If there's one word to describe the Ready High School softball team's run through the Division III district tournament, senior second baseman Sammy Hawkins believes it might be "magical."

If there's one word to describe the Ready High School softball team's run through the Division III district tournament, senior second baseman Sammy Hawkins believes it might be "magical."

Second-year coach Jen Goff struggled to come up with an explanation for how her 16th-seeded team beat third-seeded Northridge (4-0 on May 15), fourth-seeded Liberty Union (15-2 on May 20 at Pickerington North) and fifth-seeded North Union (8-2 on May 25 at Pickerington Central).

"I really can't explain how we're scoring more than the other teams and playing solid defense," Goff said. "We're catching fire at the right time and once they started doing that, they liked it. Our record is very deceiving. We had to play tough competition this year."

Ready was 13-15 entering a regional semifinal against Brookville on May 29 at Wright State. The winner plays Casstown Miami East or Batavia Clermont Northeastern in a regional final at noon Saturday, June 1, at the same site.

The regional champion plays Loudonville, Columbia Station Columbia, Leavittsburg LaBrae or Youngstown Ursuline in a state semifinal at 12:30 p.m. June 7 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

The state final is 4 p.m. June 8 at Firestone Stadium.

In the district final, North Union leadoff hitter Sydney Girton walked to begin the bottom of the first inning and scored on a groundout to make it 1-0.

After Ready loaded the bases but failed to score in the second, the Silver Knights sent nine batters to the plate in the third and scored five times. Hailey Bryan (LF), Madison Gatley (SS), Shannan Waldo (1B) and Haylee Patel (CF) all had RBI singles. Ready scored its other run when Emily Finchum (C) hit one between the shortstop's legs.

The Silver Knights made it 6-2 in the sixth on Finchum's bases-loaded walk. They got a two-run homer over the right-field fence in the seventh by junior pitcher Julia Hall, who also struck out 11.

"We lost a lot of games by one run this year, and we're coming together and peaking and it's great," Hall said. "Everyone's hitting the ball."

Boys track teammoves on in 5 events

The boys track and field team left the Division II, district 1 meet with two champions among its five qualifiers for the regional Thursday, May 30, and Saturday, June 1, at Lexington.

Winning titles in the 13-team district meet held May 21, 22 and 25 at Westerville South were senior Taron Slone in the 200 meters (22.31 seconds) and sophomore Codi Platter in the 1,600 (4:42.2).

Also qualifying for regional were senior Daniel Perry in the 800 (third, 2:00.72), senior Jonas Wahl in the high jump (second, 6 feet) and Slone in the 100 (second, 11.19). The top four in each event advanced.

Wahl added a fifth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (42.03) and the 1,600 relay also was fifth (3:35.82) to help Ready take seventh (50) behind champion Independence (91).

The top four in each regional event advance to the state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.

Culbertson advancesin girls track

The girls track team finished ninth (35) in the district 1 meet behind champion Granville (147.5).

Advancing to the regional was senior Carly Culbertson, who took second in the 200 (26.71) and third in the 100 (13.14).

Coming up just short of qualifying in two events was junior Allie Schroeder, who took fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.66) and 300 hurdles (49.42).

Baseball team to losestrong senior trio

The baseball team loses five seniors from a squad that earned the fourth seed for the Division III district tournament, including No. 1 pitcher Mitch McNabb, the versatile Ross Etgen (INF/OF/P) and center fielder Sean Mogan.

Etgen led the Silver Knights in batting (.449), RBI (42), runs (38), on-base percentage (.567) and stolen bases (23) while making first-team all-district and second-team all-CCL.

Mogan hit .375 with 29 RBI and was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. McNabb was first-team all-league with a 2.82 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 55 innings.

Ready lost to 10th-seeded Heath 6-3 in the second round of the district tournament May 16 to finish 12-13 overall.

"There were a couple plays where we should have had a couple more runs," said coach Harry Caruso, who completed his fifth season. "It was 3-3 and I told them that if we let them hang around that they'd find a way to win. We came back and had the bases loaded in the seventh, so we didn't go down without a fight. We knew they played a tough schedule like us, and our kids were prepared."

Ready went 3-5 in the CCL to finish fourth behind St. Charles (7-1), DeSales (4-4) and Watterson (4-4) and ahead of Hartley (2-6).

The top expected returnees are juniors Hunter Clanin (C) and Jason Foster (P/1B/3B). Clanin hit .351 with 22 RBI and was second-team all-district and Foster batted .366 overall, including .462 in league play, and was first-team all-league.

Juniors Vincent Castorano (P), Patrick Feldkamp (P/OF), Gavin Gatley (2B) and Drew Hasenkamp (P/INF) are others who should be key returnees.

"We still have an opportunity to continue to grow as a program, but we need to come in in shape and do the extra things next year," Caruso said.

Boys tennis teamlosing 10 seniors

Of the 22 players in the boys tennis program 10 were seniors, including all seven of Ready's entrants in the Division II sectional May 16 at Columbus Academy.

Austin Vrancken made it to a sectional quarterfinal, Nick Berner lost in the second round and Scott Knapke lost in the first round in singles.

In doubles, Kris Clarke and Michael Pozz lost in the second round and Tyler Eggers and Spencer Heselden lost in the first round.

Ready went 7-6 overall and 1-3 in the CCL to place fourth behind St. Charles (4-0), Watterson (3-1) and DeSales (2-2) and ahead of Hartley (0-4).

Sophomore Drew Dawson and freshmen Sean Atchison and Zach Baum are among those eligible to return.

"We had 22 players this year, but it was hard because a lot of the teams we played didn't have as many players as we had, so some of them ended up playing each other a lot," coach Jen Donaldson said. "It was hard to be positive with the weather we had this spring, but some of the seniors came out and tried to do the best they could because it was their first time playing tennis.

"I told (the returning players) that the best thing they can do is go out and play. The more you play, the better you become. (Vrancken) was losing to his dad at the beginning of the year but by the end of the year he was beating his dad. Now he's kind of bummed the season is over."