Unfortunately for the Bexley High School girls lacrosse team, the scenario and the outcome were all too familiar.

The visiting Lions trailed early then came up just short against top-seeded DeSales on May 24, losing 14-13 in a Division II, Region 7 semifinal.

In the first meeting between the teams this season, a Central Independent League game May 4, Bexley fell behind early and lost 11-6.

Although not pleased with losing the rematch, coach Gillian Thomson was happy with how the fourth-seeded Lions pushed the Stallions to the limit.

“It was a phenomenal effort, and they played their hearts out,” said Thomson, whose team finished 12-5. “It was an exciting game and I could not be more proud of the girls, especially the seniors.”

The Lions cut an early 6-0 deficit to 8-3 before halftime. They tied the game at 10 with 14 minutes, 19 seconds to play, but the Stallions were able to pull out the victory.

“We had a slow start in both games (against DeSales) and we were down 6-0 quickly both times, but we never really gave up,” senior midfielder Olivia Anderson said. “No one was worried. We had nothing to lose at that point. We had to keep our heads back in the game and play as well as we could.

“When you get down 6-0, your mindset can go two ways – give up or keep fighting. We knew we had the potential to come back, and we all worked together so well. We knew the game wasn’t over.”

Courtney Kondracke scored four goals to lead Bexley, and Ashley Bolon had three goals and two assists. Anderson, Kate Bridge and Grace Maley all had two goals, and goalkeeper Tessa Ziegler had six saves.

“I think we were a different team than we were the first time we played,” Maley said. “We worked so hard in practice and knew what we were going to do coming into the game.”

Track athletes
compete at regional

The boys and girls track and field teams competed in the Division II regional May 25 and 27 at Lexington, with the top four finishers in each event advancing to state Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, at Ohio State.

On May 25, the girls 3,200-meter relay of Molly Fagin, Julia Cohn, Abbie Sapp and Kayla Steinke finished eighth in 9 minutes, 53.45 seconds, and the boys 3,200 relay of Alexander Hirsch, Grant Halliday, Grant Heilman and Peter Hayden was ninth in 8:09.55.

Also competing at regional for the girls were Lucy Powers in the long jump, Fagin and Cohn in the 1,600 and 3,200, Libby Brown in the 300 hurdles, the 800 relay of Brown, Maggie Bunker, Margaux Harding and Powers and the 400 relay of Bunker, Leanna Leggett, Harding and Powers.

Also competing for the boys were Hayden in the 3,200, Wade Randle in the shot put and the 400 relay of Alexander Garside, Henry Bredemeier, Charles McFadden and Simon Kroos.

Boys tennis team
competes at state

Mark Nudelman and Leo Schottenstein played doubles for the boys tennis team in the Division II state tournament May 26 and 27 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

Then on May 28, the Lions competed in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state team tournament at Reynoldsburg. They played Toledo Ottawa Hills in a semifinal, with the winner meeting Cincinnati Country Day or Gates Mills Hawken in the final.

It was their first trip to the OTCA state tournament since 2012.

Baseball team enjoys
another strong season

The baseball team won its fourth consecutive league title, but it could not get past top-seeded Jonathan Alder in a Division II district semifinal.

The fifth-seeded Lions finished 20-5 overall after losing to the fourth-ranked Pioneers 2-1 on May 15 at Hilliard Darby.

After a first-round bye, Bexley defeated ninth-seeded Heath 8-7 in 12 innings in a second-round home game that began May 11 and concluded May 12.

It was the first time since 1941-44 that the program won four consecutive league titles.

The Lions won the MSL-Ohio Division at 10-1, ahead of West Jefferson (9-3), Columbus Academy (8-3), Worthington Christian (6-6), Grandview (3-9), London (3-9) and Whitehall (2-10).

“We believed in each other and came every day with the mindset that we would give 100 percent to get better,” second-year coach Andrew Orlins said.

“We also focused heavily on improving our defense. Defense was a weakness of last year’s team, but this year we broke an all-time (program) record with a .957 fielding percentage.”

Outfielder Sean Early (.414 batting average, 18 RBI, team-high 33 runs, team-high 9 doubles, 9 stolen bases) and infielder Alex Shapiro (.318, team-high 22 RBI, 16 runs) led a 10-player senior class. Both were second-team all-district and first-team all-league.

“I thought we had a good run with a strong group of guys who accomplished a lot,” Early said. “Winning four league titles in a row is something that doesn’t happen often. It’s great to be a part of that.”

Seniors Tommy Bruning (P/OF; .273, 19 RBI, 17 runs; 3-1, 2.78 ERA, 27 2/3 innings), Andrew Irwin (P/OF; .315, 7 RBI, 15 runs; 3-1, 2.10 ERA, 16 2/3 innings) and Hank Snowdon (P/1B; .316, 13 RBI, 14 runs; 4-1, 4.16 ERA, 36 innings) were second-team all-league, and classmates Kyle Benson (P/1B/OF; .328, 16 runs, 14 RBI; 6-2, 2.10 ERA, 50 innings) and Nick De La Cruz (INF; .266, 10 RBI, 13 runs) were honorable mention all-league.

“The seniors meant a great deal to this program,” Orlins said. “They were part of four straight (league) titles and did a great job of mentoring the younger guys.”

Expected to lead the returnees are junior catcher Matt Shapiro and sophomore shortstop Ryan Callahan.

Callahan (honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league) led the Lions in batting average (.429), triples (4) and stolen bases (15), and also had 21 RBI and 31 runs. Shapiro (first-team all-league) batted .365 with 11 RBI and 14 runs.

Also expected to contribute next season are juniors Michael Johnson (1B) and Tyler Mitchell (INF; .289, 12 RBI, 17 runs) and sophomores Connor Moriarty (P; 2-0, 2 saves, 2.74 ERA, 15 1/3 innings) and Anthony Welsh (INF).

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen