The Whitehall-Yearling High School baseball team still hasn't found the consistency coach Bill Welsh was hoping to see.
Welsh said the Rams have shown glimpses of promise, but they were 2-7 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Grandview on April 10.
"We show flashes of doing really good things and then we revert back to not being able to make routine plays or not having good at-bats when we need them and that's what sets us back," Welsh said. "If we put it all together we could have a really competitive team. We're just trying to get to that point where we can do it consistently."
That inconsistency was evident in a doubleheader loss at Caledonia River Valley on April 8. Welsh said his team struggled offensively in a 5-1 loss in the first game, and then the defense and pitching let down Whitehall in a 12-11 loss in the second game.
River Valley scored four runs in the fourth inning to tie the second game at 9. After Whitehall scored two runs in the sixth, the Vikings answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
"We did a good job competing (in the second game)," Welsh said. "We just couldn't get it done defensively enough to finish out a win, but we played fairly well."
After losses to defending co-champions Columbus Academy (10-0 in five innings April 3) and Bexley (9-2 on April 5) to open MSL-Ohio play, the Rams won at London 6-3 on April 7.
Poor starts also have been a problem. After the first inning, Whitehall trailed Academy 7-0, Bexley 4-0 and River Valley 5-0 in the second game.
"Again, it's a matter of consistency and being able to get out of innings," Welsh said.
He said his team has received solid pitching at times, led by Marquel Key, Justin Peck, Kody West and Garin Barnes.
"I have been really pleased with our pitching," Welsh said. "All of them across the board have done a really good job, and the pitchers have done everything we need them to do to compete in ballgames. The defense has let them down a little bit, and everybody has been contributing offensively."
Welsh said that designated hitter Mitchell Webb has been a key contributor offensively.
"We can't dwell on what we haven't been able to do, but just learn from it and move forward and hopefully that will translate into some wins for us," Welsh said.
For West, who is one of five seniors, he's hoping the Rams can find that consistency and put together a winning streak.
"When we start communicating as a team and actually enjoy being there, we play spectacularly," he said. "It's just at times we get a little overwhelmed over things happening on the field. We get upset about things too much. ... I see it in this team that we can compete a lot better."
Softball coach Brian Anderson also was looking for consistency from his team, which was 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on April 10.
"We're a lot better than 2-5," Anderson said. "We've had a couple games where we just had a terrible first inning."
Whitehall trailed Bexley 7-0 after two innings April 5 and London 7-0 after one inning April 7.
The Rams lost to Bexley 9-6 and London 9-5.
Anderson said Whitehall played well in a 5-0 loss April 8 at Westerville North, a Division I program, but couldn't get a clutch hit.
"I'm very pleased with the way we played," Anderson said. "We just left too many girls on base. We had the bases loaded in the first inning, we had first and second and no outs a couple other times, and we just couldn't come with up with the big hit. There were a couple times we hit the ball hard in those situations, we just hit it right at people."
Anderson said the Rams have received strong play from catcher Kayna Wooten, shortstop Becca Maxstead, center fielder Trinity Johnson and left fielder Kaila Daugherty.
Through seven games, Wooten was hitting .579, followed by Maxstead (.500) and first baseman Taylor Ford (.409).