Ready High School softball coach Jen Goff has reminisced about her team's run to a 2013 Division III state semifinal more than once this season.
The similarities she has seen between her current team and the one from four years ago continued May 20.Videos •The Ready softball team records the final out of a 4-3 victory over Utica in a district semifinal. •The team then records the final out of a 3-2 win over North Union in a district final. •Watch an interview with softball players Nikki Hawkins and Erica Ogden. •Watch an interview with players Dani Hall and Skylar Lafferty.
Despite being the 11th seed, the Silver Knights edged top-seeded North Union 3-2 at Pickerington Central to win a district championship and advance to the regional tournament for the first time since 2013.
That season, Ready was seeded just 16th and beat fifth-seeded North Union 8-2 for a district title.
In addition to the 2013 team and this year's squad making unexpected postseason runs, two of Ready's key players in 2013 -- pitcher Julia Hall and outfielder Hailey Bryan -- have sisters on the current team.
Hall's sister is junior shortstop Dani Hall and Bryan's sister is freshman third baseman Hannah Bryan.
"From the beginning of the season until now, this team has reminded me of that team," Goff said. "There are so many things that are very similar."
Ready was hoping the similarities continued this week as well.
On May 24, the Knights played West Liberty-Salem in a regional semifinal at Wright State. The winner plays Springfield Northwestern or Kings Mills Kings in a regional final at noon Saturday, May 27, at the same site.
The regional champion plays Elyria Catholic, Massillon Tuslaw, Youngstown Mooney or Warren Champion in a state semifinal June 2 at Firestone Stadium in Akron. The state final is June 3 at the same site.
While the 2013 team finished just 15-16, Ready was 12-10 before playing West Liberty-Salem.
"At the beginning of the season, everybody said Bishop Ready didn't have a chance, but we knew we did the whole time," said Dani Hall, who has committed to Eastern Michigan. "This means the world to us."
Against North Union, Skylar Lafferty struck out eight to pick up the victory. Hall had an RBI single and scored a run, Erica Ogden hit a solo home run and Nikki Hawkins added a sacrifice fly.
Ready moved into the district final with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings over fifth-seeded Utica on May 16 at Pickerington North.
The Knights rallied from a 3-1 deficit, as Hall had an RBI single and Jessie Winslow scored the tying run.
In the 10th, Ogden scored on a sacrifice fly by Shelby Tracy.
"It's exciting," Goff said. "I knew we had the potential to get here. We've got good athletes and it's a matter of just coming together."
Foley, relays make
boys track regional
The boys track and field team had one individual and two relays advance to the Division III regional May 24 and Friday, May 26, at Fairfield Union.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
In the district 2 meet May 16, 18 and 20 at Watkins Memorial, where the top four in each event moved on, freshman Jack Foley took fourth in the 400 meters (53.03 seconds) and joined seniors Alex Burns and Erik Manning and junior John Riewe on the third-place 1,600 relay (3:39.18).
Also moving on was the fourth-place 800 relay (1:36.81) of Burns, Manning, Riewe and senior Patrick Jansen.
"I was trying to push myself to my limits and see what I could do," Foley said.
Ready scored 28 points to place sixth of 13 teams behind champion Grandview (186).
Burns was optimistic about how the team was running heading into the regional.
"Our (1,600 relay) has been our strength," he said. "I've been studying other districts and we seem to stack up pretty well."
The 3,200 relay of senior Ramon Rivera-Romero, junior Clay Cutteridge, sophomore Grant Cordle and freshman Kyle Caisaguano was fifth (10:10.41), and the 400 relay of Burns, Jansen, Rivera-Romero and sophomore Sam Hardenbergh was eighth (48.43).
Also scoring but coming up short of advancing to regional were Cordle in the 3,200 (seventh, 12:07.23) and freshman Matt Frye in the discus (seventh, 106 feet), 300 hurdles (seventh, 45.89) and 100 (eighth, 12.15).
Whitt, relays win
girls track titles
The girls track team also is competing in the Division III regional at Fairfield Union.
In the district 2 meet, the Knights scored 70 points to finish third of 15 teams behind Mount Gilead (108) and Grandview (94).
Capturing championships were sophomore Lauren Whitt in the 400 (58.6), the 1,600 relay of Whitt, senior Katie Perry, sophomore Brigitte Bowman and freshman Lindsey Bair (4:06.11) and the 3,200 relay of Bair, Perry, Whitt and freshman Sophia Hoersten (9:56.21).
"It was a pretty good (meet)," Whitt said. "There was nice weather with a little breeze and I was feeling good. I (ran a personal best) in the open 400, so I was happy about that."
Also advancing to regional were Hoersten in the 800 (second, 2:26.16), Bair in the long jump (second, 16-7) and 400 (second, 59.91) and Bowman in the 300 hurdles (fourth, 50.4).
"I think we deserve this because we've worked harder," Bowman said. "It's about whoever wants it at the end."
Also scoring but coming up short of advancing to regional were Bowman in the 100 hurdles (seventh, 18.24), Perry in the 800 (sixth, 2:34.4), junior Natalee Patel in the long jump (sixth, 15-3) and junior Allison Poe in the discus (sixth, 89-6).
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.