The Grove City Christian School baseball team enters the Division IV district tournament looking to secure a winning season.
The eighth-seeded Eagles, who were 9-9 overall before playing Wellington on May 9 in a regular-season contest, play host to ninth-seeded Millersport in the second round Thursday, May 11. Both teams had a first-round bye.
"When we come prepared, mentally focused and ready, we're a really hard team to beat," coach A.J. McCampbell said. "It just depends on the mindset that we come in with when we actually come ready to play."
In MSL-Cardinal Division play, the Eagles defeated Millersport 5-4 in a game that was suspended April 3 because of bad weather and completed April 24 before their 14-4, five-inning loss in the regularly scheduled contest.
The second-round winner plays second-seeded East Knox or 16th-seeded Gahanna Christian in a semifinal Tuesday, May 16, at a neutral site to be determined, and that winner plays in a district final May 18 at a neutral site to be determined.
Grove City Christian went 6-4 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish third behind Berne Union (9-1) and Fisher Catholic (7-3).
The Eagles handed Berne Union its lone league loss, 2-1 on May 2, as Dane Long turned in a complete-game effort to earn the win.
Through 18 games, Alex Moore had a team-best .333 batting average and 14 RBI. Jake Spegal led in runs with 16.
Long was 4-4 with a 2.48 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 14 walks in 36 2/3 innings, and Spegal was 3-1 with a 4.20 ERA, 26 strikeouts and 16 walks in 21 2/3 innings.
Despite a disappointing record, softball coach Elysse Rathbone said her team showed progress during the regular season.
The 14th-seeded Eagles were 2-10 overall before playing third-seeded Granville Christian in the first round of the Division IV district tournament May 9.
The winner plays fourth-seeded East Knox or seventh-seeded Millersport in the second round Thursday, May 11, at the home of the better seed, with that winner playing second-seeded Berne Union, eighth-seeded Fairfield Christian, 10th-seeded Delaware Christian or 11th-seeded Fisher Catholic in a semifinal Monday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final is May 19 or 20 at Pickerington Central.
"Obviously, we would have liked more wins, but we did a lot of growing this season, especially for being my first year there," Rathbone said. "I'm very pleased with the way the girls responded to instruction."
Rathbone said key players have included senior catcher Ally Hatfield, junior pitcher Alyssa Collins and sophomore utility player Megan McGrath.
The Eagles went 2-8 in the MSL-Cardinal.
"We had a rough time getting games in," Rathbone said. "A lot of our non-conference weekend doubleheaders were canceled due to rain."
Track teams competing
in MSL-Cardinal meet
The boys and girls track and field teams are competing in the MSL-Cardinal meet, which began May 9 and concludes Friday, May 12, at Millersport.
Last season, the boys finished sixth (41 points) behind champion Berne Union (137) and the girls finished fourth (95) behind champion Fairfield Christian (140).
The teams will compete in the Division III district meet Tuesday, May 16, May 18 and May 20 at Watkins Memorial. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 24 and 26 at Fairfield Union.