When Troy Tomlinson took over as coach of the Grove City Christian School softball team last season, he saw a lot of potential in his players.
The Eagles finished 8-13 a year ago but are living up to his expectations this spring.
After opening with a 12-7 loss to Franklin Heights on April 1, Grove City Christian won 10 consecutive games before splitting a pair of games in the Lancaster Classic on April 19 and 20.
The Eagles were 12-2 overall and 8-0 in the MOCAL after defeating defending league champion Delaware Christian 9-1 on April 22.
"I'm not surprised," Tomlinson said of his team's turnaround. "We haven't played outstanding competition. We should have beaten Franklin Heights. We had eight errors. It was our first game and all the girls were nervous. It was frustrating, but we're definitely a better team than we were that first game."
Grove City Christian's primary goal is to win the MOCAL championship in its final season in the league. The Eagles will move to the MSL-Cardinal Division next season.
"We're definitely in the driver's seat for that," Tomlinson said of the MOCAL title.
Grove City Christian outscored its opponents 99-13 in its first eight league games. Its most competitive MOCAL contest was the April 22 victory over Delaware Christian.
The Eagles swept Fairfield Christian in MOCAL play, winning 16-3 in five innings on April 2 and 14-3 in six innings on April 11.
"I thought we would be good, but I thought there would be more resistance from the MOCAL teams, also," Tomlinson said.
Through 10 games, junior catcher Michelina Frank had a .542 batting average, freshman shortstop Olivia Frank was hitting .533 and sophomore pitcher Grace Tomlinson was hitting .475 with six home runs, five triples, two doubles and 26 RBI.
"We had a few freshmen come up who are pretty good, so we expected to have a good team this year," Michelina Frank said. "We're all doing our best and we're all having fun."
In the circle through 13 games, senior Katelyn Justice was 6-0 with a 1.19 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 15 walks in 42 innings and Tomlinson was 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in 42 innings. Sophomore pitcher Stephanie Fisher also had a win.
Despite the good start, coach Tomlinson would like to see his team improve in certain aspects of the game.
"I have a few girls who could learn to get a bunt down in play, but our defense is really improved," he said. "It's come a long way."
Baseball team defeats Gahanna Christian
The baseball team is 3-2 in the MOCAL heading into its game Thursday, April 25, at Granville Christian.
Grove City Christian defeated the Lions 10-9 on April 8.
"We are progressing in our development with the younger players," coach Steve Bowshier said. "However, we are still very inexperienced and still making many physical and mental errors."
The Eagles defeated Gahanna Christian 16-4 in a league game April 18.
Matthew Fritz pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and six walks in seven innings while striking out nine, and junior outfielder Jake Riley had two hits.
"I am very pleased with the progress of Jake Riley," Bowshier said. "This is his first year of playing baseball and he has earned his way as a starting outfielder and leadoff hitter in our batting order. He is consistent with his contact and putting the ball in play and is fast enough to beat out several infield hits."
Track teams prepare for Logan Elm meet
The track and field teams will compete in the Logan Elm Invitational on Friday, April 26.
The Eagles participated in the Grove City Christian Invitational on April 19 at Central Crossing, with the boys team placing fifth (44) behind champion Cypress Christian (77.5) as seven teams scored and the girls team placing seventh (20) behind champion Fairfield Christian (114) as eight teams scored.
The Eagles competed in the six-team Williamsport Westfall Invitational on April 12, with the boys placing sixth (14) behind champion Waverly (141) and the girls finishing sixth (18) behind champion London (128.5).
Kasey Hogan had the top finish for the girls team, placing second in the 100 meters in 13.7 seconds.
"Overall, the team is doing good," coach Brad Seaburn said. "We are still working to hit our goals. We are a young team and we are still learning the different events that we are doing."