The Delaware Hayes High School softball team opened the season 6-0 on its spring break trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida.
But in their first game back in Ohio, the Pacers surrendered a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning and fell to visiting Hilliard Bradley 10-5 on April 10 in their OCC-Cardinal Division opener.
The Jaguars, the defending league champions who also won a Division I district title last season, scored eight runs in the sixth.
"That hurts, but Bradley is a very good team that took advantage of some of our errors and mental mistakes," coach Mark Thomas said. "They went to regionals last year and have everyone back and for five innings, we showed what we can do.
"The key is how we react to that now. We've got to get better with timely hits and (pitcher) Haley Osborne has to stay down in the zone and let the defense do its job and field ground balls."
Delaware bounced back by beating host Worthington Kilbourne 10-3 on April 11 to improve to 7-1 overall and 1-1 in the league. Amaia Daniel was 5-for-5, hitting for the cycle with two home runs and four RBI, while Alex Armstrong was 4-for-4 and Laiha Slayton was 2-for-3.
Osborne allowed five hits and struck out 11.
"We know we made some mistakes against Bradley," Thomas said. "We hit the ball well, but we left the bases loaded and gave away some opportunities when we didn't get timely hits. We got timely hits in Florida. All of our starters came back batting .400 or better against some very good competition."
Against Bradley, Daniel and Mallory Stonebraker had RBI singles in a three-run first inning and Barton added a sacrifice fly in the third for a 4-0 lead. Stonebraker's solo home run in the fifth made it 5-1. All of Delaware's starters had at least one hit, with Lexi Mattix and Armstrong joining Stonebraker with two apiece.
"It was our first (league) game against the defending champion and we knew we had to play seven strong innings to win and we only played about 4 1/2 innings of good softball," Thomas said. "The good news is that Bradley is a great team that's going to win a lot of games and we were right there."
Through seven games, Daniel was batting .591 and Chloe Barton was batting .560. Bobbi Adams had two home runs.
"Obviously, Amaia is seeing the ball well right now and is a strong shortstop," Thomas said. "... Chloe is playing at a very high level right now at the plate and at third base. I am very proud of her and hope she continues to shine all season."
Boys volleyball team working on basics
Despite returning five players, the boys volleyball team remains a young squad.
"Our goals are to just continue to build up the program by working on fundamentals and volleyball IQ," third-year coach Don Burroughs said after his team fell to 1-5 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Cardinal with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 loss to host Kilbourne on April 10.
"Our guys are battling hard and working hard. We only have but a few guys who played volleyball prior to last year."
The returnees are seniors Gabe Haferman, Joe Strubler and A.J. Vasek, junior Brennan Tucker and sophomore Colin Ashworth.
Newcomers are senior Anthony Matus, juniors Nino Santarelli and Evan Tarnawsky and freshmen Michael Trippier and James Vasek.
Haferman is a setter and the rest of the players usually play full rotations, according to Burroughs.
The Pacers finished 5-13 overall last season after going 1-15 in 2016, but lost a few key pieces in 2017 graduates Jacob Queen and Cameron Rathurn. Delaware finished 2-10 in the league a year ago to place sixth behind champion Hilliard Darby (12-0), which eliminated the Pacers 25-8, 25-14, 25-10 in the first round of the Division I East Region tournament en route to finishing as state runner-up.
The Pacers opened the season March 27 by losing to visiting Darby 25-17, 25-12, 25-13. They then defeated Northland 25-19, 25-12, 25-14 on March 29 before league losses at Dublin Scioto (25-23, 25-15, 25-16) on April 3, at Thomas Worthington (25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20) on April 5, at home against Bradley (25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-19) on April 9 and at Kilbourne.
Delaware played a league match April 12 at Dublin Jerome.
Baseball team gets first league victory
The baseball team defeated host Thomas Worthington 13-7 on April 11 for its first league victory of the season.
Zach Price was 2-for-3 with a home run and drove in four runs for the Pacers, who improved to 3-4 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Alex Kelly, Zach Miller, Cole Barton and Isaiah Moore also had two hits apiece for Delaware, which totaled 13 hits.
Jason Cross went the distance on the mound, allowing six hits and one earned run.
Delaware had lost four games in a row before beating the Cardinals, falling to Darby 10-0 on April 2 and 4-3 on April 5 and Scioto 11-1 on April 6 and 8-2 on April 10.
Boys lacrosse team struggling of late
The boys lacrosse team has reached the midway point of the regular season.
The Pacers were 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing at Darby on April 12. They entered the contest on a two-game losing streak and had lost four of five games before facing the Panthers after opening 2-1.
Delaware lost to host Jerome 13-9 on April 10 after losing 12-9 to visiting Hartland (Michigan) on April 7.
The lone win during that five-game stretch came against Thomas Worthington, 12-7 on April 5.
Against Hartland, Andrew Lyon scored four goals and Blake Eiland scored three, while Chase McGarry made 11 saves.
*March 27 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
March 29 -- vs. Northland
*April 3 -- at Dublin Scioto
*April 5 -- at Thomas Worthington
*April 9 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*April 10 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
*April 12 -- at Dublin Jerome
April 16 -- at Westerville Central
*April 19 -- at Hilliard Darby
*April 23 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
*April 24 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*April 26 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*May 1 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*May 3 -- vs. Dublin Jerome
May 10 -- at Westerville South
Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes baseball, softball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys tennis and track & field teams:
*April 16 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
*April 18 -- At Bradley
*April 19 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
*April 20 -- At Worthington Kilbourne
April 16 -- At Olentangy Orange
April 17 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*April 18 -- At Hilliard Darby
*April 19 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*April 17 -- Home vs. Kilbourne
April 21 -- Home vs. New Albany
*April 17 -- At Kilbourne
April 21 -- Hinsdale (Ill.) Central and Stow-Munroe Falls in Hannigan-Galipault Tournament at Thomas
April 16 -- Home vs. Marysville
*April 17 -- At Dublin Jerome
April 18 -- Hartley at Wolfe Park
April 21 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament
TRACK & FIELD
April 17 -- At Marysville
April 20 -- Wildcat Invitational at Westerville South