Whitehall-Yearling High School softball coach Brian Anderson wasn't too concerned about his team's slow start.

Whitehall-Yearling High School softball coach Brian Anderson wasn't too concerned about his team's slow start.

Anderson helped devise a schedule to challenge the Rams early in the season, preparing them for MSL-Ohio Division play and what he hopes is a long postseason run.

The Rams were 1-5 overall and 1-0 in the league before playing Grandview on April 12.

"I wasn't disappointed with the 0-5 start," Anderson said after his team's 10-9 win over Bexley on April 7. "I loaded up our schedule pretty strong on the front end even going back to our scrimmages playing a few (Division I) schools like Groveport, Olentangy Liberty and Mount Vernon and a couple good (Division II) teams like Heath and Hartley, and we really didn't play that badly."

The early losses included an 8-2 setback at Hartley on March 30.

Hartley returns the majority of its team that went 22-7 last season and again is expected to be among the top Division II programs in the area.

The Rams lost at home to Mount Vernon 15-1 in five innings March 28.

Like most teams, bad weather has affected the Rams' schedule, as they had games postponed against Dublin Scioto on March 31 and Dublin Coffman on April 1. Anderson, whose team competes in the Division II postseason, was hoping to use those games against Division I programs to further challenge his players.

Whitehall's league game against London on April 8 was postponed and will be played Thursday, April 14.

Anderson said while most contests in the area were postponed April 7 because of bad weather, his team's game was played because Bexley has a turf field.

The Rams led 8-2 in the third inning before holding off a late Bexley comeback, as the Lions scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh.

"Everybody was in good spirits (and) very happy," Anderson said.

"Any time you can win a league game, any time you can beat your rival, it's a good thing."

Anderson should receive a good indication of his team's progress when it plays host to Madison Plains on Monday, April 18. Last season, Madison Plains (10-2) finished second in the MSL-Ohio behind West Jefferson (11-1).

Whitehall played West Jefferson on April 13.

Through six games, senior Kenedi Neale led the Rams with a .600 batting average.

"I think we can turn this around," Neale said.

"We got a lot of energy going (against Bexley) and a lot of emotional connections during the game. We can turn it up and get back to where we were."

Brooklyn Rayburn was hitting .435, followed by Madison Stiffler (.316).

Anderson was confident sophomore pitcher Makayla Barber would improve on her 1-4 record and 7.08 ERA through six games.

"Through the scrimmages and those first five games, we were challenged by some very good teams and hopefully that has prepared us well for league play," Anderson said.

Baseball team looking to be more consistent

Baseball coach Bill Welsh said his team is looking to play with more consistency.

The Rams were 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grandview on April 11.

Whitehall lost by run rule in four of the losses.

Before playing Grandview, the Rams' most competitive game was a 10-8 loss to visiting Ready on April 1.

"We are just not consistent in all areas of the game," Welsh said.

"Our pitchers need to do a better job of throwing strikes, our defense needs to give them more support and we need to be more productive at the plate. I am encouraged because everyone has shown up each day with the expectation of getting better and working hard at righting the ship and achieving our goals for the season."

Welsh said Shawn Barnes has looked good at the plate, as he was hitting .467 with two doubles and a home run through six games.

Welsh said Kody Strickland, Kody West and Marquel Key also have been reliable offensively.

Boys tennis team earns early season win

The boys tennis team was 1-3 overall before playing Ready on April 11 and is 0-1 in the MSL-Ohio.

Whitehall defeated visiting Eastmoor Academy 5-0 on April 1. Winners were James Pooch 6-4, 6-4 at first singles, Chala Mosissa 7-5, 6-0 at second singles, Andrew Nemes 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 at third singles, Zach Banner-Johnson and Joshua Turcios 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles and Natnael Dessa and Chiya Sang 6-0, 6-0 at second doubles.

"A lot of our players have grown from last year," coach Ben White said. "We have the potential to win a half-dozen matches or more. It was nice to get that first win out of the way."

The Rams' league loss came against Columbus Academy, 5-0 on April 5. The Vikings have won four consecutive league titles.

White said Pooch was competitive at times in a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Academy's Jacob Wareti at first singles. Wareti reached the Division II state final last season, losing to Lexington's Mason Dragos 6-3, 6-2.

"James has developed a really nice forehand and his serving has come along this year," White said. "I'm definitely pleased with his progress."