The Westerville North High School softball team will continue its quest for its first league title in six years when it plays an OCC-Cardinal Division game Friday at South.

The Westerville North High School softball team will continue its quest for its first league title in six years when it plays an OCC-Cardinal Division game Friday at South.

The Warriors also are looking to earn community bragging rights after beating Central 8-3 on April 9 and 10-0 last Friday.

"Winning the OCC is important to us because we haven't won an OCC title since 2003, but I think it's even more important to us to be known as the best team in Westerville," catcher Natale Bagby said. "We're halfway there after beating Central again, but we've still got to beat South twice, too."

The Wildcats feature an effective pitching duo in senior Megan Watson and junior Rachel Ross, along with an athletic catcher in sophomore Kenzie Bonner.

South beat North 1-0 in the most recent meeting between the team two years ago as graduate Ashley Byers, who was first-team all-state, dominated.

"Without Byers they are a different team because Byers was one of the best pitchers around," senior shortstop Alyssa Falcone said. "We've got to keep hitting the ball the way we've hit it all year because we're hitting well from No. 1-9 in the lineup and we're scoring a lot more runs."

The Warriors went 4-1 during a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., from April 13-17 as Bagby went 14-for-20.

North went 3-2 in their next fives games, but averaged 7.2 runs per game during that stretch. Caitie Kilbaine hit a three-run home run in an 8-2 victory over Dublin Jerome on April 22 and hit another three-run home run last Friday against Central. Through 17 games, Bagby led North with three home runs.

"We're getting more timely hits and not leaving many kids on base," coach Joe Francisco said. "Westerville South is going to be a great challenge because they have four or five very talented players, and their coach (Jerry Kelbley) has more than 500 wins and always gets the best out of his players."

Alli Rowland started each of North's first 17 games, earning a 13-4 record with six shutouts.

Lauren Swihart has played well at first base, after taking over for starter Brittany Weber, who suffered a broken right thumb during a 4-1 loss to Poland Seminary on April 13.

"Alli's continuing to throw well for us, and we're playing good defense behind her," Francisco said. "Defensively, each of our players has made outstanding plays to get us out of an inning throughout the season.

"The kids are starting to trust each other, and more importantly, they're continuing to get better."

At a glance

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

April 13 -- Lost to Poland Seminary 4-1

April 14 -- Defeated Seneca Falls (N.Y.) Mynderse 3-0 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

April 15 -- Def. Greenville (S.C.) Carolina 8-2 in Myrtle Beach

April 16 -- Def. Falconer (N.Y.) 5-2 in Myrtle Beach

April 17 -- Def. Newburgh (N.Y.) Free 1-0 in Myrtle Beach

*April 22 -- Def. Dublin Jerome 8-2

*April 23 -- Lost to Olentangy 3-2

*Last Friday -- Def. Central 10-0

Last Saturday -- Def. Olentangy Orange 9-4; lost to Thomas Worthington 8-7

*Last Monday -- Def. Dublin Scioto 14-6

*Last Tuesday -- Played Marysville

*Last Wednesday -- Played Olentangy Liberty

*Friday -- At South

Saturday -- At Big Walnut vs. Big Walnut and Johnstown

*Monday -- Home vs. Marysville

*Wednesday -- At Olentangy

Of note: The Warriors were 14-4 overall and 5-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game