Hilliard Darby High School softball coach Kevin Moody and his peers at other Division I schools will be busy Sunday at Pickerington North drawing up the district tournament bracket.

Hilliard Darby High School softball coach Kevin Moody and his peers at other Division I schools will be busy Sunday at Pickerington North drawing up the district tournament bracket.

So much for a day of rest.

The Panthers, who were 16-3 overall after beating Millersport 12-0 and Brookville 12-1 in the Centennial Stellar Classic last Saturday at Beekman Park and Lancaster 10-0 last Monday, are looking for a high seed and a first-round bye. The last time they had either was four years ago when they were seeded third and advanced to a district final before losing to Pickerington North 3-2.

"There are so many teams that are equal and any number can be seeded at the top," Moody said.

"It'd be nice if we can get a first-round bye as long as we don't stub our toe instead of going in as a middle seed like the past couple of years. It'd be a refreshing change."

Players shifting their thoughts toward the postseason is an inevitable practice, but Moody is confident in his team's ability to maintain proper focus.

After all, some unfinished business remains during the last portion of the regular season, and the Panthers remain in contention for the OCC-Ohio Division title.

"One of the biggest things will be to get them to concentrate on individual games," Moodysaid.

"They need to concentrate on each at-bat, each play and break it down as an individual act no matter what the situation is. Right now, they seem to be doing that."

Pitching has been the key for the team throughout the course of the season and has really stepped up, according to Moody.

Last Saturday's victories ran Darby'swinning streak to six, and during that stretch the pitchers had allowed just three earnedruns.

Kellie Roudabush looked anything but a freshman through 18 games, posting a 9-1 record and a 0.64 ERA. Senior Liz Towery was 6-2 with a 2.56 ERA.

While pitching has been the team's forte, a semblance of the high-octane offense Moody and his coaches expected before the season has come to life in recent games.

Hiedi Graessle was leading the Panthers in batting average at .463 and also had a team-high four home runs. Other key offensive cogs were Katie Davis (.377, 3 home runs), Kelly Roudabush (.364, 1 home run) and Megan Lane (.300).

"I think their work ethic is still tremendous," Moody said. "What I like most is that the kids are receptive to new ideas. They'll try to do what we want them to do. They really work hard and they believe in each other. The exciting part is still ahead of us and they are eager that they can play and compete and beat anybody."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Darby softball team:

April 19 -- Defeated Watterson 7-0

*April 21 -- Def. Groveport 3-1

April 22 -- Def. Westerville Central 4-1

*April 23- Def. Newark 15-0

Last Saturday -- Def. Millersport 12-0; def. Brookville 12-1 in Centennial Stellar Classic at Beekman Park

*Last Monday -- Def. Lancaster 10-0

Last Tuesday -- Game vs. Westerville South postponed

*Last Wednesday -- Played Gahanna

*Monday -- At Westland

Of note: The Panthers were 16-3 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Ohio before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Ohio game