With most of its key players back from last year, the Hartley High School softball team enters the season with big expectations.

With most of its key players back from last year, the Hartley High School softball team enters the season with big expectations.

"The No. 1 goal is to win the CCL and we haven't done it in 20 years, so that's what the girls have their sights set on," coach Meghan Rowlands said. "I think I'd be lying if I said they weren't looking to win the district and then some in Division II."

Last season, Hartley lost to Licking Valley 2-0 in a district championship to finish 16-11 overall.

Leading Hartley will be seniors Angela Lanza (C), Nicole Moziejko (P) and Kayla Woodward (3B).

Moziejko was second-team all-state last year and will be counted on to pitch almost every inning . Lanza and Woodward both made second-team all-district.

Others expected to be in the starting lineup are seniors Samantha Hochuli (2B) and Sam Rupp (OF) and freshmen Anna Kirk (SS), Maddie Musselman (OF/1B), Allie Smith (OF) and Tiffany Wolfe (P).

Erica Eakin was the Hawks' second pitcher last year, but that role is Wolfe's this year because Eakin will miss the season with a right knee injury.

"I think defensively we'll be very sound," Rowlands said. "Nicole will do a good job of keeping hitters in check and we'll have a good middle of the infield with Kirk and Hochuli."

One area that often hurt Hartley last year was the lack of consistent run production. Lanza and Woodward are two of the top bats for the Hawks, but that is still an area of concern for Rowlands.

One player who could help is sophomore Fallon Brown (OF), a transfer from Reynoldsburg whom Rowlands is looking to get involved on the base paths.

"We're still progressing in that area," Rowlands said. "We wanted to get faster in the offseason and I think we did that."

Last season represented the first time this group of players had experienced a winning season at Hartley. That combined with reaching the district championship game and the return of several key players has raised expectations for the Hawks.

That's a little different from the days when Hartley went into the season hoping to achieve a winning record.

"It is different. It's like an entirely new team out there even though we have a lot of the same players," Rowlands said. "The girls don't expect to have anything less than what they're shooting for."

•Though a lot of players have returned, the baseball team must deal with the loss of four starters as well as the move up to Division II from Division III.

Last season the Hawks went 15-6 overall after losing to East Knox 6-1 in a district semifinal. Hartley was 7-3 in the CCL to finish third behind co-champions DeSales (8-2) and Watterson (8-2).

The top returnees are Ben Currie (C/3B) and Justin Momeyer (P/3B/C). The co-captains are expected to help lead a young group of talented but inexperienced players.

Also on the team are Connor Callahan (OF), Alex Heinmiller (OF), Jack Imwalle (2B/SS), Kendall Johnson (CF), Jordan Lafferty (P), Nick Owens (P/2B), Caleb Parker (1B/P), Austin Underwood (P/2B) and Robbie Vohsing (1B).

Coach Morgan Assmann said the numbers in the program are down this year, and that lack of depth means most of the players will see time at two or three positions.

"All of our kids have to be versatile," Assmann said. "Everybody does everything. We've got multiple guys at every position, and that's kind of fun."

With a lot of younger players and new starters, the focus so far has been on fundamentals. Assmann thinks the Hawks could be a good defensive team, and focusing on fundamentals will help them get there.

"I don't care what league you play in or what level you play at, playing fundamental baseball and not giving a team more than three outs is something we stress a lot," Assmann said. "That's what my style is. I like to hustle, I like to run and I don't want it to be sloppy."

•Having returned its top four players, the boys tennis team looks to be strong. The Hawks are hoping to advance players out of the Division II sectional tournament to district.

Last season, Hartley finished 11-5 overall and placed fourth in the CCL at 2-3 behind DeSales (4-1), St. Charles (4-1) and Watterson (4-1) and ahead of Worthington Christian (1-4) and Ready (0-5).

The top four players are seniors Brian Doyle, Nick Groom, Jonathan Mueller and Josh Pecinovsky. All are in their fourth year with the program.

Others contending for playing time include Patrick Angle, Isaac Canonico, Ryan Gerrard and Casey Malone.

Coach Mike Graham said the Hawks are still going through some challenge matches to determine who will play at which spot, but it appears Mueller will play first singles, Pecinovsky will play second singles and Groom will play third singles. Doyle will play first doubles, but his partner has yet to be determined.

"One of the question marks will be who is going to be Brian's doubles partner at first doubles, and then who will be the second doubles team, because they're all close in ability," Graham said.

A first for the Hawks is that they'll be taking a spring break trip to Oglebay Park in Wheeling, W. Va., where they will get to play some of the top competition in that state.

"We've got the toughest schedule that we've probably ever had," Graham said. "The seniors worked hard in the offseason and the guys have gotten a lot better. Will they be able to compete at the level out there? Well, that remains to be seen."

Schedules

BASEBALL

March 29 at Circleville

March 30 vs. Columbus West

April 6 at Bloom-Carroll

April 8 at Briggs

April 9 at Tree of Life

April 10 at Marion Elgin

*April 12 at Watterson

April 13 at Whitehall

*April 14 at Ready

*April 16 vs. Worthington Christian

April 17 at London (doubleheader)

*April 19 vs. St. Charles

*April 21 vs. DeSales

*April 23 vs. Watterson

*April 26 vs. Ready

*April 27 at Worthington Christian

April 28 at Wellington

April 29 vs. Whitehall

*April 30 at St. Charles

May 1 vs. Newark

*May 3 at DeSales

May 4 vs. Columbus Academy

May 5 vs. West Jefferson

May 6 vs. Canal Winchester

May 7 at Hamilton Township

SOFTBALL

March 29 vs. Whitehall

March 30 at Hilliard Davidson

March 31 vs. Licking Valley

April 6 at Big Walnut

April 8 at Canal Winchester

April 9 at Greenville

April 10 at Greenville vs. Kettering Fairmont and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame

*April 12 at Watterson

*April 14 at Ready

*April 16 vs. Worthington Christian

April 17 vs. Buckeye Valley and London

April 20 vs. Granville

*April 21 vs. DeSales

April 23 vs. Hamilton Ross in Centennial Stellar Classic at Ohio State

April 24 vs. Columbia and Tipp City Tippecanoe in Stellar Classic at Ohio State

*April 26 vs. Ready

*April 27 at Worthington Christian

April 29 vs. Dublin Coffman

May 1 at Upper Arlington with Pickerington Central

*May 5 vs. Watterson

May 8 at Gahanna with Liberty Township Lakota East

BOYS TENNIS

March 29 vs. Wellington

April 12 at Bexley

*April 13 vs. St. Charles

April 14 vs. Grandview

April 15 vs. Watkins Memorial

April 19 vs. Groveport

*April 20 at Ready

April 21 at Grove City

April 24 at Teays Valley

*April 27 at Worthington Christian

April 29 vs. Centennial

*May 4 vs. DeSales

May 5 vs. Granville

May 6 at Westland

*CCL contest