The Delaware Hayes High School softball team reached a Division I district semifinal for the fifth season in a row.
Seeded 18th of 45 teams, the Pacers advanced to a semifinal by beating 17th-seeded Olentangy 6-1 in a second-round game May 10. Pinch-hitter Liaiha Slayton broke a 1-all tie with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.
The Pacers will play third-seeded Teays Valley on Monday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined, with the winner advancing to face fifth-seeded Mount Vernon or 14th-seeded Hilliard Darby in a district final Friday, May 19, or Saturday, May 20, at Pickerington Central.
Delaware lost to Mount Vernon 11-4 in the season opener March 27 and split with Darby in OCC-Cardinal Division play, winning 10-4 on April 3 and losing 1-0 on April 19. The Pacers have yet to play Teays Valley this season.
"We don't know much about Teays Valley individually this season, other than they continue to roll," coach Mark Thomas said. "They've been an exceptionally strong program for the past four or five years and they've built a nice tradition."
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 24 at Ohio State.
Delaware opened the postseason with an 18-0 win over 41st-seeded Westland in the first round May 8.
Against Olentangy, the game was tied at 1 when Thomas accepted a suggestion from assistant Dave Morgan to send Slayton to the plate.
"He mentioned it earlier in the game and I didn't use her, but he brought it up again and (Slayton) drove a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence," Thomas said. "I have to give (Morgan) all the credit on that one. I'm so happy for Slayton. It was a big moment."
The Pacers tacked on three runs in the seventh when junior shortstop Amaia Daniel hit a two-run double, advanced to third base on the throw to the plate and scored on Mallory Stonebraker's groundout.
Freshman pitcher Haley Osborne settled down after allowing a first-inning run. She allowed five hits, struck out three without a walk and retired 11 batters in a row from the second inning through the fifth.
"That was the best game Haley has pitched all year," Thomas said. "With a freshman pitching to get us to (a) district (semifinal), she showed a lot of resolve. She only had 63 pitches and I think (catcher) Bobbi Adams called a terrific game."
Against Westland, Daniel homered, singled and drove in four runs and Chloe Barton also homered. Adams went 4-for-4 with two RBI and Alex Armstrong was 3-for-3 with two RBI.
Season ends for
The baseball team fell just short in its quest for a winning season, as the Pacers lost to third-seeded Olentangy 5-0 in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 10 to finish 12-13.
The Pacers, who were seeded 32nd of 46 teams, got just two hits -- singles by Ben Yoakum and Tyler Brown -- off Braves pitcher Cameron Kaiser.
"It was a scoreless game until the fourth (inning) when an error gave (the Braves) an extra out and they scored twice," coach Ryan Montgomery said. "They were able to tack on a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. But we limited the damage, hung in there and never surrendered against a very talented team. I'm proud of the way we battled in the game and throughout the year.
"Our goal was to score early and shift the pressure on (Olentangy) since they were seeded third. We weren't able to do that, but our seniors wouldn't let us quit."
Delaware advanced to the second round by beating 42nd-seeded Columbus West 18-3 in the first round May 8.
Yoakum, Gabe Phillips, Mason W. Davis, Zach Price, Dominic Byers and Sam Midura each had two hits against the Cowboys and Byers and Brown both drove in three runs. Mason J. Davis was the winning pitcher.
Boys lacrosse team
preps for postseason
The boys lacrosse team was 10-6 overall after losing to Olentangy Liberty 17-5 on May 10 and before playing Shaker Heights on May 12.
The Pacers, who went 5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish second behind Dublin Jerome (6-0), will begin play in the Division I, Region 1 tournament Wednesday, May 17. They are seeded fifth of 15 teams and will play host to 11th-seeded Toledo St. John's in the first round, with the winner playing at fourth-seeded Medina or 12th-seeded Sylvania Northview in a regional quarterfinal Saturday, May 20.
That winner advances to a regional semifinal May 24.
Cole Livermore scored two goals against Liberty.
Girls lacrosse team
preps for Liberty
The girls lacrosse team fell short in its bid to snap its losing streak, falling 14-13 to visiting Chillicothe on May 9 for its fourth consecutive loss.
The Pacers were 3-12 before closing the regular season at Big Walnut on May 12.
Seeded 14th of 15 teams, Delaware will open the Division I, Region 1 tournament Tuesday, May 16, at third-seeded Liberty. The winner plays host to sixth-seeded Olentangy Orange or ninth-seeded Toledo Notre Dame in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 19.
That winner advances to a regional semifinal May 23.
Track teams prep
for district meet
The track and field teams had their final tune-ups for the Division I, district 3 meet by competing in the OCC-Cardinal meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman.
The district 3 meet begins Wednesday, May 17, with field events at Hilliard Darby. Preliminaries for the running events will be held Thursday, May 18, with finals for the running events set for Saturday, May 20.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North.
Boys tennis team
The boys tennis team competed in a Division I sectional May 11 and 13 at Reynoldsburg.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the district tournament Thursday, May 18, at Hilliard Davidson and Saturday, May 20, at Upper Arlington.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles at district advance to the state tournament May 26 and 27 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Season winding down
for volleyball team
The boys volleyball team lost to Mount Vernon 25-5, 25-7, 25-23 on May 9 to fall to 5-10 overall before playing Watterson on May 11.
The Pacers are 2-9 in the OCC-Cardinal and will close the regular season Tuesday, May 16, with a league match at Jerome.
Morgan resigns as
girls basketball coach
Jim Morgan has stepped down after two seasons as girls basketball coach.
Morgan, who compiled a 15-31 record with the Pacers, resigned to take the same position at Westerville Central.
"We're a little disappointed because when you make a selection, you're hoping to get someone who will spend more than two years in the program," athletics director Steve Glesenkamp said. "You want that continuity with the program. He did a good job and we were very happy with him.
"He had taken baby steps and the program is headed in the right direction. We're in a better position now than when he took over two years ago. Unfortunately, he's taking some assistants with him."
Delaware went 10-13 last season after finishing 5-18 in 2015-16.