The Grove City Christian School softball team will try to defend its MOCAL title under new leadership.

The Grove City Christian School softball team will try to defend its MOCAL title under new leadership.

Lisa Horsley, who coached the team for seven seasons, stepped down last month so she could focus on her duties as the school's athletics director.

Troy Tomlinson, who has coached for the Central Ohio Nightmare softball program during the summer, replaced Horsley as coach.

"I've been coaching my daughter (Grace) in travel ball and I just fell in love with the game," Tomlinson said. "With my knowledge and when Lisa approached me, I figured it was a great opportunity to take over and hopefully pick up where she left off."

"I wasn't 100 percent sure I was going to do it, but when I found a coach it made my decision easier," Horsley said. "I am still helping when I can."

Last season, the Eagles won their first MOCAL title since 2008 by finishing 9-0 in the league. Grove City Christian finished ahead of Madison Christian (7-3), Tree of Life (5-4), Delaware Christian (3-7), Fairfield Christian (2-7) and Gahanna Christian (1-6).

The Eagles finished 16-7 overall, losing to Danville 10-4 in the second round of the Division IV district tournament after defeating Fairfield Christian 9-5 in the first round.

The Eagles open Tuesday, March 27, at Fairbanks.

Junior Kirsten Folzenlogen (OF) and sophomores Michelina Frank (1B/3B) and Katelyn Lauer (C/SS) are the returning starters from last season.

Also back are senior Sarah Varney (2B/3B) and junior Katelyn Justice (P). Others looking to contribute are senior Alana Williams (OF), junior Cassi Hoyt (OF), sophomores Valerie McNeal (OF/P) and Sarah Myhand (3B) and freshmen Logan Brunney (2B), Ashley Byers (C), Georgia Byers (P/1B), Stephanie Fisher (P/OF), Baily Graves (SS/OF) and Stephanie Sliemers (OF).

"We have talent, but we're very young," Tomlinson said.

Grove City Christian lost six 2011 graduates, including catcher Brooke Warner, who was named MOCAL Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after hitting .385 with a team-high 34 RBI. Warner also was first-team all-district.

Shortstop Lindsey Eickel was first-team all-league and second-team all-district after hitting a team-best .569 with 28 RBI.

The Eagles also need to replace senior Megan Creasap, who decided not to play this season. Creasap was 13-6 with a 2.44 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 29 walks last season. She was first-team all-league and second-team all-district.

Tomlinson expects Justice to replace Creasap as the starting pitcher.

"We're working on Katelyn catching not so much of the plate," Tomlinson said. "If she can work the corners, I think we'll be just fine."

•After beginning last season 1-5, the baseball team is hoping for a better start this spring.

Last season, the Eagles finished 11-9 overall after losing to Shekinah Christian 3-0 in the second round of the district tournament.

Grove City Christian defeated Wellington 18-2 in five innings in the first round.

The Eagles open Monday, March 26, at Watkins Memorial.

Seniors Josh Zeller (P/INF) and Casey Fisher (P/1B) will share captain duties.

Fisher, who batted .323 with five home runs and 28 RBI last season, was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Zeller, who will be a four-year starter, was honorable mention all-league.

Sophomore shortstop Michael Howard, who led the team in hitting (.431) last season, was first-team all-league and second-team all-district.

Also back are juniors Mack Brunney (2B/OF) and Ronnie Gallion (C/2B) and sophomores Tanner Buhrts (P/3B/OF), Tyler Elgin (P/OF) and Matt Fritz (C/P/3B).

Gallion missed last season with a right elbow injury.

Senior Christian Keller (P/1B/3B), sophomore Jake Williams (OF) and freshmen Alex Grove (OF), Logan Kohl (OF/1B/P) and Ethan Swank (C/INF/OF) round out the team.

"I have a good combination of youth and experience this year," seventh-year coach Steve Bowshier said. "I have three seniors that I'm going to be counting on, plus a good, strong sophomore class to fill in. It's a good combination."

Last season, the Eagles, who won the previous three MOCAL titles, finished third in the league at 6-3. Tree of Life (8-2) and Fairfield Christian (7-2) shared the championship because Fairfield Christian played one fewer league game because of bad weather. Madison Christian (3-6), Gahanna Christian (2-5) and Delaware Christian (1-9) rounded out the standings.

"We're hoping and expect to win the league," Bowshier said.

•The track and field teams, which open March 31 in the London Red Raider Relays, return several solid performers from last season.

Leading the boys should be seniors Zach Brewer (relays/high jump), Zack Casparro (discus/shot put), Nate Holt (sprints), Nathan Little (middle distance/distance) and David Pasovich (middle distance/distance).

Second-year coach Brad Sea-burn also expects freshmen Josh Dick, Jordan Haywood, Josh Jones and Alec Poling to contribute.

For the girls, seniors Emily Harper (distance) and freshman Jenny Jones are expected to be key performers.

"I'm really counting on the seniors to really help mentor these younger kids and continue the program and build the program," Seaburn said.

Grove City Christian must replace 2011 graduate Jaymie Barns, who was the program's first Division III state qualifier last season.

Barns competed in the boys 400-meter preliminaries at Ohio State, but failed to qualify for the final. He would have finished 14th overall in 51.35 seconds, but was disqualified for having improper stitching on his shorts.

Barns is a freshman runner at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.