The Grove City Christian School baseball team received a dominating performance from senior pitcher Dane Long in advancing to a Division IV district semifinal.
Long turned in a complete-game effort and helped his cause at the plate in leading the Eagles to a 3-0 win over ninth-seeded Millersport in a second-round game May 11 at home.
Long allowed just one hit, a single in the fifth inning, struck out 14 and walked four. He added an RBI single in a three-run first inning.
"We jumped out early and played a lot of defense," coach A.J. McCampbell said. "There's nothing wrong with that. ... You expect a performance like that from Dane. It's what you hope for from a senior and a four-year starter to take that role on."
The eighth-seeded Eagles played second-seeded East Knox in a semifinal May 16, with the winner advancing to play fourth-seeded Newark Catholic or sixth-seeded Cardington in a district final Thursday, May 18, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district champion plays Cincinnati Miami Valley Christian Academy, Hamilton New Miami, Middletown Christian or Lewisburg Tri-County North in a regional semifinal May 25 at Carleton Davidson Stadium in Springfield.
The regional final is May 26 in Springfield.
Track and field teams
competing at district
The boys and girls track and field teams are competing in the Division III, district 2 meet this week at Watkins Memorial.
The meet began May 16, continues Thursday, May 18, and concludes Saturday, May 20. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Fairfield Union.
The Eagles prepared for the postseason by competing in the MSL-Cardinal Division meet May 9 and 12 at Millersport.
Calista Manns won the 100-meter hurdles (15.17 seconds), 300 hurdles (49.57), 100 (12.76) and 200 (25.92) as the girls team finished third (89 points) behind Fairfield Christian (123) and Fisher Catholic (123) and ahead of Berne Union (84), Millersport (64) and Harvest Prep (15).
Morgan Iverson won the pole vault (9 feet, 6 inches).
Winston Linville was second in the pole vault (11-0) to lead the boys team, which finished sixth (20.33) behind Fairfield Christian (135.33), Fisher Catholic and Berne Union (both 114), Millersport (70) and Harvest Prep (68.33).
The softball team finished 2-13 overall under first-year coach Elysse Rathbone.
The 14th-seeded Eagles lost at third-seeded Granville Christian 11-0 in five innings in the first round of the Division IV district tournament May 9.
"It was a tough loss, but I am proud of the girls and the way they handled the season," Rathbone said.
Grove City Christian went 2-8 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish fifth behind Berne Union (10-0), Fairfield Christian (7-3), Millersport (6-4) and Fisher Catholic (5-5) and ahead of Harvest Prep (0-10).
The Eagles lose three players to graduation in Leah Baker (SS), Angelina Gibson (OF) and Ally Hatfield (C/1B).
Players eligible to return include juniors Alissa Collins (P/utility) and Paris Haga (INF), sophomores Morgan McGrath (utility) and Cheyanne Pierce (INF) and freshmen Odette Espinosa (INF/OF), Gabriella Gonzalez (OF), Emma Howard (1B/OF) and Damaris Vanecko (INF).
"I would certainly hope for more wins next year, but I cannot say enough good things about the players this year," Rathbone said. "They handled all of the changes and hardships with grace and kept their heads held high. I know it is not easy as a player to lose the greater portion of your season, but I can only hope they are buying into the program I am trying to build."