Canal Winchester High School softball coach Randy Hinton has mixed feelings about the 2014 season.
The Indians finished 14-10 overall and went 8-6 in their first season in the OCC-Cardinal Division, tying Westerville North for fourth behind Westerville Central (12-2), Hilliard Bradley (10-4) and Dublin Jerome (9-5) and ahead of Westerville South (5-9), Hilliard Darby (4-10) and Dublin Scioto (0-14).
Seeded 19th of 45 teams, the Indians lost to 29th-seeded Westerville South 6-5 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 13.
"I think we did well our first year in the OCC," Hinton said. "We felt a little disappointed in our final results because we let a few games get away from us. We played four extra-inning games, all were in the league, and we won only one of them."
Canal Winchester expects to return 11 players who started or saw significant playing time in juniors Jenna Carlisle (LF), Carly Favorito (P), Taylor Griffin (1B), Raven Hamilton (CF), Paige Hughes (RF), Rachel Jeffries (SS/3B/designated player) and Kasey Wentzel (3B/C), sophomores Callie Caswell (2B), Bailee Faulkner (C) and Katie Hinkle (P) and freshman Mackenzie Hamilton (SS/designated player).
Wentzel had a .375 batting average with 21 RBI and 10 runs and was named second-team all-district and first-team all-league. Raven Hamilton batted .417 with two home runs, 15 RBI and 19 runs and was second-team all-league, Mackenzie Hamilton hit .452 with seven RBI and 25 runs and was special mention all-league and Griffin batted .317 with three homers, 20 RBI and 15 runs and was honorable mention all-league.
Faulkner hit .360 with 12 RBI and Caswell batted .308 with 11 RBI and 18 runs.
"There was only one senior in Kaylee Lahr," Hinton said. "She was not a starter, but was used as a courtesy runner. She was able to contribute a lot with her ability to run the bases. All of the starters will be returning next year.
"Carly and Katie shared pitching duties, and I look for good things from them next year. Taylor Griffin did her usual job at first (base), saving a lot of players from throwing errors and committing only three errors of her own the whole season. Bailee was steady behind the plate. Paige Hughes, along with Kasey and Raven, led the team in game-winning RBI with two each. Rachel Jeffries shared time with Mackenzie at shortstop throughout the season and had some big hits in our wins."
Inconsistency plagued baseball team
The baseball team finished 11-15 overall and went 6-8 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Scioto for fourth behind Westerville Central (13-1), Darby (9-5) and Jerome (8-6) and ahead of Bradley (5-9), Westerville North (5-9) and Westerville South (4-10).
Seeded 31st of 45 teams in the Division I district tournament, Canal Winchester defeated 19th-seeded Whetstone 7-1 in the first round May 12 before losing 4-3 in eight innings to 12th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in the second round May 16.
"We had an up-and-down season overall," coach Jay Bartos said. "We just needed to be more consistent in all phases of the game."
The Indians lose six senior starters in Max Baker (C/P), Trevor Beerman (P/1B), Cody Cowgill (2B), Harrison Kaib (DH), Jared Kotwis (SS/P) and Chase Wymer (3B).
Kotwis batted .305 with nine RBI and seven runs and was honorable mention all-district and special mention all-league.
Baker went 2-2 on the mound with a 1.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 43 innings and was first-team all-league, Beerman hit .288 with 10 RBI and 16 runs and was second-team all-league and Wymer batted .267 with eight RBI and 10 runs and was honorable mention all-league.
Among the players expected to return are juniors Troy Fleming (RF/P), Collin Sanders (P/2B) and Sam Stanley (P/3B) and sophomore Colin Sotlar (LF).
Sotlar batted .288 with seven RBI and 13 runs, Stanley hit .333 with nine RBI and two runs and Sanders batted .400 with four RBI and three runs.
"Our seniors were good leaders, but we do have some key players returning to build around next year," Bartos said.