Hilliard Davidson High School softball coach Angelo Forte has a good nucleus returning from a Division I district semifinalist team and thinks the Wildcats have the makeup to possibly extend their postseason run this year.

Hilliard Davidson High School softball coach Angelo Forte has a good nucleus returning from a Division I district semifinalist team and thinks the Wildcats have the makeup to possibly extend their postseason run this year.

The Wildcats finished 13-14 overall after falling to top-seeded Grove City 10-0 in a district semifinal last season. But Davidson has seven starters returning, including senior ace right-hander Erika Reese, who finished 8-12 and entered the semifinal with a 2.66 ERA, 96 strikeouts and 28 walks in 137 innings.

"I think the enthusiasm is good on this team and I think down deep we feel like we have something to prove," said Forte, whose team opens Tuesday at home against Watterson before playing Wednesday at home against Marysville. "We didn't finish the season the way we would have liked."

Sure, the Greyhounds were the district's top seed, but Davidson handed Grove City its only OCC-Buckeye Division loss in a 7-1 decision in the second meeting. The Wildcats lost the first game 5-1 and finished 4-6 to take fourth in the league behind the champion Greyhounds.

"Our motto is not to talk about last year, we just want to move on and play hard every day," said senior Abbey Parsley, who returns at third base and singled for the only hit against Grove City in the district semifinal. "Our goal is to win some hardware. I think we can do really well. We have good athletes and we're versatile we can play a lot of positions."

That's the case in point with senior Amy Friloux and sophomore Tessa Kilgore. On any given day, the two might both play some at catcher, see time at first base or Kilgore might even be pitching. Sophomore Mallory Sodders could be at shortstop or second base.

"We (had) scrimmages this week and a lot of the positions will be ironed out then," Forte said.

Joining Friloux and Kilgore at first will be freshman Kayla Wolfe. Senior Megan Banaag will also be at second and junior Emma Russell is in the mix at short. Sophomore right-hander Samantha Smith will also spend time in the circle.

Two returning letterwinners -- senior Shelby Sigillo and sophomore Zoe Allegretti -- will start in the outfield with senior Olivia Mendoza and juniors Taylor Newton and Katie Rine vying for the final spot.

"Right now, we're hitting pretty well for this point in the season," Forte said. "One thing we need to work on is our defense and hopefully that will improve when we get to the scrimmages."

The Wildcats will play in the OCC-Central with Central Crossing, Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Darby, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington, Westland and Worthington Kilbourne.

"We're excited about (the new league)," Forte said. "It's going to be pretty competitive and there definitely won't be any easy games. We're excited and we feel we can compete and win our share of games."

At a glance

g0326hidarbysb_sp•Coach: Angelo Forte, 12th season

•Opener: Tuesday vs. Watterson

•Key players: Zoe Allegretti, Megan Banaag, Amy Friloux, Abbey Parsley and Erika Reese