Shortly after her team's 6-1 loss to North Canton Hoover in the Division I state softball final, Grove City High School senior Jordan Kennaw reflected on her four seasons with the program.
Kennaw helped the Greyhounds win three consecutive OCC-Ohio Division titles and advance to the regional round of the postseason the last three years.
Even though Hoover won its fourth consecutive state title June 7 at Firestone Stadium in Akron -- denying Grove City its first championship since 1983 and second overall -- Kennaw was proud that the Greyhounds went 26-7 overall and 13-1 in the OCC-Ohio to tie Gahanna for first.
"I'm just so honored to be part of such an amazing program," said Kennaw, who was one of six seniors. "I've loved my four years here, four years up on varsity. Coach (Ted) Williams has been an amazing coach ... and I'm just proud to be a Greyhound."
Hoover eliminated the Greyhounds for the third consecutive year. The Vikings defeated Grove City 3-1 in a regional semifinal in 2012 and 4-1 in a regional final last season.
"I'm very proud of what our girls have done this year and we'll get back," Williams said.
Senior pitcher Emma Cornell led the Greyhounds' run to the state final, going 17-4 with a 2.76 ERA, 146 strikeouts and 19 walks in 126 2/3 innings and hitting .396 with 28 runs and 20 RBI. She was first-team all-district and all-league and honorable mention all-state.
Junior shortstop Destini Ewing was first-team all-league and second-team all-district after hitting .435 with 40 RBI, 38 runs, 10 doubles and seven home runs.
Junior catcher Kennedy Beach, who was limited to pinch-hitting after spraining her left ankle during practice late in the season, was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district after hitting .441 with 35 runs, 18 RBI, eight doubles and four home runs.
Kennaw, a pitcher and designated player, was second-team all-league after hitting .377 with 36 RBI and 29 runs. She also was 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA, 79 strikeouts and 11 walks in 72 innings.
Senior third baseman Rachael Ash was special mention all-league after hitting .383 with 35 RBI, 28 runs and four home runs, and junior first baseman Kara Warren was honorable mention all-league after hitting .316 with 28 RBI and 22 runs.
Others eligible to return are juniors Ricki Asher (2B/3B) and Katlyn Gleich (OF/3B), sophomores Mara Kilmurry (OF/C) and Stephanie Oberley (OF) and freshmen Maddi Burley (P/3B), Samantha Galiffo (C/OF) and Bri Tucker (C).
"The seniors were leaders throughout the year," Williams said. "We had some difficulties throughout the year and the seniors kept everything together."
In the OCC-Ohio, Grove City and Gahanna finished ahead of Pickerington Central (10-4), Lancaster (5-8), Groveport (5-9), Pickerington North (5-9), Newark (4-9) and Reynoldsburg (0-14).
The Greyhounds and Gahanna split their league games, with Grove City winning 13-1 in five innings April 16 and the Lions winning 8-4 on May 5. Grove City won the third meeting, 4-0 in a regional final May 31 at Ohio State.
Grove City defeated Olentangy Liberty 9-6 in 12 innings in a regional semifinal May 28 at Ohio State and Elyria 9-1 in a state semifinal June 5 in Akron.
In the district tournament, the fourth-seeded Greyhounds defeated 38th-seeded Dublin Coffman 4-0 on May 16 at home, 18th-seeded Olentangy 6-2 on May 20 at Central and fifth-seeded Teays Valley 5-3 in a district final May 24 at Central.
Comets coach will miss 'swag' of seniors
Central Crossing coach Rona Dorsey wasn't ready to say goodbye to her seniors after the host Comets were upset by 40th-seeded Watterson 9-8 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 13.
The 21st-seeded Comets trailed 9-4 in the fifth inning before a late rally fell short. They finished 14-10 overall.
"What made the loss toughest was knowing it was the seniors' last game," Dorsey said. "This was their team as much as it was mine. You don't get that all the time because it takes giving that type of commitment and desire as kids.
"This group of seniors had that connection between the past and the future and they were so good at carrying that message and carrying the swag of this team. I will miss them next year."
Shortstop Michaela Dorsey, who will join her sister, Savannah Jo, on the softball team at Ohio University, was named OCC-Central Player of the Year, first-team all-district and second-team all-state. One of seven seniors, she hit .614 with 20 runs, 13 RBI, 10 doubles, 10 stolen bases and four home runs.
Senior Abby Rhodes (2B) hit .450 with 14 runs and five doubles, and senior Jackie Fowler (3B/SS) hit .415 with 15 RBI, 13 runs and three doubles. Both were second-team all-district and all-league.
Sophomore Cassady Cou-kart (P/1B) was honorable mention all-league after going 7-4 with a 3.40 ERA, 67 strikeouts, 20 walks and a save in 84 1/3 innings. She also hit .443 with 15 RBI, 14 runs and four doubles.
Others eligible to return are juniors Brandee Denny (OF), LeAnn Edgar (1B), Kaylee French (OF) and Brooklyn McCue (OF/1B) and sophomores Ally Gruen (P/1B), Sydney Humphrey (P) and Karolyne Jordan (OF/C).
The Comets went 9-4 in the OCC-Central to finish third behind co-champions Marys-ville and Liberty (12-2) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (8-6), Hilliard Davidson (6-8), Upper Arlington (4-9), Coffman (4-10) and Westland (0-14).