The Hilliard Davidson High School softball team looks to have found some rhythm after enduring a four-game losing streak against strong competition.

The Hilliard Davidson High School softball team looks to have found some rhythm after enduring a four-game losing streak against strong competition.

"We're playing well lately, but there's a long way to go," coach Angelo Forte said. "The girls are believing in one another and their ability is beginning to shine through."

Davidson responded to the losing streak by winning four in a row, including a 6-2 victory over Hilliard Darby on April 18 and a 3-0 win over Westland on April 20 before losing to Thomas Worthington 4-2 on April 23 to fall to 7-7 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Central Division.

Davidson started 3-2 before losing to Licking Valley 6-4 and Olentangy Orange 7-1 on April 7 and losing league games to Central Crossing 6-2 in eight innings on April 9 and Worthington Kilbourne 3-2 on April 11.

"We gained a lot of confidence in the loss to Central Crossing when we led them (2-0) until the (seventh) inning," Forte said. "We got seven hits off (Savannah Dorsey, an Ohio University signee who was first-team all-state in Division I last season) and the girls recognized that if they could do that against her, they could do it against just about everyone else. The offense has really taken a step up since then."

Fourth-year starter Kayla Wolfe, who plays third base, leads the team in hitting, batting third in the order.

Sophomore first baseman Charlee Clark is the other top run producer, hitting in the cleanup spot.

"Those two are leading us and Taylor Moore and Lauren Straughsbaugh also are hitting well," Forte said. "Straughsbaugh has strengthened the bottom of the order, and when she gets on and we turn the order over, we really get going. I've been pleased with everyone offensively. They've all had key hits in games for us."

Moore also has given the Wildcats stability in the circle, and Forte said the defense is improving.

"Taylor doesn't walk many hitters," Forte said. "She stays around the plate and gets a lot of groundballs. She did a great job against a really strong-hitting Central Crossing team. She kept them off balance.

"Defensively, we're getting there. Maybe it's just me expecting perfection. After all, there are times when we have five sophomores in the lineup."

Victories hard to come by for Darby

Darby followed its loss to Davidson with a 6-4 setback against Kilbourne on April 20, marking the Panthers' fourth loss in five games.

The lone win during that stretch was 11-0 over Westland on April 16 as Savannah Pizzurro pitched a three-hitter.

The Panthers were 2-11 overall and 2-7 in the OCC-Central before playing Upper Arlington on April 25.

Defensive struggles hurting Bradley

Bradley was 5-7 overall before playing Watterson on April 24 and 5-4 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on April 25.

The Jaguars entered a 10-0 win over Franklin Heights on April 23 having lost five of their previous six games while struggling defensively during that stretch.

"We're hitting well and we're pitching well enough to win," coach Kevin Moody said. "But we're giving away plays that need to be made and that's been our problem. Once we get the defense secure, we'll be fine."

The Jaguars had four errors in a 5-2 loss to Mount Vernon on April 11, five errors in a 14-12 loss to Hartley on April 17 and three errors in a 4-3 loss to New Albany on April 19.

Bradley allowed three runs in the top of the seventh inning against Mount Vernon and two in the bottom of the seventh against New Albany.
Also during that stretch, the Jaguars lost to the top two teams in the OCC-Capital, falling 10-1 to Olentangy Orange on April 16, three days after losing to Delaware 10-3.

"We extended innings with errors in those games and then they added a hit or two and both of them got away from us," Moody said.