The Ready High School softball team needed a late rally to advance to a Division III district championship game May 19 against top-seeded North Union.
On May 16 in a district semifinal against fifth-seeded Utica at Pickerington North, the 11th-seeded Silver Knights trailed 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning.Videos •The Ready softball team records the final out in a 4-3 victory over Utica in a Division III district semifinal May 16. •Watch an interview with players Nikki Hawkins and Erica Ogden.
Kiley Gallagher singled with one out and moved to second on a single by Jessie Winslow. Then with two outs, Dani Hall singled to right to drive in Gallagher, and when the throw home got past the catcher, Winslow came in to tie it.
Ready scored in the 10th and won 4-3 to reach its first district final since 2013.
Sophomore Skylar Lafferty, who battled an upset stomach throughout the day, pitched a complete game.
"I felt like we weren't going to give up and we just supported each other," Lafferty said. "We played as a team."
The Knights were 11-10 before playing North Union. In 2013, Ready was seeded just 16th but beat the Wildcats 8-2 for a district title on its way to making a state semifinal.
If the Knights beat North Union again, they will play West Liberty-Salem or Reading in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at Wright State. The regional final is noon Saturday, May 27, at the same site.
The regional champion plays in a state semifinal June 2 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
Ready, which beat eighth-seeded Sparta Highland 12-5 on May 11 in a second-round game, tied Utica at 1 in the second when Nikki Hawkins tripled and scored on a double by Shelby Tracy.
The Redskins scored once in the fourth and fifth innings before Ready sent it to extra innings.
The Knights had runners on second and third in the ninth but failed to score.
Then in the 10th, Erica Ogden led off with a single and moved to third on a single by Hawkins. Tracy had a bloop single to load the bases.
With one out, Gallagher hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the go-ahead run.
"It was a pitcher's duel at the beginning and we just kept harping that one at-bat is not going to end it," coach Jen Goff said. "(Third baseman) Hannah (Bryan) made a good play at the end after bobbling one earlier and Erica had gone (hitless) but got a single in the last inning.
"It's exciting. I knew we had the potential to get here. We've got good athletes and it's a matter of just coming together."
Track teams battle
at district meet
The boys and girls track and field teams competed last week in the Division III, district 2 meet, which concluded May 20 with running finals at Watkins Memorial.
The top four finishers in each event advanced to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and Friday, May 26, at Fairfield Union, with the top four at that meet advancing to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
On May 16 at district, Lindsey Bair of the girls team advanced to regional by placing second in the long jump (16 feet, 7 inches), while Natalee Patel was sixth in the long jump (15-3) and Allison Poe finished sixth in the discus (89-6).
Matt Frye was seventh in the discus (106-0) for the boys team.
District running preliminaries and the 3,200 relay were held May 18.
All of tennis team
eligible to return
The boys tennis team is eligible to return its entire roster next season.
Sophomore Sandon Skuce played first singles most of the season for the Knights, who finished 1-11 overall and fifth (0-4) in the CCL behind St. Charles (4-0), Watterson (3-1), DeSales (2-2) and Hartley (1-3).
"(We had) lots of improvement from the new players," said coach Dan Skuce, who is Sandon's father.
Sophomores Connor Nagy and Dom Tokar were in their second season with the program.
Sandon Skuce, Nagy and junior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai each lost in the first round of a Division II sectional tournament May 11 at Columbus Academy.
In doubles, the teams of Tokar and sophomore Daniel Hamilton and sophomores Jarek Kolinski and Ricky Pittman each lost in the first round.
Ready beat Franklin Heights 3-0 on May 1 as Sandon Skuce, Nagy and Sithidouangleuthai all won their singles matches.