A standard softball is 12 inches in circumference, but it has appeared much larger to Suzy May.

A standard softball is 12 inches in circumference, but it has appeared much larger to Suzy May.

Through 13 games, the junior center fielder was leading the Olentangy High School softball team with six home runs and 17 RBI and had a .462 batting average, which ranked second on the team behind third baseman Kaeli Weaver (.471). May also was leading the team with an on-base percentage of .533.

"It looks huge," May said. "It's like I have tunnel vision. I'm enjoying it."

The fact that May is thriving is no surprise. Last season she batted .308 with 12 RBI. But she acknowledges that she is a bit surprised by the fact that through 13 games she was on pace for 12 home runs in the regular season, especially given that she hit only one last year.

"I've known that I'm a power hitter, but I really didn't think it would be like this for me this season," said May, who hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning in a 2-1 win over Upper Arlington on April 10. "I think we're just working better as a team and that has gotten all of us optimistic and has made us hit better. We're hitting better as a team, and that makes me strive to do better."

Can May continue on her home-run pace?

"I'm hoping that it will," she said. "I think it can."

"Suzy has had a fantastic start to the season offensively," coach Marty Mearhoff said. "She has hit the ball well every game and when she hasn't hit it out of the park, she's hit it hard. And when she's not getting hits, she's putting the ball in play and making it tough on the (opposing) defense."

•RIVALRY RESUMES -- Olentangy is hoping this is the year it finally savors victory in its annual matchup with Lib-erty. The teams will meet for the fifth time at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Olentangy.

Liberty won the first four meetings -- 6-5 in 2004, 1-0 in 10 innings in 2005, 1-0 in 2006 and 4-2 last year.

"I'm looking for a good, competitive game against Liberty this year, like it always has been," Mearhoff said.

Does the fact that Olentangy has yet to triumph in the series weigh heavily on the minds of the Braves' players?

"It does to a certain point," May said. "But at the same time, we're such good friends with them. We want to keep it a friendly rivalry, but we are ready for revenge this year. I really do think that we can beat them this year."

One of the primary reasons May likes the Braves' chances is that Liberty appears to be amid a rebuilding season after losing seven starters from a year ago. The Patriots ended a seven-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over Amanda-Clearcreek last Saturday.

"We're a very young team as well, but we've got the drive," May said.

May said the atmosphere surrounding the game is what makes it so special.

"They have tons of parents and fans on their side and we have tons of parents and people from our school on our side," she said. "It's awesome to have so many people want to be there for both teams."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Liberty and Olentangy softball teams:

LIBERTY

*April 16 -- Lost to Dublin Scioto 8-6

April 17 -- Lost to West Jefferson 2-0

Last Saturday -- Lost to DeSales 7-4; defeated Amanda-Clearcreek 6-3

*Last Monday -- Defeated Franklin Heights 10-2

Last Tuesday -- Played Dublin Jerome

*Last Wednesday -- Played New Albany

Friday-Saturday -- At Centennial Stellar Classic at Beekman Park. Liberty will play Tipp City Tippecanoe on Friday and Creston Norwayne and Buckeye Valley on Saturday.

*Monday -- At Watkins Memorial. The Patriots lost 4-2 on April 9.

Tuesday -- At Olentangy

*Wednesday -- Home vs. Big Walnut. The Patriots lost 4-0 on April 14.

Of note: The Patriots were 4-8 overall before last Tuesday and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Capital game

OLENTANGY

April 15 -- Def. Whetstone 11-1

*April 16 -- Lost to Mount Vernon 7-0

April 17 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 14-8

Last Friday -- Lost to Big Walnut 11-6

Last Saturday -- Def. Elgin 10-2; def. Newark Catholic 13-7

*Last Monday -- Lost to Worthington Kilbourne 6-3

*Last Wednesday -- Played Jerome

Today -- At Delaware

Saturday -- At Worthington Classic vs. Thomas Worthington, Kilbourne and Scioto

*Monday -- At Westerville South

Tuesday -- Home vs. Liberty

*Wednesday -- At Pickerington Central

Of note: The Braves were 7-7 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game