Makayla Barber's success in softball and bowling at Whitehall-Yearling High School might give her the opportunity to be a two-sport athlete at the collegiate level.

Barber, who capped a four-year career with the girls bowling team in the Division I state tournament March 10, has helped the softball team contend for an MSL-Ohio Division title this spring.

Barber has shown interest in playing both sports in college and has been in contact with coaches at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima.

"When I was a freshman, I always thought my go-to sport was going to be softball and I would play college ball and try to go pro after, but as I get older I thought bowling was a lot less harmful on my shoulder," Barber said. "It's my senior year and I don't want to be done. I want to go to the next level, so I'm trying to figure out if I should do both at the same time."

Barber had little time to rest following the bowling season, joining the softball team for practice March 12.

"Going straight into softball season is better for me because if I'm taking a break I'm going to get lazy and I don't really like being lazy," she said.

The Rams were 4-5 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on April 16.

Entering that game, Barber was 3-1 with a 5.04 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 25 innings. She also has been a key contributor at the plate, hitting .300 with two doubles, a home run and 11 RBI as the cleanup batter. She entered the week with 13 career home runs.

Barber has been battling a sore shoulder and had missed two games entering this week. X-rays were negative, but her doctor was considering an MRI if the soreness persists.

"I definitely think I'll have to deal with this for the rest of the season," Barber said. "It hasn't been as bad as in past years. I can play through the pain, but a couple weeks ago I couldn't do it."

With Barber in the circle, Whitehall opened a 10-1 lead at Hartley on April 13 and led 10-6 in the fourth inning when Barber was relieved by sophomore Kaila Daugherty. The Hawks rallied for a 14-13 win, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the seventh, capped by Tori Garey's walk-off three-run home run.

"Makayla is very important," coach Brian Anderson said. "She's a senior, a four-year starter and she's played a lot of travel ball, so she's been in a lot of situations in the circle. She knows how to handle them and does a great job, but we're taking it real easy on the shoulder."

Last season, Barber batted .325 with six homers and 23 RBI and was 4-6 in the circle. She was named second-team all-league.

As a sophomore, she hit .382 with 14 doubles, two home runs and 24 RBI and was 7-8 with 45 strikeouts in 92 innings. She was honorable mention all-district and all-league.

As a freshman, Barber was honorable mention all-district and all-league after she led the Rams in home runs (4) and RBI (23) and was 5-7 with one save.

In bowling, Barber helped the Rams earn four consecutive state berths, capped by finishing ninth of 16 teams this season. She tied for 21st at state and finished second overall among area bowlers with a 590 three-game series.

Bowling and softball teammate Madison Stiffler was fourth overall with a 660. Stiffler will bowl at Wright State.

While Barber is looking forward to possibly competing in two sports in college, she stressed that academics come first.

"My grades are good," she said. "It's all about the student-athlete. Student comes before the athlete and that's the biggest thing that's going to take you where you're going in life. Your grades come before anything."

The softball team is receiving a balanced effort in its pursuit of a league title.

Stiffler, who opted not to play last season to concentrate on bowling, entered the week hitting .516 with six doubles. She is Barber's battery mate behind the plate.

Senior Trinity Johnson was hitting .455 with six doubles, a triple, four home runs, 15 RBI and 15 runs. She has 12 career home runs.

"Makayla is a fantastic kid," Anderson said. "That whole senior class -- we have seven of them -- that whole group is a perfect package: great athletes, great kids, great students. Makayla is a huge part of that."

Baseball team seeking first win

The baseball team was 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on April 16.

The Rams lost at Madison Plains 6-5 on April 14 as Jace Peck had two hits and an RBI and Garin Barnes added a hit and two RBI.

Coach Bill Welsh said Kadin Pauley threw five-plus solid innings after entering the game in relief of Drevon Pickney in the first.

Track teams compete at Bexley

The boys and girls track and field teams competed in the Russ Owen Bexley Relays on April 14.

The boys finished third (79 points) of 10 teams behind champion St. Charles (93). The Rams won the shuttle hurdles (1 minute, 1.9 seconds) and shot put (89 feet, 4 inches) relays.

The girls finished sixth (43) of 10 teams behind champion Watterson (99).

Whitehall won the discus relay (159-2).

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling baseball, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:

BASEBALL

April 21 -- At Hamilton Township (DH)

*April 23 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

*April 25 -- At Worthington Christian

SOFTBALL

April 19 -- At Hamilton Township

April 21 -- At Lancaster with Olentangy Orange in Battle for the Cure

*April 23 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

*April 25 -- At Worthington Christian

BOYS TENNIS

April 19 -- At Beechcroft

*April 25 -- At London

TRACK & FIELD

April 20 -- Pat McMillan Invitational at home

April 24 -- At Columbus School for Girls with Amanda-Clearcreek, Cristo Rey and Madison Christian

*League contest