The Olentangy Liberty High School softball team continued two trends during its 4-3 victory over Marysville in an OCC-Cardinal Division game April 20.

The Olentangy Liberty High School softball team continued two trends during its 4-3 victory over Marysville in an OCC-Cardinal Division game April 20.

The Patriots continued to make defensive mistakes. They committed four errors and gave up three unearned runs in the top of the second inning while falling behind 3-0.

"Our defense has been inconsistent, especially in the first couple innings of games," coach Bob Lee said. "That's the biggest thing we're working on improving right now because you don't want to spot a team like Marysville three runs."

On a positive note, Liberty's offense continued to deliver as the Patriots avenged a 5-0 loss to the Monarchs on March 28.

In the rematch, the Patriots scored twice in the bottom of the seventh. Sarah Drosos drove in Andrea Cardinali with a double and Kayla Pfaff doubled home Drosos.

Liberty also scored 44 runs in two games earlier in the week, beating Westerville Central 15-3 in a league game April 16 and defeating Westland 29-2 in five innings April 17.

Leading Liberty in hitting through 13 games were Aoife Duffy (.533 average, 4 home runs, 16 RBI), Drosos (.404, 1 homer, 11 RBI), Cardinali (.400, 7 RBI), Pfaff (.388, 1 homer, 11 RBI) and Katie Flanagan (.341, 5 RBI).

"Our hitting is really coming on right now, including our power hitting," Lee said. "We had 17 hits in the first inning against Westland and all but one of those hits were shots.

"The Marysville game was exciting because the kids were looking forward to getting another shot at them, and then we had to come from behind to beat them. When we're down our kids don't get too shook up, so we're never out of it."

After a 1-3 start, the Patriots won their next nine games and were 7-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Dublin Jerome on April 23.
Liberty will play host to Westerville North in an OCC-Cardinal game Friday, April 27. The Patriots beat North 4-3 in eight innings on April 11 thanks to Kristen Adkins' solo home run in the top of the eighth.

Adkins' pitching also has been a key for Liberty. She was 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings.

"Westerville North's a good team but our league is pretty balanced, so we have to come ready to play every game," Lee said. "Adkins has pitched every league game and she keeps us in games with her strikeouts. When she throws strikeouts it really helps because our defense isn't going to make as many errors when she's striking out eight or nine batters per game."

Pioneers continue to squeeze out wins

After losing its opener, Orange had won 20 consecutive games before playing New Albany on April 25.

The Pioneers went 5-0 last week, including an 8-2 victory at Delaware on April 18.

Mason Robinson pitched a five-hitter as Orange handed the Pacers their first league loss since 2010.

The Pioneers also swept a doubleheader April 21 at home, beating Bloom Carroll 4-2 and Whetstone 5-4.

Robinson tossed a three-hitter against Bloom-Carroll to outduel freshman pitcher Taryn Alvedo, who already has made a verbal commitment to Washington.

The Pioneers scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Whetstone. Jenny Sims singled and was replaced by courtesy runner Valery Rojas, who stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Kelly Byrum.

"As we keep winning, I feel like someone needs to pinch me," coach Bruce Leary said. "I knew that we had the talent to have a successful season, but I couldn't have known we'd start the season this well."

Through 20 games, Robinson was 17-0 with a 0.80 ERA, while shortstop Abby Davidson, catcher Kyle Davidson, third baseman Byrum and center fielder Jamie Pence had been the Pioneers' most consistent defensive players.

Jenn Kurelic and the Davidson sisters were Orange's leading hitters.

"We don't have any big weaknesses, but we're not playing perfect softball either," Leary said. "We're not disciplined enough at the plate and we're still making defensive mistakes. Those things just haven't cost us wins lately."

On Monday, April 30, the Pioneers will play host to Franklin Heights in a league game.

Orange defeated Franklin Heights 3-0 on April 13.

"Franklin Heights is a very good team and we'll have to be focused to beat them again," Leary said. "They've scored tons of runs and beat some teams, so we'll need to continue to hit the ball well and play good defense."