The magic number for the Dublin Coffman High School softball team seems to be four.

The magic number for the Dublin Coffman High School softball team seems to be four.

Through 15 games, the Shamrocks were 4-1 when they scored four or more runs, but they were 0-11 when scoring three or fewer runs.

Coach Leah Howard said her team's lack of consistent production at the plate has more to do with their approach to hitting than a lack of talent.

"We need to be more aggressive at the plate," she said. "I know we have the ability to hit the ball and score more runs because we do it in practice. But we're taking too many pitches and not taking advantage when opposing pitchers make mistakes. We need to swing our bats with confidence when we see good pitches to hit."

The Shamrocks went 0-4 last week, but Howard said their offense and defense let their pitchers down.

Through 15 games, Howard had used five pitchers this season because there isn't an ace on the roster.

Haley Marshall went 0-3 in the circle last week but didn't receive much support from her teammates. Coffman made two errors in a 1-0 loss to Worthington Kilbourne on April 16 and six errors in a 7-3 loss to West Jefferson on April 19. Then, in a 1-0 loss to Central Crossing on April 20, the Shamrocks had no hits and two errors while Marshall threw a four-hitter.

"Without a doubt, Haley threw her best game of the year against Central Crossing, which is a real good team," Howard said. "Our defense made most of the plays it's supposed to make in that game, but we didn't score a run. In other games, we've had some defensive errors and the other teams have capitalized on them.

"Most of our opponents are going to make contact against any of our pitchers, so our pitchers need to make them hit their pitches and our defense needs to always be ready to field the ball."

According to Howard, catcher Hannah Sabatino, center fielder Courtney Colles and right fielder Kayla Whitehouse have been the Shamrocks' most consistent players in the field.

"It's a hard task to catch five different pitchers, but Hannah Sabatino has done a good job of working with all of them," Howard said. "The strength of our overall defense is our outfield right now."

The Shamrocks play host to Hilliard Davidson on Monday, April 30, in a 'Strikeout Cancer' contest, in which their players will wear pink and black jerseys and raise money for breast cancer research.

Coffman lost to Davidson 8-2 on April 13.

"Hilliard Davidson is a big rival and we really want to win this game, especially since it's for a good cause," Whitehouse said. "We're definitely getting better. We lost to Central Crossing by a big score (7-1 on April 2) the first time we played them, but did a lot better this time. We just need to keep playing that way on defense and improve our hitting."

Kaitlin Finan, a 27-year-old breast cancer survivor, will serve as Coffman's honorary team captain against Davidson. She is married to assistant coach Dan Finan.

"The girls amaze me with how much money they raise to fight cancer each year," Kaitlin Finan said. "The varsity and j.v. teams combined to raise almost $10,000 two years ago and they do a great job of this every year. Everyone knows someone whose life has been touched with cancer, so this is an important issue for everyone."

Coffman then will play Jerome at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Avery Park.

"We're going to play Jerome under the lights in front of a lot of fans since it's going to be our (Dublin Youth Association) night, and that should be fun because the girls don't get to experience an atmosphere like that very often," Howard said. "It's going to be a tough game because Jerome's improved a lot and has a good team this year."

Celtics looking to get back into swing

Jerome won six of its first 10 games before losing four of its next five.

In a 3-1 loss to Westerville Central on April 18, the Celtics failed to score with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and gave up two runs in the top of the seventh.

The Celtics then gave up a run in each of the final three innings in a 4-1 loss to Westerville North on April 20.

"Timely hitting has been a problem for us lately," coach Jim Muessig said. "We've missed chances for big innings and that cost us a chance for a couple of wins against Westerville Central and North.

"We're also giving teams extra outs by making defensive mistakes. We need to correct those things because they're the difference between being a good team and moving up another notch."

Through 15 games, Abby Haab has been the Celtics' No. 1 pitcher and Kelley Cheesman had two home runs.

According to Muessig, center fielder Caitlin Clancy has been the sparkplug for Jerome's offense as its leadoff hitter, and Clancy, right fielder Kelsey Ciminillo and left fielder Kelsey Wilson have been solid in the field.

Jerome will play host to Scioto on Wednesday, May 2, in an OCC-Cardinal Division game. The Celtics defeated the Irish 11-1 in five innings on April 16.

"It will be a neat opportunity to play Coffman under the lights," Muessig said. "We're hoping we can beat Coffman and Scioto to go undefeated against the other Dublin teams, but it won't be easy. We definitely need to pick up our defense and hitting."