With a new coach a year ago, the Hartley High School baseball team went through some of the ups and downs associated with getting to know a different set of signs, strategies and philosophies.

With a new coach a year ago, the Hartley High School baseball team went through some of the ups and downs associated with getting to know a different set of signs, strategies and philosophies.

The fact that the Hawks' returnees know more about what to expect has provided a positive basis from which to build, according to coach Chad Young.

"Last year we were sophomore-heavy with one freshman and this year we've got four seniors and only two sophomores," Young said. "They pretty much know the signals I call and how I want them to run the bases. With it being the second year (under me) they know what's expected of them."

The Hawks, who went 11-14 overall and tied for third in the CCL last season, feature what Young believes is a talented group.

Senior Adam Lowe (SS), junior Austin Rawlins (1B) and sophomore Jake Ruby (CF) give the Hawks a trio of proven hitters to build around.

Rawlins batted .438 last season with 13 RBI and 20 runs. Ruby, who already has received interest from Division I colleges, hit .388 with 20 runs, and Lowe batted .364 with 20 RBI.

Senior Cameron Macioce (3B) led Hartley in RBI with 22 and junior pitcher Adam Rose batted .357.

Rawlins and Ruby made first-team all-league and Lowe was second-team all-league.

Also expected to play in the infield are junior catchers Sean Gilmore and Kevin Oliver, junior second baseman Matt Berger and sophomore utility player Jack Baughman.

Joining Ruby in the outfield should be junior Nate Moore (LF) and seniors Dominic Evans and Pat Heinmiller.

Juniors Jake Grimm and Kelly Castle are others looking for playing time at various positions.

Rose, who was second in innings (35) and went 3-3 last season, should be a key pitcher along with Moore, Heinmiller, Macioce, Ruby and juniors Reese Melton and Tyler Sweeney.

Hartley opens Monday, March 30, at home against Fisher Catholic.

Softball team againaims for long run

Over the past six seasons, the softball team has earned three Division II district runner-up finishes, including last year.

Although the Hawks have just one senior, seventh-year coach Meghan Zuercher hopes to come close to that level again this spring.

The biggest reason for optimism may be sophomore pitcher Tatum Wise, who will be in her second season as the No. 1 starter.

Hartley, which has been CCL runner-up each of the past four seasons and finished 15-12 overall a year ago, also has winning the league among its goals.

"We want to win (the CCL)," Zuercher said. "We have a wonderful group to work with. It's the most fun to be with collectively and they're easy to coach, but certainly we graduated a lot of talent."

Other returnees are senior Miranda Golden (OF), junior Maria Cegledy (utility) and junior Lehigh University commit Lexi van Ooyen (INF/P/C), who likely will start at shortstop.

Also looking to take on key roles in the infield are juniors Sarah LeMay (1B), Autumn Eckstein (C) and Jennifer Schrader (2B) and freshmen Jordan Nein (1B) and Carolynn Heinmiller (3B).

Cegledy likely will start in center field, with juniors Haley Johnson and Bailey Sweeney also seeing time in the outfield. Junior Justine Morrison (1B) is another looking to contribute.

Hartley, which opens Monday, March 30, at home against Jonathan Alder, lost a 2014 senior class that included a trio of college recruits in Sidney Melton (SS, Louisville), Cassie Plageman (P, Bowling Green) and Mariah Rock (LF, Walsh), as well as two other starters.

Season ends for boysin regional final

The boys basketball team's upset bid of defending Division III state champion Lima Central Catholic ended with a 54-42 loss March 21 in a regional final at Bowling Green.

The Hawks, who finished 15-11 overall, were within 38-36 early in the fourth quarter before the Thunderbirds went on a 13-2 run.

"It was great because nobody expected us to do what we did," said sophomore guard Jake Fischer, whose team entered the district tournament as the sixth seed.

"I enjoyed the battle," coach Randy Kortokrax said. "They're a good team and they know now that we're a good team. I think we counted on it being a good game and it ended up being a good game."

The Hawks lost six of their first eight before going on a six-game winning streak during the first two weeks of February.

Hartley tied Watterson for third (4-4) in the CCL behind St. Charles (7-1) and DeSales (5-3) and ahead of Ready (0-8).

In the district tournament, the Hawks beat 16th-seeded Northridge 46-40 on March 5, fourth-seeded Mount Gilead 62-36 on March 11 and 11th-seeded Columbus East 40-32 in a final March 13 at Ohio Dominican.

On March 18, Hartley beat Pemberville Eastwood 56-46 in a regional semifinal at Bowling Green.

The Hawks had two seniors in center J'Air Wheelwright (7.0 points) and guard Jalen Austin (4.0 points). Fischer averaged 9.5 points and junior forward Michael Morgan and sophomore forward Garrett Tipton both averaged 8.0 points.

Morgan was honorable mention all-district.

Other key players eligible to return are juniors Austin Rawlins (center) and Adam Rose (forward) and sophomore Grant Smith (center).

"When you've got a young team, you're just trying to get in as many of these games as you can," Kortokrax said.

"You want these kids to keep playing when they're young. That's what you want, having them play in a big gym. So (we were) excited to get to play (in the regional)."

Schedules BASEBALL

March 30 -- vs. Fisher Catholic

March 31 -- at Licking Heights

April 1 -- vs. Canal Winchester

April 7 -- at Columbus Academy

April 10 -- Batesville (Ind.) at Louisville (Ky.) Trinity

April 11 -- Indianapolis Lawrence Central and Somerset (Ky.) Southwestern at Louisville Trinity

*April 13 -- at Ready

April 14 -- at Worthington Christian

April 16 -- vs. Reynoldsburg

*April 17 -- vs. Watterson

*April 20 -- vs. DeSales

*April 22 -- at St. Charles

*April 24 -- vs. Ready

April 28 -- vs. New Albany

*April 29 -- at Watterson

*May 1 -- at DeSales

May 2 -- vs. Jonathan Alder

*May 4 -- vs. St. Charles

May 6 -- vs. Fredericktown

May 8 -- at Pickerington North

May 9 -- vs. Granville

SOFTBALL

March 30 -- vs. Jonathan Alder

March 31 -- at Whitehall

April 1 -- at Teays Valley

April 7 -- vs. West Jefferson

April 8 -- at Grove City

April 9 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

April 11 -- at Hilliard Darby with Central Crossing

*April 13 -- vs. Ready

April 15 -- at Watterson

April 18 -- at Buckeye Valley with Dublin Scioto

*April 20 -- at DeSales

April 21 -- at Bloom-Carroll

April 23 -- vs. Liberty Union

April 24 -- Prebis Memorial Tournament at LaGrange Keystone

April 25 -- Prebis Memorial Tournament at LaGrange Keystone (DH)

*April 27 -- at Ready

April 28 -- vs. Franklin Heights

*April 29 -- vs. Watterson

April 30 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*May 4 -- vs. DeSales

May 7 -- vs. Hamilton Township

May 8 -- vs. Pickerington North

May 9 -- vs. Reynoldsburg and Hilliard Davidson

*League contest