The Reynoldsburg High School softball team heads into the final stretch of the regular season still trying to figure out how to win consistently.

The Reynoldsburg High School softball team heads into the final stretch of the regular season still trying to figure out how to win consistently.

First-year coach Shannon Brown thinks the Raiders, who were 6-12 overall and 0-9 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Pickerington North last Tuesday, can win and will win as soon as they learn how to win.

"We're a young team and most of our losses are not because of physical ability, but mental errors from being young," Brown said. "Our record does not reflect how good we are.

"I believe in these kids. It's a great group of girls. We just have to change the way the girls think. It's not physical, it's in their mind. They just have to believe in themselves."

Reynoldsburg defeated Worthington Christian 3-2 on April 22 when junior Tiffany Ricks pitched a one-hitter and hit a solo home run in the sixth inning.

The Raiders lost to Grove City — ranked first in the Division I state poll last week — 9-0 the day before and lost to Pickerington Central — ranked third in the state poll — 9-4 on April 19.

Junior shortstop Sam Miller said the team hasn't always come ready to play this season, but she thinks the Raiders are ready to fix that.

"We'll bring our attitudes up and be more focused in our approach and in our warm-ups and keep our focus and heads during games," she said.

"The girls aren't intimidated, they just have to keep their heads in the game," Brown said. "We can't make so many mental errors, can't give up on ourselves and have to fight until the end of the game."

Junior catcher Tiffany Ricks is among the area's top players. Through 18 games, she was batting .625 with five home runs, 17 RBI and 21 runs. She also had nine doubles and three triples and had a 1.16 slugging percentage with 65 total bases in 56 at-bats. She homered twice in the loss to Pickerington Central.

In addition, Ricks has been solid when called upon to pitch, as she was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA through 18 games.

"Tiffany is quiet, but the girls look up to her," Brown said. "She's done everything this year: hit, catch, pitch and field."

Miller was hitting .434 with 18 runs and seven RBI and junior Bree Peters was batting .306 with 13 runs and four RBI.

Defensively, Reynoldsburg has played well for the most part. The Raiders were averaging two errors per game.

Including the game against North last Tuesday and a contest against Lancaster last Wednesday, five of the Raiders' final six regular-season games are against OCC-Ohio foes.

During a team meeting last weekend, the Raiders emphasized that it's not too late to change their fortunes.

"We're done being the team where other teams come in and say, 'It's Reynoldsburg, so it's going to be an easy game,'" Miller said. "We can surprise some teams this time around."

•ALUMNI GAME — All former Reynoldsburg players are invited to play in an alumni game at 10 a.m. May 15. The game will be played on the varsity field behind Baldwin Road Junior High School. For more information, call Jack Koelbl at (614) 863-4770 or (614) 560-7981.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg softball team:

*April 12 — Lost to Lancaster 7-6 in eight innings

*April 14 — Lost to Groveport 10-4

*April 16 — Lost to Gahanna 7-0

April 17 — Defeated Northland 11-3 and 11-2

*April 19 — Lost to Pickerington Central 9-4

*April 21 — Lost to Grove City 9-0

April 22 — Def. Worthington Christian 3-2

*Last Friday — Lost to Newark 13-1

*Last Wednesday — Played Lancaster

*Today — At Pickerington North in makeup from last Monday. Non-league game at Millersport cancelled

*Friday — At Groveport

*Saturday — At Gahanna

*Wednesday — Home vs. Pickerington Central

Of note: The Raiders were 6-12 overall and 0-9 in the OCC-Ohio before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Ohio game