Central Crossing High School junior Michaela Dorsey has grown accustomed to dealing with adversity.
Dorsey, a shortstop on the softball team, had helped the Comets move into contention for an OCC-Central Division title when she suffered a high left ankle sprain during a game April 25 at Olentangy Liberty.
The Comets lost to the Patriots 6-1 and, with Dorsey out of the lineup since, they had lost nine consecutive games after falling to Marysville 8-0 on May 6.
Central Crossing was 5-1 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Liberty, but slipped to 5-6 before May 7 and out of contention.
Marysville was first before May 8 at 11-1.
Dorsey, the team's leadoff hitter, was hitting .431.
Coach Rona Dorsey, Michaela's mother, said the team also lost its leader.
"It's like the air leaving the balloon when a key player goes down," coach Dorsey said. "She is probably our most vocal player. She was in our one hole and it seemed like as the one hole went, so did everybody else. When she got on (base), they got on."
Dorsey shares captain duties with Jackie Fowler (3B/OF) and Abby Rhodes (P/2B/SS).
Coach Dorsey said Ally Gruen (P/1B) and Cassady Coukart (P/1B) also have provided leadership during her daughter's absence.
Wearing a foot boot and using crutches, Michaela Dorsey has attended every game since her injury, offering support and guidance from the dugout.
Dorsey, who has committed to play at Ohio University, hopes to return for the Division I district tournament, which begins next week.
She began fighting an even bigger battle last summer when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Dorsey was traveling to Chicago in July for a softball tournament with her sister, Savannah, when she began having symptoms, including vision problems.
At first, Dorsey thought it was associated with medication she was taking for an injured back, but it was later diagnosed as diabetes.
Dorsey has to monitor her glucose level and administer shots daily.
"It was really hard," she said. "There's still times when it's so hard to control. I have to count the carbs that I eat and then I have to give myself a shot (and) test my blood."
Dorsey, who also plays guard on the girls basketball team, said maintaining her levels during basketball season is more difficult than in softball since there is constant action, which causes more stress on her body.
Dorsey was honorable mention all-league in basketball last season.
She was a catcher for the softball team last spring, but was moved to shortstop by her mother to alleviate some of the stress on her body.
"Softball is like an outlet for me because when I'm on the field I'm not thinking about my blood sugar," Dorsey said. "When I'm off the field that's all I think about now and it's really annoying. This made me more grateful for everything."
The school has pulled together for Dorsey, including the basketball team, which played host to Lancaster in an Ohio High School Athletic Association foundation game last November. Proceeds benefited Camp Hamwi, which is part of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. The camp helps children control and work with their diabetes.
"One of our teachers at our school has been part of helping raise money for it in the past, as he has personal ties to the project with his brother-in-law," girls basketball coach Neil Hohman said. "Obviously, it was a worthwhile cause for our team with one of our own players facing the same struggles that the camp teaches about."
The softball team, seeded 14th in the district tournament, plays host to 22nd-seeded Pickerington North in the first round Tuesday, May 14. The winner plays at fourth-seeded Liberty in the second round May 16.
In addition to the loss to Liberty on April 25, Central Crossing lost to the Patriots 10-5 on April 8.
Coach Dorsey was hoping her team would rebound heading into the tournament.
"You learn more through adversity and through these losses then you'll ever learn through winning every game," she said. "Winning feels good, you love it, but for a young team they're learning a lot right now."
Grove City seeded 2nd in district tournament
Grove City, seeded second in the Division I district tournament behind Delaware, plays host to 28th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 31st-seeded Franklin Heights in the second round May 16.
The Greyhounds have a first-round bye.
Since losing to Gahanna 4-1 on April 17, the Greyhounds had won 10 consecutive games after Lancaster on May 7 and led the OCC-Ohio at 11-1, ahead of second-place Gahanna (9-3).
Grove City avenged the loss to Gahanna by defeating the Lions 9-0 on May 3.