The Hilliard Bradley High School softball team didn't reach its top goals of winning a district championship and league title, but the Jaguars came about as close as they could to achieving them.

The Hilliard Bradley High School softball team didn't reach its top goals of winning a district championship and league title, but the Jaguars came about as close as they could to achieving them.

Bradley was a Division II district runner-up after losing to DeSales 2-0 in a final on May 20 at Pickerington Central to finish 19-4 overall.

"The first class of seniors at Bradley has certainly set the bar for others to shoot for, that's for sure," said coach Kevin Moody, whose team won the OCC-Capital Division in its first season and was league runner-up this year. "They've left something to build on. When you have a new program, you want to win right away to set the tone because you need the winning mentality to exist every season.

"The longer it takes to have winning seasons, win league championships and compete for district championships, the more difficult it becomes to turn around the mentality."

The third-seeded Jaguars definitely were in contention for a district title. Top-seeded DeSales had two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning when a misplayed ball in the outfield gave them an extra at-bat. That's when Amanda Herron hit an opposite-field home run to right-center off Kellie Roudabush to account for the game's lone runs.

"We played a great game defensively, made a ton of plays," Moody said. "The one we didn't make gave them an extra out and they took advantage of it. It's one of those things that happens in life.

"We had gotten (Herron) to chase by pitching away from her in her previous at-bats. So even though first base was open, we thought we could get her. Talking with our pitching coach, it was a good pitch. (Herron) just made an adjustment and went out and got it. We thought we could get her and she got us."

Moody also credited DeSales for making a defensive alignment that kept the game scoreless in the top of the sixth inning. The move kept Danielle Dunnagan's grounder from being a run-scoring single.

The Jaguars had a first-round bye, beat visiting Mifflin 12-0 in five innings in the second round May 11 and rallied to beat Buckeye Valley 6-4 in a district semifinal May 19 at Pickerington North.

Against Buckeye Valley, the Jaguars led 2-0 after one inning as sophomore Caron Watkinson hit two-run double to left field. But the Barons scored four runs on three hits, a walk and an error in the top of the second.

Roudabush hit a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the second to make it 4-3. The Jaguars used an RBI single from senior Colleen O'Shea, an RBI double from Roudabush and a sacrifice fly from senior Jordan Camp to lead 6-4 in the fourth.

O'Shea also made a game-ending catch that could've been an RBI double.

Bradley's 2010 season also ended against DeSales, as the Jaguars lost 3-1 in a district semifinal.

Roudabush, Dunnagan (1B), Camp (CF) and O'Shea (RF) were joined by Tayler Young (P) in the senior class.

Roudabush, who has signed to play for the University of Akron, shared pitching duties with Young for most of the season and played shortstop when not in the circle. She was first-team all-state for a second consecutive season after being second-team all-state as a sophomore at Darby. She was 13-3 with a 1.95 ERA and batted .578 with 38 runs and 30 RBI. She also had 11 doubles and six home runs.

Roudabush also was named OCC-Capital Player of the Year for the second season in a row, with Camp (.435, 25 runs, 25 RBI) making second-team and O'Shea (16 runs) making honorable mention.

"Kellie is a special, special player and the seniors as a group were willing to sacrifice with all our lineup changes for the good of the team," Moody said. "They showed great leadership and each of them will be sorely missed."

Bradley was 11-3 in the league to finish behind Delaware (14-0) and ahead of Olentangy Orange (8-6), Big Walnut (7-7), Mount Vernon (7-7), New Albany (5-9) Watkins Memorial (3-11) Franklin Heights (1-13).

In addition to Watkinson (3B), expected returning starters include juniors Erin Banaag (2B) and Mikaela Smith (C), sophomore Christina Hammons (LF) and freshman Abi Groseclose (SS/C).

Groseclose (.538, 25 runs, 28 RBI, 9 doubles, 4 home runs) was first-team all-league and Smith was special mention. Watkinson batted .380 with 18 runs and 23 RBI.

"We've got some talented players returning, but the first thing we've got to do is concentrate on pitching because we have zero varsity innings returning," Moody said. "Because of that, we'll really need to work on defense to make sure we don't allow extra outs with our lack of (varsity) pitching experience."