The Big Walnut High School baseball team opened the Division II district tournament with a 12-0, five-inning win over 23rd-seeded Mifflin on May 13 at home.
The 10th-seeded Golden Eagles improved to 15-12 overall and advanced to play at seventh-seeded Caledonia River Valley in a second-round game May 16. The game was scheduled to be played May 15 but was postponed because of bad weather.
Big Walnut entered the game against River Valley on a six-game winning streak.
Brayden Shepherd and Henry Von Hollen combined to pitch a no-hitter against Mifflin, recording a total of 14 strikeouts.
Among the key offensive contributors is sophomore center fielder Nick Moser, who had a program-record 55 steals through 27 games. Moser had two games in which he had seven steals.
"With the guys batting behind him, it makes him even more deadly," coach Chris Holly said. "He leads the team in walks and hit by pitches, too, and those are nice."
Big Walnut had scored in double figures in five consecutive games before facing River Valley despite missing one of its top power hitters in Garret Grover. The junior, who had a team-high three home runs through 27 games, has not played since suffering a broken rib earlier this month. According to Holly, his status for the remainder of the season is unclear.
"We're trying to get him back," Holly said. "He's probably not going to play (against River Valley), but if we advance, hopefully we can get him back."
The second-round winner plays second-seeded Jonathan Alder or 17th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at DeSales, with the winner of that contest facing third-seeded Bexley, fifth-seeded Licking Valley, ninth-seeded DeSales or 13th-seeded Heath in a district final Thursday, May 22, at Beavers Field in Lancaster.
Big Walnut defeated Franklin Heights 15-4 on May 9 and New Albany 11-1 on May 10 to finish 6-8 in the OCC-Capital Division. It then beat Cardington 11-1 on May 12 before opening postseason play.
Track teams getting set for district meet
Members of the track and field teams are preparing to compete in the Division I district meet this week at Hilliard Darby.
The boys team is one of 16 squads competing in district 3. The field events will be held Wednesday, May 21, followed by the running preliminaries Thursday, May 22, and the running finals Saturday, May 24.
The girls squad is one of 18 competing in district 2. The meet opens with the field events Tuesday, May 20, followed by the running preliminaries Wednesday, May 21, and the running finals Saturday, May 24.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 28 and 30 at Pickerington North.
The boys team won the Delaware County Elite 8 meet May 8 at Olentangy Orange, scoring 150 points to hold off runner-up Olentangy Liberty (138). Orange was a distant third (77).
The Golden Eagles won seven events. Finishing first were Austin Crow in the shot put (49 feet, 2 1/4 inches), Isaac Lucas in the long jump (22-3), Joe Muench in the 400 (49.66), Cole Stark in the 110 hurdles (16.61) and high jump (6-0), the 800 relay of Ben Muench, Austin Thomas, John Lankford and Matt Brockway (1:34.03) and the 3,200 relay of Jacob Thompson, Michael Buckles, Jon Kahrmann and Logan Perry (8:22.59). Placing second were Lucas in the high jump (5-10), Alec Evans in the 110 hurdles (17.16), Kaden Thompson in the pole vault (13-0), Joe Mazzi in the 300 hurdles (42.62) and the 1,600 relay of Buckles, Tyler Martin, Joe Muench and Perry (3:32.68).
The girls team finished third (73) in the Delaware County Elite 8 meet behind Liberty (162.5) and Orange (129).
The Golden Eagles had only one first-place finisher in Anna Mackey, who won the long jump (15-5 3/4). Placing second were Jamie Annis in the 300 hurdles (47.57), the 1,600 relay of Sara Althauser, Olivia Daggett, Avery Kerns and Annis (4:12.06) and Kerns, who tied two others for second in the high jump (5-0). Finishing third were Cassie Walaszak in the shot put (31-0) and Sami Rammelsberg in the long jump (15-4 1/4).
Big Walnut competed in the OCC-Capital meet May 15 and 17 at Hilliard Bradley. On the first day of competition, Stark won the long jump (21-9), with Lucas placing second (21-7).
Softball team places 3rd in OCC-Capital
The softball team had to wait at least an extra day to play its first game in the Division I district tournament.
Big Walnut, which moved up from Division II this season, was scheduled to play 40th-seeded Watterson in a second-round game May 15, but the contest was postponed until May 16 because of bad weather.
The Golden Eagles, who are seeded 11th and had a first-round bye, entered the postseason with a 16-8 overall record.
The second-round winner faces sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or 16th-seeded Upper Arlington in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at Pickerington North. The semifinal winner plays top-seeded Marysville, 14th-seeded Hilliard Bradley, 17th-seeded DeSales or 38th-seeded Newark in a district final Friday, May 23, or Saturday, May 24, at Pickerington Central.
Big Walnut beat DeSales 7-6 on May 8 before concluding OCC-Capital play with a 4-3 loss to Franklin Heights on May 9 to finish 8-6 in league play. The Golden Eagles defeated Olentangy Liberty 2-1 in their regular-season finale May 12.
Through 24 games, sophomore pitcher Kate Petty had 14 wins and a 2.27 ERA, senior shortstop Shelbie Borchers had a .442 batting average, 25 runs, 14 stolen bases and three RBI and senior third baseman Hayley Apple had a team-high five home runs, followed by Shaye Kuhlman with four and Brooke Hatfield with three.
Boys lacrosse team skids into postseason
The boys lacrosse team entered its regular-season finale against Olentangy Orange on May 16 with a 5-9 overall record.
Big Walnut posted three consecutive wins over Columbus City Schools (16-7 on April 30), Marysville (9-5 on May 2) and Jonathan Alder (13-7 on May 6), but lost three in a row, falling to Westerville Central (14-5 on May 7), Columbus Academy (12-7 on May 12) and Delaware Hayes (21-3 on May 14), before facing Orange.
The games against Westerville Central and Delaware were OCC-Central contests. The Golden Eagles finished 1-5 in league play.
Senior midfielder Jhordan Lang had three goals against Academy.
Big Walnut has moved up to Division II from the club division for the postseason, which begins this week. The tournament draw is Sunday, May 18.
Girls lacrosse team wins season finale
The girls lacrosse team closed its season on a high note, beating Chillicothe 12-8 on May 13 to finish 1-11 overall.
A day earlier, Big Walnut lost to Columbus School for Girls 18-10 in the first round of the Division II South/Central Region tournament.
"I know (CSG) hadn't won much," coach Steve Palmer said. "But they're definitely a team that's been around and has been more established than we are. (Losing) 18-10, I was OK with that."
Attacker Janie Serna, the team's only senior, had four goals against Chillicothe, while junior midfielder Kelsey Bowling scored five. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Hall had eight saves and allowed eight goals against the Cavaliers.
Big Walnut went 0-4 in the OCC-Capital to finish fifth, behind Olentangy (4-0), New Albany (3-1), Orange (2-2) and Delaware (1-3).
"The (players') spirit did remain high," Palmer said. "It's hard when you're 1-10 or 1-11, but (the players) had realistic goals, too. They know which teams we can compete with and which are a little more on our level."
Big Walnut loses only one senior in Serna, who finished third on the team with 13 goals.
Among those expected to return are Bowling (39 goals), junior midfielder Lexi Adams (25 goals), junior attacker Morgan Clark (5 goals) and Hall, who had 97 saves to average 8.8 per game.
Also expected back are junior Alex Aughenbaugh (defender), sophomores Cori Kibler (defender), Cheyanne Salazar (attacker), Madelyn Wecker (defender) and Cassidy Willison (attacker) and freshmen Rylee Hall (defender), Lauren Jett (attacker), Macy Nunn (utility) and Sabrina Sawan (defender).
With all but one player expected back, Palmer is optimistic about next season.
Boys tennis team begins postseason
Seven members of the boys tennis team competed in the Division I sectional May 16 and 17 at Pickerington Central.
Seniors Logan Adams and Grant Burks and freshman Stephen Pushkin played singles, while seniors Scott Bailey and Jesse Rines formed one doubles team and freshmen Jared Deel and Nick Schulz comprised the other.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Thursday, May 22, and Saturday, May 24, at Hilliard Davidson.
Big Walnut defeated Jonathan Alder 4-1 on May 12 and Westerville Central 3-2 on May 13 to end the regular season 9-10 overall. The Golden Eagles, who went 2-5 in the OCC-Capital to place sixth behind champion New Albany (7-0), opened the season with six consecutive losses but won nine of their last 13 matches, including five of their final six.