In between putting together a long winning streak to begin the season, the Gahanna Lincoln High School softball team has been waging a different kind of battle.

In between putting together a long winning streak to begin the season, the Gahanna Lincoln High School softball team has been waging a different kind of battle.

Last September, coach Jim Campolo had surgery to remove melanoma, a type of skin cancer. He has been receiving treatment since that time.

Campolo's situation has prompted the team into action.

To raise money for melanoma research, players sold candy bars over the past few weeks and then held a "softball day at Max & Erma's" last Tuesday in which 20 percent of purchases were donated. About 500 T-shirts printed with the words "Strikeout Cancer" have been sold, with 15 percent of the proceeds donated, and a bake sale will be held at the school Friday.

At home games Saturday against Rayland Buckeye Local and Willow Wood Symmes Valley, $5 will be charged for entry and the proceeds will be donated.

It's the first time in Campolo's eight seasons that the program has done a fund-raiser of this sort. All of the proceeds will go for melanoma research.

"It means so much," pitcher Kim Lennox said. "We're hoping to raise a bunch of money. (Campolo) came to us and asked us how we feel about doing this this spring. It's really close to him so it means a lot that we're working to raise money for it."

"Obviously it's something that's very important to me," Campolo said. "When you go to the James Cancer hospital and see people affected by it, everyone needs to be aware of it. Our team has bought into it."

The games Saturday close out a week in which the Lions played the toughest portion of their schedule.

Gahanna was 15-0 after defeating Pickerington Central 4-1 last Monday, and before playing Groveport last Tuesday and Pickerington North last Wednesday in OCC-Ohio Division games. The Lions will continue the OCC schedule against Grove City, a Division state semifinalist last year, today on the road and Friday at home.

The Greyhounds won 15 of their first 17. Central beat North 4-3 in 10 innings April 23, and the two had a combined three losses heading into last Monday.

What should get Gahanna through this busy stretch -- which also includes OCC-Ohio games Monday at Reynoldsburg and Wednesday against visiting Groveport -- is a deep pitching staff. Lennox was 7-0 with an ERA of 0.20 after getting the decision last Friday in a 10-0 win over Newark. Brandis Fishel improved to 4-0 with a 14-2 win over Olentangy last Saturday.

Also through 14 games, Carrie Hoover was 2-0 and Val Passero was 1-0. Those four have combined with what Campolo called "probably the best defensive team since" he took over the program.

"Brandis Fishel is really good, and so are Val Passero and Carrie Hoover," Lennox said. "I totally trust them. As a pitcher, you want to make all of the plays but I just turn around and watch the ball go into somebody's glove every time."

ĽOF NOTE -- Junior catcher Kayla Ledbetter, who was hitting a team-best .688 through 13 games, has verbally committed to Miami University. Ledbetter battled injuries and played in 15 games a year ago but hit a team-best .424.

At a glance

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

*April 22 -- Game vs. Newark postponed. It was rescheduled for May 9.

*Last Friday -- Defeated Newark 10-0. Kim Lennox was the winning pitcher.

Last Saturday -- Def. Olentangy 14-2. Brandis Fishel was the winning pitcher.

*Last Monday -- Def. Pickerington Central 4-1

*Last Tuesday -- Played Groveport

*Last Wednesday -- Played Pickerington North

*Today -- At Grove City

*Friday -- Home vs. Grove City

Saturday -- Home vs. Rayland Buckeye Local and Willow Wood Symmes Valley

*Monday -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Groveport

Of note: The Lions were 15-0 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game