On paper, it has been a respectable, though not ideal, start for the Hartley High School softball team.

On paper, it has been a respectable, though not ideal, start for the Hartley High School softball team.

After opening 3-6, first-year coach Meghan Rowlands admitted "we haven't got the wins that we wanted to get." But upon closer inspection, a couple of bad innings were all that separated the Hawks from being in the driver's seat for their goal of winning the CCL title.

So despite the frustrations of late-inning losses to Watterson and Ready, it seems morale and confidence are not a problem.

"We know as a team that we should be the best team out of the CCL," senior Heather Lindsay said. "Yes, we lost those first two games, but stuff happens. We definitely still have a chance, especially if we work hard and pull out some wins in the next month."

After starting 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the CCL, the Hawks responded over the next couple of weeks and were 5-8 overall and 2-3 in the CCL after losing to Watterson 3-0 last Monday.

The Hawks will play in the Stellar Classic at Beekman Park on Friday and Saturday, then will play at DeSales on Monday and at home against Worthington Christian on May 2.

In both of its first two league games, Hartley headed into the sixth inning with the score tied. Against Watterson on April 7, Watterson broke a tie at 1 by manufacturing a run in the top of the sixth and pulled out a 2-1 victory despite being outhit 7-6.

Three days later, Hartley tied the score at 1 in the top of the fifth, only to have Ready score five runs in the bottom of the sixth on its way to a 6-2 win. Hartley outhit Ready 6-3.

Defensively, there hasn't been much to complain about to this point. The Hawks, who allowed just 2.7 runs per game through their first 12 games continue to use Nicole Moziejko and Bridget Mahler fairly equally as starting pitchers. Moziejko threw a no-hitter in a 5-0 win over Bexley on April 8.

In the field, the lineup has started to solidify, though a couple of positions still are on a platoon system. Lindsay and Samantha Hochuli have rotated in center field and right field, and Angela Woodward and Christina Heinmiller are splitting time in left field. At catcher, Kayla Woodward and Angela Lanza have seen plenty of action, and second base typically has been filled by Moziejko or Mahler, depending on who is pitching.

As a team, the Hawks are committing fewer than one error per game.

"Our pitching has been really good this year, and our defense is really backing them up a lot and making a lot of plays," shortstop Katie Rupp said.

Offensively, the Hawks haven't been consistent. Even in some of the losses, they have had plenty of hits, but they haven't been able to generate enough runs because of struggles bunting the ball and running the bases. Rowlands said those two areas are critical for the success of any softball team.

"We bunt every day at practice and in pregame," Rowlands said. "As far as base-running, we try to put the girls in as many live situations as we can and have them react. I'm trying to let them be independent and trust their instincts, and we want to develop instincts in the younger players."

With still half the league season remaining, the Hawks felt good about their chances at chasing down leaders Ready and Watterson.

"I was a little disappointed with the outcomes, but I thought we played extremely well in the Watterson game and extremely well in the Ready game," Rowlands said. "I'm very proud of the way the girls played, but you know, sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Hartley boys tennis, girls lacrosse, softball and boys and girls track and field teams:

BASEBALL

April 15 -- Defeated River Valley 9-2. Pat Stone pitched a complete game.

*April 16 -- Lost to DeSales 2-1. DeSales scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

April 17 -- Def. New Albany 13-9. Justin Momeyer pitched the final four innings and got the win.

*Last Friday -- Def. Ready 15-2. Stone, Akil Cavin and Colt Stafford hit home runs.

Last Saturday -- Def. Elgin 6-1. Jared Quinn pitched a complete game and Kyle Barr hit a two-run home run.

*Last Monday -- Def. Worthington Christian 7-2. Barr pitched a four-hitter.

Last Tuesday -- Played Bexley

Last Wednesday -- Played Watterson

*Friday -- At St. Charles

*Monday -- Home vs. DeSales

*Wednesday -- At Ready

Of note: The Hawks were 9-4 overall before last Tuesday and are 2-1 in the CCL.

TENNIS

April 15 -- Def. Westland 4-1

April 17 -- Lost to Village Academy 5-0

Last Friday -- Def. Wheeling (W.Va.) Central Catholic 4-3

Last Saturday -- Lost to Wheeling Linsly 4-3

Last Monday -- Def. Grove City 3-2

*Last Tuesday -- Played St. Charles in CCL opener

Last Wednesday -- Played Central Crossing

*Today -- At DeSales

*Tuesday -- At Ready

*May 1 -- At Watterson

Of note: The Hawks were 7-3 overall before last Tuesday.

GIRLS LACROSSE

April 16 -- Lost to Wellington 15-6. Samantha Miller scored three goals and Tracee Meleragno had two.

Last Friday -- Def. Pickerington 14-2. Emily Sweeney scored three goals and Meleragno, Miller and Kathleen Ryan had two.

Last Monday -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 13-4

Today -- At Hilliard Darby

May 2 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Hawks are 3-5-1.

TRACK & FIELD

Last Friday -- Boys: Finished eighth (34) of 18 teams at Bulldog Classic in Louisville (Ky.) behind champion Louisville St. Xavier (95). Rufus Walls won the 200 (22.07) and Nathan Fox was third in the 110 hurdles (17.20); Girls: Finished second (74) to St. Henry (Ky.) District (101). CharAnna Dixon was third in the 100 (12.86) and Chesna Sykes was fourth (12.89), Aisha Cavin was second in the 200 (26.42), Taisha Ferguson was third in the 800 (2:28.93), Paige Coleman was second in the 100 hurdles (17.08) and Hartley won the 800 relay (1:46.21) and was second in the 400 relay (50.48).

Friday -- At Bexley

Saturday -- At Kallner Invitational at Hamilton Township

Wednesday -- At Whetstone

May 2 -- At Huber Heights Wayne Invitational

*CCL contest