The Delaware Hayes High School softball team will be seeking to avenge its postseason loss from a year ago when it faces 10th-seeded Teays Valley in a Division I district semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at Pickerington Central.
The Pacers lost to the Vikings 7-5 in the second round last season.
"I'm not sure I want the girls thinking about last year's game because I want them focused on this game," coach Mark Thomas said. "When you're a step away from playing for a district championship, you shouldn't need any extra motivation."
Top-seeded Delaware had extra motivation in the second round May 16 when it defeated 27th-seeded Lancaster 15-5 in five innings at home to improve to 20-3 overall.
"Lancaster jumped on us at the tournament draw (May 5) and before the game (Lancaster coach Greg Rosser) told me there's no way he wanted to face (second-seeded) Grove City because they were the best team in the district by far," Thomas said. "I told the girls that and we came out hitting."
The Pacers had 15 hits against the Golden Gales. Junior shortstop Mikayla Cooper went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a two-run home run, five RBI and four runs. She also pitched the last inning in relief of freshman starter Madi Huck.
Junior second baseman Lindsey Blair also had four hits -- all singles -- and three RBI, and senior right fielder Phoebe Lewis had two hits and sophomore left fielder Jordan Osborne drove in two runs.
"If we keep hitting like that and playing error-free ball, we could get on a real nice run," Thomas said. "We looked real sharp hitting, running the bases and defensively."
Teays Valley defeated 17th-seeded Westerville South 9-1 in the second round May 16 to improve to 19-6.
The Vikings, who were district runners-up last year, are led by sophomore pitcher Haley Salyer, who was 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA through 22 games. Other key players include third baseman Gabby Gregg (.507 batting average, 25 RBI), catcher Hayden Ellis (.435, 4 home runs, 25 RBI) and outfielder and leadoff batter Bailee Sturgeon (.468).
The semifinal winner will play fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty or ninth-seeded Pickerington Central in a district final Saturday, May 25, at Pickerington Central.
In other second-round games May 16, Liberty defeated 14th-seeded Central Crossing 2-1 to improve to 19-3 and Central beat 12th-seeded Olentangy 2-1 to improve to 16-7.
The district champion will advance to a regional semifinal May 29 at Ohio State.
The Pacers did not play Teays Valley, Liberty or Central during the regular season. They were scheduled to play Liberty on April 13, but the game was canceled because of bad weather.
Baseball team falls in tourney opener
The baseball team had one bad inning in its Division I district tournament opener May 13 at Reynoldsburg.
Delaware, which was seeded 37th of 41 teams, allowed five runs in the sixth inning against the 33rd-seeded Raiders en route to a 7-4 loss. The Pacers finished 7-18 overall under first-year coach Nick Melton.
"We're going to lose three seniors, but all of our pitching and most of the defense will be back, so I'm real excited for next year," Melton said. "I enjoyed the first year and I can't wait to get started on next year and prepare to make some noise in the OCC."
Delaware finished 4-10 in the OCC-Capital Division to place seventh behind Olentangy Orange (12-2), Watkins Memorial (11-3), Olentangy (10-4), Big Walnut (6-8), Mount Vernon (6-8) and New Albany (6-8) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-14).
The Pacers were run-ruled four times, lost five games by one or two runs and lost eight games by three or fewer runs.
The seniors were catcher Alex Rafeld, left fielder Alex Hohe and third baseman/pitcher Tristen Adkins. Rafeld had a .306 batting average. Hohe was limited to playing in the field because of a wrist injury and Adkins was a role player.
Juniors Greg Suber and Colin Reed and sophomore Noble Moore are expected to return to lead the pitching staff. Suber, who also played first base, went 3-5 with a 4.20 ERA and Moore, who also played shortstop, went 2-5 with a 4.81 ERA. Reed, who also played third base, was lost for the season when he broke a foot during an 8-6 win over Mount Vernon on April 29.
Other key players expected to return include juniors Michael Sweeney (1B) and Connor Ulmer (CF) and sophomore Josh Daughenbaugh (RF).
Ulmer batted .361 with 13 RBI, 17 runs and nine stolen bases as the leadoff batter. Suber also hit .361 with 13 RBI, Sweeney batted .304 with five doubles and Daughenbaugh had three triples and scored 14 runs.
Also expected to return are juniors Jackson Boger (P/1B), Phil Frentsos (DH/2B), Conner Hollingsworth (utility) and Jake South (3B) and freshman Noah Watts (2B).
Against Reynoldsburg, Frentsos went 3-for-3 with three RBI, Rafeld went 3-for-4, Sweeney went 2-for-3 with two runs and Daughenbaugh doubled, tripled and scored twice.
Season ends for volleyball team
The boys volleyball team lost to Pickerington Central 26-24, 13-25, 27-25, 25-21 in the opening round of the Division I East Region tournament May 11 at Watterson.
Delaware and Central had split their two OCC-Capital matches during the regular season, with the Tigers winning 30-28, 25-17, 25-18 on April 2 and the Pacers winning 25-15, 25-23, 27-25 on April 18.
Delaware finished 5-20 overall, including 1-9 in the OCC-Capital. The Pacers tied Central for fifth in the league, behind Mount Vernon (9-1), Gahanna (8-2), Pickerington North (7-3) and Olentangy (4-6).
Delaware loses five seniors in Dalton Burke (outside hitter), Tommy Gibbs (middle hitter), Austin McKenzie (setter), Nathan Nelson (outside hitter) and Nick Queen (right-side hitter/defensive specialist).
Nelson was named honorable mention all-East Region.
"Those guys had great chemistry and they allowed everyone to enjoy themselves," coach Josh Lee said. "I think everyone improved their volleyball knowledge and confidence and became better players from start to finish and that's our goal. We get a lot of raw players here, so becoming better players is a goal we shoot for and we accomplished it this year."
Among those expected to return are junior Ryan Nethers (middle hitter/outside hitter) and sophomores Robbie Craun (libero), Jeff Parker (utility) and Kyle Willis (middle hitter/setter).
Season comes to end for girls lacrosse team
The girls lacrosse team lost to host Westerville South 19-8 in the first round of the Division I North/Central Region tournament May 13.
Delaware finished 3-13 overall and went 1-6 in the OCC-Central to place seventh, behind Pickerington North (7-0), Pickerington Central (6-1), Westerville South (5-2), Gahanna (4-3), Westerville North (3-4) and Westerville Central (2-5) and ahead of Big Walnut (0-7).
The Pacers, who also lost to South 9-8 in overtime in their league matchup May 6, lose five seniors in defenders Emily Burkhart, Mary Kate Kuchers and Jackie Mitchell and attackers Kaitlin Mitchell and Kaitlyn Scott.
Among the key players expected to return are juniors Katie Barnhart (midfielder), Taylor Henderson (attacker) and Morgan Maley (attacker), sophomores Willow Mollenkopf (defender) and Callie Nicholson (goalkeeper) and freshmen Lindsey Bosiokovic (attacker) and Kara Wegmiller (goalie).
"I think it was a very successful season, regardless of our record," coach Erica Pittmann said. "The girls grew a lot as individuals and they grew together as a team, which was rewarding. I also know they grew in the classroom. There's a lot to look forward to next season."
Tennis team ties for fourth in OCC
The boys tennis team tied for fourth in the final OCC-Capital standings.
Delaware, Big Walnut and Watkins Memorial each went 3-4 in league matches during the regular season and completed the league tournament May 11 at Olentangy with 35 points to finish behind New Albany (82, 7-0), Olentangy (55, 6-1) and Orange (53, 5-2) and ahead of Mount Vernon (16, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (2, 0-7).
In the league tournament, Jason Watkins and Thomas Lenhart went 2-1 and placed third at first doubles. Also going 2-1 but placing fifth were Nathan Bonofiglio at second singles, Nate Miklas at third singles and Brandon Becker and Paul Claymier at second doubles. John Homan went 1-2 and finished sixth at first singles.
Delaware, which finished 7-9 overall, competed in the Division I sectional tournament May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Davidson. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the district tournament Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Davidson.
The top four finishers at district advance to the state tournament May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
Track teams getting set for postseason
The track and field teams will compete in the 16-team Division I, district 3 meet this week at Hilliard Darby.
The field events will be held Wednesday, May 22, followed by the running preliminaries Thursday, May 23, and the running finals Saturday, May 25.
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North.
Last season, the girls team had two regional qualifiers in junior Emily Richards and 2012 graduate Rebekah Younkin.
Richards, who has missed much of this season with injuries, finished eighth in the 800 meters (53.89 seconds) at regional a year ago after placing second (58.47) in the district 1 meet, and Younkin placed seventh in the discus (117 feet, 10 inches) at regional after finishing second (112-5) at district.
The boys team did not have any regional qualifiers last season.
The Pacers competed in the OCC-Capital meet May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Bradley.
Boys lacrosse team preps for tourney
The boys lacrosse team concluded its regular season May 17 with an OCC-Central contest against Big Walnut.
Delaware was 13-3 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Central before playing the Golden Eagles.
The Pacers defeated Watterson 12-11 in overtime May 15 to extend their winning streak to eight games. Senior attacker Griffin Kinney had four goals and senior attacker Kyle Gabbert and sophomore midfielder Joseph Sanfillipo both scored two and senior goalie Michael Duffy had 21 saves.
The regional tournament draw will be held Sunday, May 19. Delaware is the defending club division state champion.