Marysville High School softball coach Jennifer Segner-Maxwell had mixed emotions after her team finished in a first-place tie with Olentangy Liberty in the OCC-Central Division.
The Monarchs entered last week in control of their destiny, holding a one-game lead over Liberty.
After defeating Central Crossing 8-0 on May 6, Marysville lost at home to Liberty 3-1 on May 7 and at Hilliard Davidson 2-1 on May 8.
The Monarchs, however, earned a share of the title after Liberty lost to Thomas Worthington 3-0 on May 8. Both teams finished 11-3.
"We tied for the league and we both lost to do it," Segner-Maxwell said. "It's hard to be excited right now because we did lose our last two games (before May 10), but in the same sense, I can't take away from how well they've played when we won 14 in a row or the 11 games we did win in the league. It is bittersweet because right now it's a sour note and we just need to get to that next game to pick things up again."
Marysville last won a league championship in 2011 when it shared the OCC-Cardinal title with Westerville North.
Against Davidson, the Monarchs were limited to three hits by pitcher Taylor Moore. First baseman Maria Reed's RBI single in the sixth inning accounted for Marysville's run. The Monarchs left the bases loaded in the inning.
"Our bats were flat (May 7) and our bats were flat (May 8)," Segner-Maxwell said. "I really don't know the magic word that you're supposed to say to somebody to get them to hit. You say the little tweaks that their hitting coaches tell them and try to get them going and it just didn't happen."
Marysville is seeded third in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 25th-seeded Briggs or 32nd-seeded Logan in the second round Thursday, May 16. The Monarchs have a first-round bye.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Gahanna, 21st-seeded Canal Winchester, 33rd-seeded Mount Vernon or 40th-seeded Northland in a semifinal May 21 at Pickerington North.
"I wasn't shocked with the draw," Segner-Maxwell said. "Gahanna had the sixth pick and could have gone for a bye, but they came towards us and most likely because they beat us earlier in the season (7-4 on April 4), but we were a whole different team back then.
"Hopefully, we can get out of this funk that we're in now and get back to that team that we were in the middle of the season."
Baseball team gains momentum for tourney
The baseball team was on a three-game winning streak before playing a doubleheader May 11 at Bellefontaine.
"This is real nice momentum going into the (Division I district) tournament," coach John Carder said. "It's kind of what we needed a little bit. We're getting ready for the tournament and this is a good way to start."
Marysville is seeded 14th and will play host to 19th-seeded Westerville Central in the second round Wednesday, May 15.
Both teams have a first-round bye.
Marysville and Central split a doubleheader April 6, with the Monarchs losing the first game 5-3 and winning the second 4-3.
"Central is a very familiar team," Carder said. "They kind of came after us a little bit. We split with them and I don't know if we played super great. They know us pretty well, but we know them pretty well, too, so it's going to be a fun matchup."
The winner plays 10th-seeded St. Charles, 20th-seeded Westerville North or 21st-seeded Dublin Scioto in a semifinal May 21 at Hilliard Darby.
The Monarchs completed OCC-Central play by defeating host Davidson 9-1 on May 8.
Marysville scored six runs in the first inning in support of winning pitcher Jake Allegree, who went the first five and allowed two hits, struck out one and walked two.
Kyle Hites (OF) tripled and Noah Arbogast (1B/DH) and Matt Mulholland (OF/P) each doubled in the first.
Marysville went 9-5 in the league to finish third behind Thomas (11-3) and Liberty (10-4).
"I feel like we've picked it up at a good time," Hites said. "We struggled a little bit going into the middle of the OCC (schedule) and I feel like we're picking it up at the right time heading into the tournament."
Track teams set for league meet
The track and field teams will compete in the OCC-Central meet Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Thomas.
"For both the boys and the girls squads, we are in a very competitive division of the OCC," coach J.B. Ritchie said. "The coaches are stressing improvement and continued improvement to our athletes. Getting one place higher in the team standings is a strong goal, and so will be (personal records) and going after school records individually and in relays."
Last season, the boys finished sixth (62.5 points) in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind Westerville Central (116), Westerville North (111), Liberty (104.5), Westerville South (94.5) and Olentangy (89.5) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (55) and Scioto (27).
The girls were sixth (65) behind Scioto (142), Central (98), Liberty (91.5), South (78.5) and Jerome (72.5) and ahead of North (59) and Olentangy (54.5).