One of the main goals for the Bexley High School softball team was within reach entering an April 22 game against Licking Valley -- surpassing the seven-win total of each of the previous three seasons.
That goal will continue to change, according to coach Rick Wemlinger, assuming the Lions reach the eight-win mark.
After a 10-7, 12-inning loss at Whitehall on April 17 and a 14-4, five-inning win at Wellington on April 19, Bexley was 7-7 overall and 1-4 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Licking Valley.
Despite their loss to Whitehall, Wemlinger was proud of the Lions' effort.
"It was a tough game to lose," he said. "The kids busted their butts that game, but I think they'll come ready to play (the next game).
"We've set some goals out there. We've set the goal of eight (wins) and we'll go from there. We're going to get eight, nine, 10 and 11 wins this year, there's no doubt in my mind. These kids are hungry. They wanted that Whitehall game so badly, and there was a lot of effort. There was hurt in their eyes when they lost."
The Rams helped their cause by thwarting two squeeze bunt attempts by the Lions.
Junior Jordan Nagle has thrown the majority of the innings this season for Bexley, including all 12 against Whitehall.
"She could've been an excellent second baseman for us this season and we had to put her in to pitch, and she just goes out there every night and pitches for us," Wemlinger said.
"She can't weigh over 100 pounds and she just does a great job. She keeps us in games and I couldn't be happier for a kid. She works hard at it."
While Wemlinger believes there haven't been any instances in which the school's new all-turf field saved the team from a rainout, he said the fact he hasn't had to get a natural-turf field ready for play has been a plus.
"It's made the work a little easier for me," he said. "The field is awesome to play on and it's beautiful. Our kids enjoy it.
"The opponents are still a little skeptical of it and just don't know what to make of it, but we like it a lot."
As the second round of MSL-Ohio play started this week, Wemlinger had a few teams he'd like to see the Lions defeat, including Newark Catholic a second time on Monday, April 29.
"We beat (the Green Wave) 3-2 at their place (April 12) and that was an outstanding game," he said. "It was a typical, old-fashioned softball game and the kids were really excited.
"We want to beat them again and we'll get Whitehall again (May 2). We'll get them one more time and we'll go get them. The kids will want to get that one very badly."
Girls lacrosse team off to good start
After losing two of its first three games, the girls lacrosse team defeated Shaker Heights Laurel 10-3 and Kings Mills Kings 8-7 on April 13 before beating Pickerington Central 15-9 on April 19.
An April 16 game at Central Independent League-foe Granville was postponed because of bad weather. The Lions were 4-2 overall and 0-1 in the league before playing Columbus School for Girls on April 23.
"Our team has had a good start to the season and several parts of our game are really clicking," coach Gillian Thomson said.
She pointed to the leadership on defense of senior captain Carlin Coffey, who "has been outstanding," Thomson said.
Thomson also praised the effectiveness of her team when possessing the ball.
Junior midfielder Sarah Dawley led the team in scoring through six games with 20 goals, including six against Pickerington Central.
Senior captains and midfielders Libby Davis (10 goals) and Ellie Williams (8 goals) also have contributed on offense, while sophomore goalkeeper Mimi Nahem was averaging about seven saves per game.
"While it's been a good start, we know we have several areas where we need to work hard to improve our game," Thomson said.
"I anticipate a bunch of close, hard-fought games coming up and I'm really looking forward to seeing our team rise to those challenges."
Track teams compete in Bexley Relays
The boys and girls track and field teams competed April 19 in the home Russ Owen/Bexley Relays.
The boys finished second (78) behind St. Charles (101) and ahead of Eastmoor Academy (68), Olentangy Orange (68), Linden-McKinley (52), Watterson (39.5), Beechcroft (37), Walnut Ridge (27), Marion-Franklin (19.5) and Columbus International (5). The Lions won the lap medley in 11 minutes, 25 seconds.
The girls placed fifth (63) behind Orange (96), CSG (85), Eastmoor (83) and Watterson (70) and ahead of Beechcroft (25), Marion-Franklin (25), International (18) and Linden (16). The Lions won the 6,400 relay in 24:47.4.