A lack of timely hitting and a bad defensive inning ended the season for the Thomas Worthington High School softball team.

A lack of timely hitting and a bad defensive inning ended the season for the Thomas Worthington High School softball team.

The fifth-seeded Cardinals lost to Teays Valley 4-0 in a Division I district semifinal May 14 at Pickerington Central to finish 20-4 overall.

"We made four errors and three of them came in one inning when they scored three," first-year coach Lindsey Shepherd said. "Our errors killed us. We overcame some obstacles, but we didn't overcome the errors, which is what great teams do."

Among the obstacles was a less than healthy lineup. Freshman Carson Baymiller (OF) missed school because of illness and could not play. Senior Zoe Myers (P/3B) was out sick and junior Abby Zofchak (C/3B) was injured in the second inning and had to exit the game.

Thomas lost to only two teams this season. The Cardinals fell to Teays Valley 4-1 on March 28 in their second game and lost twice to OCC-Central Division champion Central Crossing, 4-0 on April 16 and 5-0 on May 2.

Thomas went 11-2 in the OCC-Central to place second, behind Central Crossing (13-0) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (9-4), Hilliard Davidson (6-8), Dublin Coffman (4-9), Hilliard Darby (4-10), Upper Arlington (4-10) and Westland (2-10).

The Cardinals did not finish their second league game against Kilbourne, as the game was suspended because of bad weather May 4 with the teams tied at 1 in the fifth inning. Thomas beat the Wolves 1-0 on April 18.

"I was very satisfied because I came in not knowing what to expect," Shepherd said. "I knew quickly that we had some talent because everyone kept congratulating me on getting the job and being able to take over such good talent. I thought it might take time for the players to adjust to me and for me to get a feel of the team. It may have, but you wouldn't know it by our record."

The Cardinals lose four seniors in Myers, Kenzi Hannum (1B/3B), Kim Hoerauf (SS) and Emily Hofacre (2B).

Hoerauf batted leadoff and led the team in hitting (.470) and stolen bases (19). Myers batted fifth and had three home runs. Hofacre hit third in the lineup and Hannum was sixth. Myers was one of five Cardinals to hit a home run.

"I could not have asked for a better welcoming committee than the senior class," Shepherd said. "They communicated well with me and were receptive to my dominant coaching and personality style. They helped me make changes like making sure we sprint on and off the field, not mope around after a strikeout or bad play. Plus, they hustled 24/7 and were always positive. Those are the things I wanted to instill in the team."

Key players expected to return include Baymiller, Zofchak, juniors Megan McLaughlin (P), Rachel Garris (OF) and Tori Chirdon (C/utility player) and sophomore Anna Marie Boue (P).

Zofchak hit .408 with four home runs, McLaughlin batted .390 and Garris hit .384.

Myers, McLaughlin and Boue shared the pitching duties and combined to have a 0.98 ERA.

"Our pitching was outstanding and it should be again next year," Shepherd said. "We lose speed with Zoe Myers, but McLaughlin and Boue have a lot of movement on their pitches. We also add Anna Marie Boue's younger sister next year and she's pretty good as well."