Tatum Wise said she has been reminded "constantly" this season about the value of mental toughness for the Hartley High School softball team.
After the Hawks won 19 games a year ago, they have just one other senior in addition to Wise this spring and won only three regular-season games.
That's why Hartley's 10-2 win May 11 at London in the second round of the Division II district tournament meant so much to Wise and her teammates.
"I'd be lying if I said it's been easy being one of two seniors (along with utility player Abbi Vina) on a team with mostly freshmen and sophomores," Wise said. "You have to remain calm, cool and collected.
"This win was very timely. In the end, all that matters is how you perform in the tournament, so starting out strong was key. We needed something to lift our spirits up."
Wise, who has been the team's No. 1 pitcher since her freshman year when Hartley was a district runner-up, led the way offensively as well as in the circle against 12th-seeded London.
The 13th-seeded Hawks, who had a first-round bye, were 4-20 before playing top-seeded Lakewood in a district semifinal May 16 at Pickerington Central. Lakewood is the defending state champion and was ranked No. 1 in the final state poll.
The Hartley-Lakewood winner plays fourth-seeded Big Walnut or sixth-seeded Bloom-Carroll in a district final Friday, May 19, or Saturday, May 20, at Central.
The district champion plays in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 24, at Central. The regional final is May 27 at the same site.
Wise, who has committed to Shawnee State, doubled in three runs during a four-run second inning against London. She also struck out 11 while giving up just six hits.
Also for the Hawks, Sophia Cegledy, Brittany Golden, Audrey Smith and Abby Thompson all had two hits.
"The key was to keep playing," coach Joe Plageman said. "Our record doesn't really matter at this point."
Girls track team
takes second in CCL
Paced by three winning relays, the girls track and field team scored 125 points to earn a runner-up finish in the CCL meet held May 8 and 10, behind Watterson (159) and ahead of DeSales (89.5), host Columbus School for Girls (73.5) and Ready (45).
The strong performance by the sprint corps came despite the absence of senior London Ladd, who was out with an illness.
Winning were the 400-meter relay (50.0 seconds) of seniors Kacey Ragland and Taneyza Robinson, junior Amaiah Jones and freshman Bailey Smith, the 800 relay (1:46.06) of Ragland, Jones, senior Katie Page and junior Liana Burk and the 1,600 relay (4:05.4) of Jones, Ragland, Robinson and senior Gana Lopez.
"We have district (this) week so hopefully we can pull it together," Jones said.
The Hawks are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet that began May 16 with field events and May 17 with running preliminaries and will be completed Saturday, May 20, with running finals at Hilliard Darby.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North.
Also in the CCL meet, senior Maggie Farrell won the 300 hurdles (46.89) and the long jump (15 feet, 10 inches) and was runner-up in the 100 hurdles (16.48), Lopez won the 400 (58.79) and was second in the 100 (12.34), Page was runner-up in the 200 (25.45), Robinson took third in the 100 (12.68) and fourth in the 200 (25.45) and senior Arianna McPheters was runner-up in the shot put (31-5).
"The kids are giving me what they're supposed to," coach Reggie Osborne said. "We were a little down with London Ladd and (freshman sprinter) Abby Rhodes out sick, but we had girls like Liana Burk step up and do well."
Boys track team
competing in district
The boys track team is competing in the Division II district meet, which began with field events May 16 and continues Thursday, May 18, with running preliminaries and running finals Saturday, May 20, at Westerville South.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 25 and 27 at Lexington.
In the CCL meet, the Hawks scored 56 points to place behind St. Charles (173), DeSales (153) and Watterson (89) and ahead of Ready (17).
Capturing a title was the 1,600 relay (3:28.16) of senior Gabriel Levert, juniors Ben Dankow and Chase Rawlins and sophomore Patrick Scurlock.
Dankow took second in the long jump (19-6) and fifth in the 800 (2:02.48), Scurlock was third in 110 hurdles (16.21) and fifth in the 400 (52.33), Rawlins was fourth in the 800 (1:59.84) and fourth in high jump (5-8), freshman Miles Fleming took fourth in 100 (11.54) and junior Patrick Gilliland was fourth in the shot put (37-1/2).
Girls lacrosse team
to open tourney play
The sixth-seeded girls lacrosse team plays host to 11th-seeded Chillicothe on Thursday, May 18, in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament.
The winner plays at third-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or 14th-seeded Dayton Chaminade Julienne in a regional quarterfinal Saturday, May 20, with the winner to play at second-seeded Columbus Academy, seventh-seeded Middletown Fenwick, 10th-seeded Wellington or 15th-seeded Dayton Miami Valley in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 24.
The regional final is May 27 at a site to be announced.
Hartley fell to 6-9-1 overall after losing to Olentangy 14-13 on May 12. The Hawks beat CSG 12-10 on May 11 to tie the Unicorns for fifth (3-4) in the Central Independent League as DeSales (7-0) won the title.
Tennis season ends
at sectional tourney
The boys tennis team's season ended in a Division II sectional May 8 at CSG.
Junior Collin Bender, who played first singles all season, was seeded third but lost to Bexley sophomore Jordan Koppes 6-2, 6-2 in a quarterfinal.
Bender was a district qualifier a year ago.
"Bexley has been a traditional tennis power, so we figured it would be tough getting to district," coach Heath Goolsby said. "(Bender) still has one more year to perfect his game, and I think he's got a shot to not only get seeded but to get to district next year."
Also in singles, senior Connor Liden lost to Granville senior John Purnode 6-0, 6-0 and senior Alex Dawes defaulted against Worthington Christian freshman Peter Tsibouris in second-round matches.
In doubles, the teams of seniors Nick Dawes and Tony Scali and seniors Jesse Krieger and Ryan Sharrett lost in first-round matches.
Hartley, which loses eight seniors, went 5-11 overall and 1-3 in the CCL to place fourth behind St. Charles (4-0), Watterson (3-1) and DeSales (2-2) and ahead of Ready (0-4).
Junior Max Sauer and freshman Andrew Croswell, who both played mostly junior varsity matches, could join Bender on varsity next season.
"Last year, eight of our wins were by 3-2 scores, and this year we only went 1-4 in 3-2 matches," Goolsby said. "We're going to have to rely heavily on some new players next year."
excited for future
The baseball team gave up six runs in the second inning and lost at eighth-seeded Johnstown 8-0 on May 11 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.
The Hawks, who opened the postseason by beating 14th-seeded London 5-4 on May 9, were seeded 11th and finished 12-12 overall. They lose a 10-member senior class that was led by Jack Baughman (P/3B), Matt Downing (DH/1B/P), Andrew Heinmiller (3B/RF/C) and Jake Ruby (CF).
Hartley tied DeSales for third in the CCL at 4-4, behind co-champions Watterson and St. Charles (6-2) and ahead of Ready (0-8).
Coach Chris Sawyer is excited about a group of expected returnees that includes juniors Luke Rawlins (1B) and Anthony Whitney (OF), sophomores Phillip Cole (OF/2B), Jacob Culbertson (P) and Thomas Mayhan (SS) and freshman Mason Sawyer (C).
Ruby, who has committed to Ohio State, hit .478 with 13 RBI, 27 runs and 15 stolen bases. He stole a combined 48 bases while being thrown out just twice over the last two seasons.
Rawlins batted .423 with 13 RBI, Sawyer hit .338 with 11 RBI and Cole had 12 RBI, 17 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.
Baughman was the team's top pitcher, going 3-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 40 innings. Culbertson was 2-3, senior Luke Wagenbrenner was 2-2 with two saves and senior Conor Collins went 3-0.
"The whole senior class did a good job setting the bar for how to work," coach Sawyer said. "We had a lot of positive things come out of the season. We were injured early, but a lot of guys got to play varsity for the first time, so that part's encouraging."