Sophomores Cearra Smith and Hana Piatt helped the Licking Heights High School softball team throw an opening day party March 30 at Utica.

Sophomores Cearra Smith and Hana Piatt helped the Licking Heights High School softball team throw an opening day party March 30 at Utica.

Smith homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs in a 21-5 six-inning victory. Piatt added a three-run home run in a seven-run sixth.

Since then, however, the weather has been the story. The Hornets were only 1-1 overall and in the LCL before playing Watkins Memorial on April 10.

"Everyone is contributing at the plate and our defense is playing well," said coach Bo Ramsey, whose team had one game suspended and three others postponed by rain and bad field conditions before April 10. "We've basically played three games and we've made some young mistakes, but we'll get those cleaned up as we move along, sooner or later (depending on the weather)."

The Hornets lost to Granville 4-1 on April 1, but battled and got six hits off Blue Aces standout pitcher Abby Barker.

"(Barker) pitched Granville to the (Division II) state tournament two years ago before missing last season with a torn ACL," Ramsey said. "Jessica Gunter pitched a great game to keep us in it. Last year, (Granville) beat us 8-1 and 19-3, and that was without Barker.

"We had some chances against her, but she got strikeouts when we had runners on base and we also ran ourselves out of an inning. We had the bases loaded with two outs and Georganna Pendexter was batting. She had a 2-2 count on her and took ball three, but our runners thought it was 3-2. So they thought it was a walk and were going to the next base and one got tagged out."

The Hornets' April 6 game against Heath was suspended entering the eighth inning with the score tied at 5. It will be completed before the second-round LCL game April 27 at Heath. Caitlin Aitken had a two-run double to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.

Pendexter, Kelsey Hoar and Kayla Myrthil have been consistent hitters for Licking Heights, according to Ramsey.

Baseball teamstarts slow on offense

The baseball team had only 12 hits through four games, as it was 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the LCL entering an April 10 game against Watkins Memorial and an April 11 makeup with Lakewood.

"We're not hitting the ball well yet, but we're going to keep working on it and we'll see improvement moving forward," coach Jeff Boyer said. "We only have two guys who were everyday starters last year in Gabe Caldwell and Nate Thacker.

"Our four seniors all lettered, but they didn't play every day and weren't expected to be our leaders. So it's going to take some time for everyone to grow into their new roles. I believe and hope we will do that."

The Hornets beat Utica 1-0 in eight innings in their opener March 30, but lost to Hartley 9-1 on March 31, to Granville 10-3 on April 1 and to Heath 11-0 in five innings April 6.

"We played as ugly of a game as you can imagine against Heath," Boyer said. "Their first batter doubled, we walked the next four batters and the next guy cleared the bases with a single and they never looked back."

Through four games, Licking Heights had only two extra-base hits, both doubles by left fielder T.J. Lako.

Girls relay winsin Newark meet

The girls track and field team finished seventh (49) behind champion Olentangy Orange (119) in the 15-team Newark Invitational on April 4.

The 800-meter relay of Mykala Suggs, Saalihah Mumin, Tessa Kenney and Mika Cox won in 1 minute, 49.45 seconds.

Finishing second were Suggs in the 300 hurdles (49.09), Mumin in the 200 (27.24) and Chan'lier Myers in the 100 (13.07). The 1,600 relay of Cox, Kassie Sanidad, Suggs and Mumin was third (4:18.64) and Sanidad was fifth in the 800 (2:34.3).

The boys team was 10th (29) of 16 teams behind champion Big Walnut (117.5)

Matt Gebremedhin won the 800 (2:02.5) and was sixth in the 1,600 (4:53.3). Curtis Richardson was first in the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) and seventh in the long jump (18-9 3/4), and John Bryant was seventh in the 200 (24.65). The 800 relay (1:38.66) and 3,200 relay (9:24.24) both finished eighth.