Two of the main players keeping the Whetstone High School softball team on pace to capture a third City League championship in four seasons are senior Melissa Tewart-Darwin and junior Katie Fuller.

Two of the main players keeping the Whetstone High School softball team on pace to capture a third City League championship in four seasons are senior Melissa Tewart-Darwin and junior Katie Fuller.

According to coach Larry Peck, Tewart-Darwin's defense at first base has saved numerous runs and Fuller has been equally dynamic defensively at third base and has been one of the team's most consistent hitters.

Their defensive play was among the reasons the Braves edged Centennial 3-2 on April 21 to finish the first round of City League-North Division play at 7-0.

Tewart-Darwin and Fuller also are in the middle of their own fierce competitions off the diamond: Both could end up as school valedictorians if they continue to succeed academically over the coming months.

"Melissa is one of our senior captains, and she really might be the MVP for us strictly because of how well she plays defense," Peck said. "She's made a couple errors this year, but she just makes everyone in the infield so much better.

"Katie hasn't made any errors this year, she bats leadoff for us and I think she's got (almost 10) RBI."

Tewart-Darwin split time between pitcher and first base during her freshman and sophomore seasons, but has spent most of the past two years concentrating on first base.

Sophomore Haley Buskirk's ability to step into the role of No. 1 pitcher after the Braves lost Allie Webb to graduation has helped Tewart-Darwin settle into only playing first base.

A career .300 hitter who has struggled offensively this season, Tewart-Darwin has shown enough defensively to overshadow her struggles at the plate. She went 0-for-5 during a 5-4 win over Worthington Christian on April 15, but made 15 putouts.

Academically, Tewart-Darwin has a 4.5 GPA this year and a 4.135 for her four years, placing her just ahead of Brian Adams, who is starring for the Braves' track and field team, at No. 1 in the senior class.

"I'm planning to go to Ohio State and major in engineering," Tewart-Darwin said. "I never really thought about it much before, but now I think it would feel really good to be the valedictorian."

She's not the only one. Fuller, who has been balancing the demands of soccer, basketball and softball since her freshman year, is taking two advanced placement classes and is ranked among the top three in her class in overall GPA.

"I'm No. 1 in GPA in unweighted classes and No. 3 when you include (advanced placement)," Fuller said. "This year my GPA should be above a 4.0 at the end of the year. (Balancing sports and class) is something that's kind of come easily for me because I played sports even when I was in middle school."

In addition to her hefty GPA, Fuller is hitting around .400 to go along with the strong defense she has provided.

"Our team GPA is something like a 3.6," Peck said. "Half of the team is in national honor society. We've got a lot of really smart kids."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Whetstone baseball, softball, boys tennis, boys and girls track and field and boys volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 14 - Defeated Northland 12-2

*April 16 - Def. Columbus East 15-5

April 17 - Lost to Hamilton Badin 9-4; lost to Cincinnati Colerain 14-2

*April 19 - Def. Beechcroft 16-0

*April 21 - Lost to Centennial 6-2

*Last Friday - Def. Mifflin 18-0

*Last Monday - Game against Linden-McKinley postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Brookhaven

*Friday - At Northland

Saturday - Home vs. Fairbanks (10 a.m.) and Hilliard Bradley (3 p.m.)

*Monday - Home vs. East

*Wednesday - Home vs. Beechcroft

Of note: The Braves were 9-5 overall and 7-1 in the City League-North Division before last Wednesday.

SOFTBALL

*April 14 - Def. Northland

April 15 - Def. Worthington Christian 5-4

*April 16 - Def. East 15-0

April 17 - Lost to Watterson 15-1; lost to Dublin Jerome 8-0

*April 19 - Def. Beechcroft 8-0

*April 21 - Def. Centennial 3-2

*Last Friday - Def. Mifflin 19-3

Last Saturday - Lost to Olentangy Orange 10-4; lost to Grandview 7-2

*Last Monday - Game against Linden-McKinley postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Brookhaven

*Friday - At Northland

Saturday - Home vs. Reynoldsburg and Bexley

*Monday - Home vs. East

*Wednesday - Home vs. Beechcroft

Of note: The Braves were 10-6 overall and 8-0 in the City-North before last Wednesday.

BOYS TENNIS

*April 14 - Def. Marion-Franklin 4-1

April 19 - Lost to Watkins Memorial 3-2

*April 21 - Def. Brookhaven 5-0

*Last Friday - Def. Beechcroft 4-1

*Last Monday - Match against Columbus West postponed

*Last Tuesday - Played Independence

*Friday - Home vs. Mifflin

Saturday - At Fisher Catholic

*Wednesday - At Eastmoor Academy

Of note: The Braves were 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the City before last Tuesday.

TRACK & FIELD

April 13 - Boys: Finished first (75) ahead of Grandview (45) and Watterson (44); Girls: Finished third (23) behind Grandview (74) and Watterson (67)

April 17 - Boys: Finished 13th (23) in 18-team Dublin Coffman Invitational, behind champion Centerville (85.5); Girls: Did not score in 16-team Coffman Invitational as North Canton Hoover (121) won

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished seventh (65) in eight-team Westerville South Invitational, behind champion Dublin Coffman (111); Girls: Finished last (22) in seven-team Westerville South Invitational, behind champion Pickerington Central (150)

Last Wednesday - Boys, girls: Competed at Braves Invitational

Saturday - Boys, girls: At Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington

Wednesday - Boys, girls: At Red Devil Relays at Marion-Franklin

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

*April 13 - Lost to DeSales 25-18, 25-10, 27-25

*April 15 - Def. Gahanna Christian 25-17, 27-25, 25-13

April 17 - Def. DeSales 25-21, 25-18, lost to Westerville South 25-20, 25-21 and lost to Mount Vernon 25-9, 25-11 at Westerville South Invitational

*April 20 - Lost to Watterson 25-14, 25-8, 25-17

*April 22 - Lost to St. Charles 25-11, 25-11, 25-16

Last Saturday - Lost to Cincinnati Oak Hills 25-11, 25-11, lost to Cincinnati Purcell Marian 25-20, 25-17 and lost to Westerville North 25-17, 25-20 at Oak Hills tournament

*Last Tuesday - Played Licking Heights

*Today - At DeSales

*Tuesday - Home vs. Watterson

Of note: The Braves were 3-10 overall and 2-4 in the Central Ohio Volleyball League before last Tuesday.

*League contest