Although it will compete in a different league, the goals remain the same for the Marysville High School softball team: Contend for an OCC title and make a run in the Division I district tournament.
"Every year I want to say that we're going to be contenders," third-year coach Jennifer Segner-Maxwell said.
After finishing third in the OCC-Cardinal Division a year ago, the Monarchs now are in the OCC-Central with Central Crossing, Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Davidson, Olentangy Liberty, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington and Westland.
Last season, Central Crossing won the league at 13-0 and was a Division I regional runner-up. The Monarchs finished 21-7 overall after losing to Canal Winchester 5-0 in a district semifinal.
"We have quite a bit of our offense back," Segner-Maxwell said. "We have pitching. Our same pitchers are back from last year, so there is another year of experience. You add a couple new girls into the group, so it changes team chemistry a little bit. We should be all right."
The Monarchs open Monday, April 1, at Teays Valley and begin league play April 8 at Westland.
Marysville, which lost six players from a year ago to graduation, returns junior pitcher Cori Long, who was 19-5 with a 2.33 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 22 walks in 132 1/3 innings last season.
Senior Lexi Foster will pitch, play in the middle infield and serve as a designated player. Last year, she was 2-2 with 21 strikeouts and six walks in 37 innings.
Sophomores Hunter Lobdell and Erin Unterbrink also can pitch, Segner-Maxwell said.
Senior Kyleah Brey (3B) was honorable mention all-league last season after batting .361 with seven doubles, a triple and a team-high 29 RBI.
Senior Taylor Hicks (CF) hit .414 with 14 RBI, four doubles, a triple, a home run and a team-high seven stolen bases.
Junior Maria Reed (1B/C) was second-team all-league after hitting .436 with 25 RBI, nine doubles and five home runs.
Sophomore Riley Nelson (OF/C/SS) batted .392 with 12 RBI, four doubles and two triples, and junior Amanda King (C/designated player) hit .357 with 13 RBI, seven doubles and two home runs.
Other players are senior Morgan Craig (2B), sophomores Tess Cox (OF) and Allanah Larriuz (SS/2B/OF) and freshman Maddie Shelly (SS).
Senior Allie Rine will miss the season after undergoing hip surgery, Segner-Maxwell said.
"It's definitely a good group of girls," Segner-Maxwell said. "They have good chemistry. We've preached no drama."
Last season, Marysville went 9-5 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish behind Liberty (12-2) and Westerville North (10-3) and ahead of Westerville South (8-6), Westerville Central (6-7), Dublin Jerome (5-8), Olentangy (3-10) and Dublin Scioto (1-13).
After a first-round bye in the district tournament, Marysville defeated Westerville North 8-1 in the second round before losing to Canal Winchester.
"We want to win the OCC, make it further in the district tournament and (have) no drama," Segner-Maxwell said.
Baseball team opens against Gahanna
The baseball team opens Monday, April 1, at home against Gahanna and begins OCC-Central play April 8 at Westland.
Last season, the Monarchs finished 15-11 overall after losing to Thomas Worthington 4-1 in a Division I district semifinal. Marysville defeated Delaware 12-2 in the second round after a first-round bye.
Sixth-year coach John Carder expects sophomore Aron Mowery (P/2B) and junior Matt Mulholland (P/CF) to lead the pitching staff.
Last season, Mowery was 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 16 walks in 32 1/3 innings. He hit .328 with 16 runs and 14 RBI and was second-team all-league.
Mulholland was 0-1 with 15 strikeouts and 23 walks in 13 2/3 innings. He hit .365 with 19 RBI and 16 runs and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Junior Noah Arbogast (1B/DH) batted .353 and junior Jarod Yoakam (1B) hit .309 with 23 runs and 18 RBI.
Junior Billy Kidd (3B) batted .306 with 23 runs and 19 RBI.
Also back are seniors Corey Gould (SS) and Kyle Hites (OF) and juniors Nick Ciotola (C), Matt McCoy (RF) and Jacob McNabb (P).
Other players are senior Jake Allegree (P/1B), juniors Matt Reed (C) and Sam Tse (OF), sophomores Desmond Johnson (OF) and Greg Laurenson (OF/P) and freshman Casey Gould (2B).
"We look pretty good," Carder said. "I like what we're doing and I like the maturity that we're showing."
Last season, Marysville went 8-5 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish third behind Olentangy (10-4) and Jerome (9-5) and ahead of Westerville North (8-6), Liberty (7-7), Westerville Central (7-7), Scioto (6-7) and Westerville South (0-14).
"We've talked about having a little better start to the season than what we've done in the past," said Carder, whose team began last season 0-3 in the league. "It's going to be important for us to get off to a good start."