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 and 24.
Despite being the 11th seed, the Silver Knights edged top-seeded North Union 3-2 on May 20 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.
On May 24, the Knights beat West Liberty-Salem 4-2 in a regional semifinal at Wright State.
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 into this week.
The win over West Liberty-Salem advanced the Knights to a regional final May 27 against Springfield Northwestern at Wright State.
Nikki Hawkins went 3-for-4 and Skylar Lafferty gave up just four hits and one walk while throwing a complete game in the regional semifinal.
Ready also completed a double play when Kiley Gallagher caught a ball in left field and threw it into Hall, who threw home to catcher Shelby Tracy.
The regional champion plays Massillon Tuslaw or Warren Champion in a state semifinal Friday, June 2, at Firestone Stadium in Akron. The state final is Saturday, June 3, at the same site.
While the 2013 team finished just 15-16, Ready was 13-10 entering the regional final.
"At the beginning of the season, everybody said Bishop Ready didn't have a chance, but we knew we did the whole time," said Hall, who has committed to Eastern Michigan. "This means the world to us."
Against North Union, 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 Hawkins added a sacrifice fly.
"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 qualify for the Division III regional May 24 and 26 at Fairfield Union, where the top four finishers in each event advanced to the state meet Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 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).
Then on May 24 at regional, the 3,200 relay ran a program-record 9:40.45 to take second and advance to state.
"It was a pretty good (district 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).