Wellington School softball coach Me-chelle Burkhalter remains confident that her team will shore up its play in the field.

Wellington School softball coach Me-chelle Burkhalter remains confident that her team will shore up its play in the field.

Defensive mistakes have proven costly thus far for the Jaguars, who were 2-7 before playing Grove City Christian on April 23.

"If we played to the best of our abilities, I think we could have won at least five of these games, but we've had too many throwing errors, fielding errors and mental freezes," Burkhalter said. "I know we can do better than this, because in almost every game we've had glimpses of absolute genius where our girls pull together and play with absolute confidence. It's just a matter of playing that way with a lot more consistency."

Burkhalter has been pleased with the play of pitcher Abby Fleeter, catcher Katie King, third baseman Erin O'Neil and outfielder Zoe Mak.

"Our battery has been the strongest part of our game because we've got a lot of experience there with a second-year starter at pitcher and a third-year starting catcher," Burkhalter said. "Zoe Mak's just a freshman, but she's a lot of fun to watch in center field.

"We're still trying to figure out where the others belong. When we've blown routine plays, other teams have capitalized on our mistakes. We just need to make the easy plays easy."

According to Burkhalter, outfielder Emily Hammett and second baseman Gabrielle Smith were among the team's leading hitters through eight games.

"We need to have more confidence at the plate, top to bottom," Burkhalter said. "When we get runners on, we need to do a better job cashing in on those opportunities."

The Jaguars play host to Harvest Prep on Friday, April 26, before traveling to Delaware Christian on Tuesday, April 30. They beat Harvest Prep 13-9 on April 4 but lost to Delaware Christian 4-0 on April 8.

"These games will give us the opportunity to measure how much we've grown," Burkhalter said. "Last year, we really turned it on during the second half of the year, and I'm hoping we're ready to do that same thing and upset some of the big guns once again."

Baseball teamlearning to finish

The baseball team has had trouble finishing games this season.

The Jaguars squandered a four-run lead in a 15-9 loss to Walnut Ridge on April 2, an eight-run advantage in a 14-11 loss to Independence on April 13 and a three-run lead in a 7-6 loss to Independence on April 13.

On April 20, Wellington rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat Madison Christian 9-5, as second baseman Obinna Adams-Johns had a two-run single to tie the game at 5 in the fifth inning and infielder/designated hitter Billy Brisk drove in three runs with a double to put the Jaguars ahead 8-5 in the sixth inning.

Zach Kauffman pitched three scoreless innings to earn the win.

"We've struggled to stay focused and finish games when we've had the lead, so it was nice to turn the tables and come back to win a game," coach Craig Jones said. "This game gave us a nice lift and, hopefully, we've flipped a switch and will finish games better the rest of the season."

Among Wellington's offensive leaders through 10 games were outfielder Josh Roseler (.500 batting average, 9 RBI, 10 runs), Brisk (.407, 3 home runs, 15 RBI, 11 runs), catcher Joe Campbell (.400, 4 RBI, 7 runs), outfielder Matt Conger (.357, 9 RBI, 10 runs) and outfielder Anthony Davis (.333, 8 RBI, 16 runs).

The Jaguars will play host to Worthington Christian on Thursday, April 25. They lost to Warriors 13-3 in five innings on April 9.

Wellington then will play host to Brookhaven in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27, before facing Mifflin on Tuesday, April 30, at home.

"These games should be a nice test for us," Jones said. "They are a great opportunity to earn some respect before we go to the Division IV tournament draw."