The Dublin Jerome High School softball team will receive a good gauge on its improvement when it plays Coffman today at Avery Park.
The Celtics are looking to avenge a 14-0 loss from last season. Jerome went on to finish 3-25.
"Last year I think we came out a little bit nervous, but this year I think we'll be able to play," second-year coach Lindsay Lecklitner said. "It's always a big game for Dublin. We get the kids out there. It's something we're trying to start a tradition with. We're giving them a chance to play under the lights and they get to watch the junior varsity play beforehand. It's a big night for Dublin softball, so we enjoy that. The girls look forward to it."
"I feel like the Dublin teams should play, so I always schedule Scioto and I want to schedule Jerome," Coffman coach Kevin Finan said. "Last year we decided to make a big deal out of it and see if we can play at Avery Park, play under the lights and have some fun with it. The girls know each other. It's a good thing to do."
Jerome has displayed glimpses of promise, and through 12 games was 6-6.
Coffman earned wins over Jonathan Alder (6-5) and Hartley (6-0) last Saturday to improve to 8-6. Against Hartley, Coffman ace and clean-up batter Madison Hedderly threw a no-hitter and hit a home run. Last season, she went 10-11 with a 2.48 ERA, 95 strikeouts and 57 walks in 155 innings. She threw a one-hitter against Jerome.
"I feel bad about that one," Finan said of last year's game. "I expect a much better game from them. Lindsay works hard. She's a great coach, so I expect them to be much improved."
"We're definitely having a better year than we've had in the past," Lecklitner said. "The girls are confident and come ready to play, but we just have to be able to finish games. I'm happy with the girls' performances this year. We just have to keep going. The season's not over and we have a lot more to do."
"We have improved a lot even since last year," senior third baseman Lindsay Wheeler said. "We have a great team. We all work together pretty well. We're really stepping up our batting, especially this year."
Through 12 games, senior shortstop Kirstie Snyder was batting .394 (based on 25 at-bats), followed by juniors Sara Haydocy (.393) and Audrey Mowery (.357) and sophomore Kate Dyas (.303). The Celtics were batting .266 as a team.
Mowery was 3-2 on the mound with an 8.40 ERA. She had 19 strikeouts and 19 walks. Junior Kristen Chang was 3-4 with a 4.44 ERA, 28 strikeouts and nine walks.
"Right now it's fundamentals," Lecklitner said after an 8-2 loss to Whitehall on April 17. "We have to get those down before we can work on anything else. That's what we've been preaching all season."
The Celtics held a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning before the Rams scored seven runs.
At a glance
Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Jerome softball team:
*April 14 -- Defeated Mount Vernon 2-1. Audrey Mowery was the winning pitcher. Kirstie Snyder had a two-run double in the fifth inning.
*April 16 -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 10-0. Jerome had one hit.
April 17 -- Lost to Whitehall 8-2. The Celtics led 2-1 heading into the seventh inning. Snyder singled twice.
*Last Monday -- Lost to Westerville South 6-1
Last Tuesday -- Played Olentangy Liberty
*Last Wednesday -- Played Olentangy
Today -- At Avery Park vs. Coffman. Last season, the Celtics lost 14-0.
*Monday -- Home vs. Pickerington Central. Jerome lost 5-3 on April 9.
*Wednesday -- At Mount Vernon
Of note: The Celtics were 6-7 overall before last Tuesday and 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Wednesday.