Considering that the Westland High School softball team went 0-25 last season, first-year coach Kerry Maher realizes that the Cougars earned a much-needed win in their opener against Beechcroft.
The host Cougars won 17-0 in three innings April 1, snapping a 28-game losing streak. It marked their first win since defeating Upper Arlington 5-4 in an OCC-Central Division game April 30, 2012.
"It was a nice relief, especially for the seniors and the girls that have played the last two years," Maher said. "They've lost their games for two years. It finally got that monkey off their back. Now they can work on improvement."
Westland scored 14 runs in the second inning to support winning pitcher Hannah Matheny. Taylor Wegman doubled and singled to lead the Cougars.
"It was awesome to start right out of the gate getting a win," senior Kaitlyn Willming said. "Coming off of a year when we didn't have any wins at all, getting that first win gave us a drive and some momentum to start the season."
Westland lost its second game, however, falling 17-1 in five innings to visiting Thomas Worthington in its league opener April 9.
Savannah Badillo had two singles and Willming singled and scored in the fourth inning for Westland, which allowed six runs in the second inning.
The Cougars were 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Central before playing Marysville on April 10 in a game that was postponed April 7 and 8 because of bad weather.
Though he knows it could take some time, Maher is looking to re-establish stability in the program.
"We've talked about taking the major positives from the games," Maher said. "We had a losing record last season. We also had a lot of run rules and some shutouts here. Some of the goals we have (are), obviously, we want to win the game and we don't want to get run-ruled, but we want to take away the positives."
Maher said the Cougars are still looking for an ace in the circle, with Matheny and Willming emerging as two key pitchers early on.
Track teams to compete in Best of South-West
The track and field teams are preparing to compete in the Best of the South-West Invitational on Thursday, April 17, at Franklin Heights.
In the event last season, the boys team scored 32 points to place fourth behind Franklin Heights (85), Grove City (69) and Central Crossing (64), and the girls team was fourth (18) behind Central Crossing (92), Grove City (82) and Franklin Heights (63).
"As always, the Best of the South-West is a chance to showcase the talent and class of our program," coach Tim Eckard said. "Our kids take this meet seriously and have been working hard to compete at their highest level at this meet. The atmosphere the week leading up to the Best of the South-West is electric and I'm excited to have some of our younger kids experience the excitement that comes from this meet."
Westland swept Briggs in a dual meet April 8 at home.
The boys team won 78-41, with James Pack winning the shot put (39 feet, 4 inches), discus (122-11) and high jump (5-2), and the girls team won 123-0, with Donna Mayhew winning the 1,600 meters (5 minutes, 58.57 seconds), 800 (2:42.48) and 3,200 (13:34.12).
Westland competed in the Newark Invitational on April 5, with the boys team finishing 14th (21) behind champion Westerville Central (104.5) as 18 teams scored, and the girls team finishing 14th (8) behind champion Central (92.83) as 15 teams scored.
Ivan Suazo had the highest finish for the boys team, placing fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.01), and Mayhew led the girls team, placing fifth in the 800 (2:42.19) and sixth in the 1,600 (5:49.64).
"The Newark Invitational was one of the most competitive meets in all of Ohio last weekend," Eckard said. "There were over 18 teams competing, which made the level of competition very high. The high level of competition was good for our veterans and a surprise to some of our younger athletes."
Baseball coach sees no quit in players
The baseball team was 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central before playing Thomas Worthington on April 11.
Westland opened league play April 8 with a 19-0 five-inning loss at Marysville, but was much more competitive in its second game against the Monarchs, losing 13-5 on April 9 at home.
In the second game, Nolan Lee and Zach Riley each had two hits, as the Cougars led 3-1 in the third inning before Marysville took control.
"We'll never give up," coach Dave Daniels said. "We know we are going to be outgunned usually, but after (the) drubbing (April 8), the boys came right out and competed."
Boys tennis team posts another win
The boys tennis team defeated Madison Christian 4-1 on April 9 at home to post its second win.
Winners were Bryan Moreno at second singles (6-7, 6-3, 6-4), Roman Novikov at third singles (7-5, 6-3), Grant Bare and Jonathan Marshall at first doubles (6-1, 6-2) and Jordan Bare and Zack Prak at second doubles (6-1, 6-0).
Westland, which opened with a 5-0 win over Ready on April 2, was 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Central before playing Upper Arlington on April 10.
The Cougars lost to Marysville 3-2 on April 8 at home in their league opener.
Winners were Moreno at second singles (6-2, 7-5) and Novikov at third singles (4-6, 6-1, 7-5).