As the Dublin Jerome High School softball team prepared for its game against Madison Plains last Saturday, enthusiastic coach Sarah Looker attempted to inspire her team.

As the Dublin Jerome High School softball team prepared for its game against Madison Plains last Saturday, enthusiastic coach Sarah Looker attempted to inspire her team.

Despite its struggles, Looker hasn't lost motivation for her team.

Jerome was 1-14 overall and 0-8 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before last Tuesday.

"I'm still positive about things," Looker said. "We're still improving and we're still real close, and that's the important thing. We may not be winning games, but the girls are developing more and more as softball players, softball athletes."

The game against Madison Plains, which was part of the Stellar Classic at Ohio State, was cancelled because of bad weather.

The Celtics were 0-2 in the weekend-long event, falling to Pleasant Hill Newton 7-0 last Friday and Jonathan Alder 9-0 last Saturday.

"The team wasn't quite use to this setting," Looker said. "I don't think they truly understood how big it was, but we're going to keep on learning."

Jerome returns to action today when it visits New Albany in a non-league contest.

The Celtics resume OCC-Cardinal play Friday when they visit Marysville. The Monarchs defeated Jerome 13-0 in five innings on April 14.

Jerome also has a non-league clash with Dublin Coffman at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Avery Park.

"I'm looking forward to that game," said Kate Dyas, the lone senior on the team. "I love playing Coffman. It's under the lights and it's always a good game."

Jerome earned its first win of the season on April 17, beating Whetstone 8-0.

Sophomore Kelsey Ciminillo was the winning pitcher and freshman Erin Hammett had a three-run homer in the fifth inning.

"We have had places where we've almost won," Dyas said. "We've had games where it's not close at all, but we've definitely had potential to win. We're getting closer and closer each game."

Through 15 games, freshman Kaitlin Beebe was the team's leading hitter with a .310 average. Freshman Brea Darovich was batting .286 with five runs scored.

Ciminillo, the team's ace, had nine complete games with 61 strikeouts.

"I know they want to win, we all want to win, but we're very young," Looker said. "We have one senior, one junior (Elle Smith) and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. We have to keep building."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Jerome softball team:

*April 19 - Lost to Westerville Central 7-2

*April 20 - Lost to Olentangy Liberty 11-5

*April 21 - Lost to Westerville North 9-3

*April 22 - Lost to Dublin Scioto 6-1 in a game that was postponed on April 16

Last Friday - Lost to Pleasant Hill Newton 7-0 in Stellar Classic at Ohio State

Last Saturday - Lost to Jonathan Alder 9-0 in Stellar Classic. Game against Madison Plains was cancelled because of inclement weather.

*Last Monday - Game against Westerville South postponed

*Last Tuesday - Played Westerville North

*Last Wednesday - Played Olentangy

Today - At New Albany

*Friday - At Marysville

*Monday - Home vs. Dublin Scioto

Tuesday - Vs. Dublin Coffman at Avery Park

*Wednesday - At Westerville Central

Of note: The Celtics were 1-14 overall and 0-8 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game