A four-game winning streak in OCC-Cardinal Division play has the Westerville Central High School softball team back in the race.

A four-game winning streak in OCC-Cardinal Division play has the Westerville Central High School softball team back in the race.

The Warhawks were 9-7 overall and 6-2 in the division before they played Dublin Scioto last Wednesday.

Entering the week, the Monarchs were 6-1 and Olentangy Liberty was 7-2.

"We control our own destiny," coach Brian Wamsley said.

Central returns to action Friday when it plays host to Olentangy.

The Braves defeated the Warhawks a 3-2 on April 14, providing Central with ample motivation in the rematch.

"This team is completely ready for Olentangy," Wamsley said. "From the time that we left that field we knew that was a game that shouldn't have gotten away from us. They'll be ready for that game."

The Warhawks play host to Piketon in a non-league doubleheader Saturday before visiting Liberty in another key OCC-Cardinal contest on Monday.

The four-game winning streak included a 2-1 win in eight innings over the Patriots on April 22. Andi Hayes homered in the fifth inning and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, which scored Perry Wallinger for the winning run.

Tara O'Malley went the distance, allowing seven hits and striking out seven.

The streak also included a 3-1 win over Westerville South on April 21, completing a regular-season sweep of the Wildcats. Central defeated South 6-4 on March 30.

Alexis Rios went the distance, allowing seven hits and striking out four. Allie Cody had two RBI.

The Warhawks then beat Westerville North 5-4 on April 23, avenging a 2-1 loss to the Warriors on April 1. In the rematch, Rios turned in another complete-game effort, allowing six hits and striking out four.

North erased a 4-0 deficit with four runs in the top of the seventh. Central, however, scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning on Aubrey Schirtzinger's triple, which scored Molly Bohrer from first base.

"There's no quit with this team," Wamsley said. "They play right to the final out."

Schirtzinger finished with four hits and through 16 games was batting a team-high .434 with two doubles and a triple. Andi Lowe added three hits.

"We really work well together," Schirtzinger said. "We play hard. We practice hard. We've really become a team. We need to come out hard every game and we need to play to the best of our ability every time no matter who we're playing."

Bohrer was batting .286, followed by Lowe at .282.

O'Malley was 5-4 with a 1.80 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 25 walks.

Rios was 4-2 with a 0.57 ERA, 31 strikeouts and nine walks.

Central saw its win streak end in a 3-2 10-inning non-league loss last Saturday at Westland. The Warhawks trailed 2-0 before scoring a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to force extra innings. Schirtzinger had two hits.

"After four emotional tough, hard-fought victories (last week) in the OCC, I figured we would be kind of flat," Wamsley said.

At a glance

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

NORTH

*April 19 - Def. Olentangy 3-0

*April 20 - Lost to Dublin Scioto 9-8

*April 21 - Def. Dublin Jerome 9-3

*Last Friday - Lost to Westerville Central 5-4

*Last Monday - Game against Dublin Scioto postponed

*Last Tuesday - Played Dublin Jerome

*Last Wednesday - Played Olentangy Liberty

*Today - Home vs. Marysville

*Friday - Home vs. Westerville South

Saturday - Home vs. Olentangy Orange and Big Walnut

*Monday - At Marysville

*Wednesday - Home vs. Olentangy

Of note: The Warriors were 9-6 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

SOUTH

*April 19 - Lost to Olentangy Liberty 4-3

*April 21 - Lost to Westerville Central 3-1

*Last Friday - Def. Dublin Scioto 6-0. Rachel Ross threw a one-hitter and was 3-for-3 with two RBI. McKenzie McDonald had two RBI and Erica Aiello was 3-for-4 with three runs scored.

*Last Monday - Game against Dublin Jerome postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Marysville

Today - Home vs. Mount Vernon

*Friday - At Westerville North

Saturday - Home vs. Big Walnut and Olentangy Orange

*Monday - Home vs. Olentangy

*Wednesday - Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Thursday - Home vs. Mount Gilead

Of note: The Wildcats were 6-9 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game

At a glance

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

CENTRAL

*April 19 - Defeated Dublin Jerome 7-2

*April 21 - Def. Westerville South 3-1

*April 22 - Def. Olentangy Liberty 2-1 in eight innings

*Last Friday - Def. Westerville North 5-4

Last Saturday - Lost to Westland 3-2 in 10 innings

*Last Monday - Game against Marysville postponed

*Last Wednesday - Played Dublin Scioto

*Friday - Home vs. Olentangy

Saturday - Home vs. Piketon (DH)

*Monday - At Olentangy Liberty

Tuesday - Home vs. Watkins Memorial

*Wednesday - Home vs. Dublin Jerome

Of note: The Warhawks were 9-7 overall and 6-2 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Wednesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game