a lot bigger schools than us in it like Bexley and Hartley. When we made the jump to Division III with the boys, it helped us significantly.” Another effect of the increase in divisions is that schools such as DeSales and Watterson as well as some Columbus City Schools would drop from Division I to II. DeSales and Watterson have been perennial powers in boys soccer while competing in Division II, but neither school got past the district semifinal round while competing in Division I in girls soccer last fall. julrey@thisweeknews.com www.ThisWeekSPORTS.com

Hilliard Davidson High School softball coach Angelo Forte shook up his lineup and noticed immediate results. After losing three of their first four games, the Wildcats went 11 in their first two OCC-Central Division contests, beating Westland 6-0 on April 5 and losing to Central Crossing 3-0 on April 8. After losing both games of an April 2 doubleheader road trip to Cincinnati Glen Este 6-3 and Milford 11-1 in six innings, Forte moved catcher Zoe Allegretti and second baseman Tessa Kilgore to the outfield, sent freshman Alex Ashley behind the plate and placed freshman Lizzy Doby at second. “We have made some changes in our lineup to shore up our outfield,” Forte said. “Zoe is naturally an outfielder and Tess makes us stronger out there. (In Cincinnati) our outfield let us down.” Kilgore said the trip to Cincinnati was a wake-up call for the Wildcats. “(April 2) was a rough day and the team morale hit a low point early,” Kilgore said. “We’re not a cliquey team. Everyone has their role and we are more than just one person. “Our team morale is a lot better and this team plays better when it has a better attitude. We realize we’re all on the team for a reason and the older players have to take everyone under their wing and help them to get better.” Davidson managed to bounce back against Westland. “We really needed that (win),” Kilgore said. “That helped to light a fire under us.” “They are all big wins, but with the way we had played over the weekend, (Westland) was a good win for us,” Forte said. “It definitely helped. This was a light week for us and we had some good practices.” Workouts on April 6 and 7 helped the team mesh when it needed to make improvements. “We just keep practicing and we have a goal in mind like we do every year and that’s to make it to a district championship,” said Forte, whose team lost to top-seeded Grove City 1-0 in a Division I district final last season. “No one game in the regular season is a championship, so you just have to keep working

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Davidson softball team: March 29 — Lost to Hartley 2-1 in opener March 31 — Game at New Albany postponed. No makeup has been announced. April 1 — Defeated Jonathan Alder 5-4 in 10 innings April 2 — Lost to Cincinnati Glen Este 6-3; lost to Milford 11-1 in six innings *April 5 — Def. Westland 6-0 *April 8 — Lost to Central Crossing 3-0 *April 12 — Played Worthington Kilbourne *April 13 — Played Dublin Coffman *April 15 — At Upper Arlington April 16 — Home vs. Big Walnut and Dublin Scioto *April 18 — Home vs. Darby *April 20 — At Westland Of note: The Wildcats were 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Central before April 12. *OCC-Central game

to get better.” The coaching staff turned to the seniors — Allegretti, Kilgore, shortstop Mallory Sodders and pitcher Sam Smith — for ideas. “The practices (April 6 and 7) went very smoothly and we learned a lot,” Kilgore said. “There are four (seniors) and we have to make sure everyone as a whole is stepping up. We have a lot of young faces and every game we get a little better, not only physically, but mentally.” Against Central Crossing, the Wildcats struck out 11 times against pitcher Savannah Dorsey. Kilgore had a triple and both Ashley and freshman Charlee Clark had singles. “I thought we had some good at-bats, though the stats didn’t show it,” Forte said. “I thought we were much more aggressive at the plate.” Davidson took last weekend off because of ACT testing on April 9. Scheduled to play five games this week, Forte compared it to the calm before a storm. “We’re getting ready for a long stretch run,” he said. “We have an unusual mix (on the team) because we have experience and we also have a lot of youth. (This) week will show us a lot.” shennen@thisweeknews.com www.ThisWeekSPORTS.com

Darby athletes to compete in college Three members of the Hilliard Darby High School football team have made commitments to play college football in seniors Blake Clowes (Kentucky Christian), Matt Cyrus (Ohio Dominican) and Sufyan El-Geroushi (Urbana). Those players helped lead the Panthers to an 8-3 overall record and their second Division I, Region 3 playoff appearance last fall. As Darby’s center, Clowes was named first-team all-district and all-OCC-Central Division. Cyrus, a linebacker, was special

mention all-district and firstteam all-league. El-Geroushi, who played right guard on the offensive line, was second-team all-league. Clowes and Cyrus signed letters of intent Feb. 2, while ElGeroushi was scheduled to sign his letter during a ceremony in Darby’s main gym April 13. Other Darby athletes scheduled to sign during the ceremony were Korinne Culley (lacrosse, Grand Valley State), Seth Ervin (soccer, Findlay) and Olivia Mathews (volleyball, Seton Hill.)

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