The Ready High School softball team used an almost completely new lineup last year to earn a fourth consecutive CCL championship and earn a second Division III district runner-up finish in a row.

The Ready High School softball team used an almost completely new lineup last year to earn a fourth consecutive CCL championship and earn a second Division III district runner-up finish in a row.

Nearly all of those components are back, but there still have been plenty of get-to-know sessions.

That should help the program's three newcomers, and the increased bonding also should aid in pressure situations.

"We're extremely fortunate to get outside so much this spring, and we've actually been practicing talking," said coach Nick Joseph, whose team will open Tuesday against visiting Westerville South.

"It's been working really well. We're getting to know each other. The kids have a great, positive attitude."

One of the newcomers, senior pitcher Gabby Gillilan, should make an immediate impact. Gillilan, a Cleveland State-signee, led Bloom-Carroll to Division III state championships in 2006 and '07 before the team lost to Lakewood 3-0 in a district final last year.

Gillilan transferred to Ready last summer and is expected to split time on the mound with sophomore Katie Ardrey, a second-team all-district selection who went 18-4 with a 1.01 ERA and had 126 strikeouts and seven shutouts.

Ready, which finished 22-6 overall and 9-1 in the CCL last year, returns 10 other players.

Senior shortstop Sarah Gabel, who has signed with Youngstown State, last year hit .416 with five home runs and 34 RBI and was first-team all-district.

Sophomore Dani Pugh moves from shortstop to catcher after hitting .402 with 32 RBI from the cleanup spot and seniors Caiti Waldo (.371, 5 home runs) and Sam Macioce (.316) will see action in the outfield.

The other seniors are Brianna Gatley (1B), Kayla Goodberlet (3B), Emily Helber (C) and Justine Hutton (LF).

Sophomore Haley Widner (OF) also is back. The other newcomers are classmates Sam Curry (OF/C) and Lindsey Kusan (1B/3B).

In the postseason last year, Ready beat Caledonia River Valley 3-0 and Cardington 9-1 before losing to North Union 3-2 in 11 innings in a district final.

"We've been working hard, which is characteristic of our teams," Joseph said. "We have an extremely veteran team back, and with the (addition of Gillilan) it's made us offensively more solid."

•During a four-year tenure at DeSales from 1997-2000, Harry Caruso led the baseball program to three district titles. He also guided Westland to a district runner-up finish in 2002 in the midst of a three-year tenure there.

Caruso, who also has had two stints at Columbus State and has been a coach for 24 years overall at the college and prep levels, hopes to instill a championship mentality as Ready's new coach.

The Silver Knights will open Monday at Reynoldsburg.

"We know we have a challenge with the CCL, but I think we'll come in with a little bit different of an attitude this year than in the past," Caruso said.

"One of our goals is to go for the CCL championship. We know it's a good conference and we're a smaller school, but our attitude has to be that we can compete for the title."

Caruso, who took over late last summer, has nine seniors and 12 returnees on the roster.

Seniors include Jamie Buzard (C, .305 average), Stevie Christman (OF, .317), Cody Corrova (OF/P, .333, 12 stolen bases, 14 runs), Phillipe Dumont (OF/P, .420), Nathan Dunkle (OF), Blaine Kelly (P), Joey Kulp (P/3B, 4-2, 1 save, .381, 21 RBI), Paul Schwendenman (utility) and Sean Walker (P).

Also on the team are juniors Matt Magni (P/1B), Jeremy Finchum (P/SS, 2-2, 2.24 ERA), Matt Feeney (P/2B), Dwight Etgen (P/C) and Tyler Davis (P/1B). Sophomores Jeff Johnson and Eric Dubiel will split time between junior varsity and varsity.

Ready finished 16-12 last year, losing to second-seeded Fredericktown 11-9 in a district semifinal.

Coach Herb Sharfenaker was fired last July after seven seasons. Under Sharfenaker, the Silver Knights went 98-94 and made five appearances in district semifinals.

Ready also lost five graduates.

The fifth-seeded Silver Knights went 2-8 in the CCL behind champion DeSales (10-0) and beat No. 8 Cardington 3-0 in the second round of the district tournament.

"We're pretty stacked with pitchers," Caruso said.

"Anytime you have a senior-laden team like we do, it's probably going to help us advance pretty far. It's been going great so far."

At a glance

Below are the coming schedules for the Ready softball, baseball, boys tennis and boys and girls track and field teams:

SOFTBALL

Tuesday -- Home vs. Westerville South in opener

Wednesday -- Home vs. Whitehall

BASEBALL

Monday -- At Reynoldsburg in opener

Wednesday -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange

TENNIS

Monday -- Home vs. Centennial

Wednesday -- Home vs. Bloom-Carroll

TRACK & FIELD

April 2 -- At West Jefferson

April 4 -- At London Invitational