New Albany High School softball coach Patrick Finn lauded his team's focused, measured approach all season, but admitted he adjusted his philosophy before the Eagles won their first district championship since 1986.

New Albany High School softball coach Patrick Finn lauded his team's focused, measured approach all season, but admitted he adjusted his philosophy before the Eagles won their first district championship since 1986.

"I knew we had a good group. But the theme has been one day at a time (concerning) what we were going to do. It was a philosophy change for me," Finn said. "A lot of times, I would be driving to my hometown (Lima) and I had an hour-and-a-half to think about things. I always thought about a state championship. This year, I didn't. I knew this team could play and I just wanted them to play. The more focused they were, the more successful I knew they would be."

New Albany went 20-8 overall and 13-1 in the OCC-Capital Division, winning the program's first league title since 1993 when the Eagles were in the MSL-Cardinal.

Their season came to an end with a 2-1 loss to Teays Valley in a Division I regional semifinal May 28 at Ohio State.

Junior Sydney Warinner no-hit Teays Valley for 4 1/3 innings and had an RBI single in the sixth, but the Vikings - who went on to reach their second state tournament and first since 2004 - scored once in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game and won it in the bottom of the seventh on three consecutive singles.

New Albany won the OCC-Capital ahead of Delaware (12-2), Olentangy Orange (11-3), Mount Vernon (7-6), Olentangy (5-8), Big Walnut (4-10), Franklin Heights (2-12) and Worthington Kilbourne (1-13).

Seeded sixth for the district tournament, New Albany defeated visiting and 30th-seeded Newark 4-3 in a second-round game May 13, 12th-seeded Groveport 5-1 in a district semifinal May 19 at Pickerington Central and 13th-seeded Orange 1-0 in a district final May 23 at Central.

Warinner, a Louisville commit who went 20-4 with a 1.25 ERA, 24 walks and 173 strikeouts in 158 innings, was named first-team all-league, all-district and all-state. She also batted .321 with 27 hits and four home runs.

Sophomore Sierra Parkinson, a North Carolina commit who moved in from Granville before this season, was first-team all-league and all-district. She led the team in batting average (.422), home runs (five) and RBI (27) and had 35 hits.

Senior shortstop Jamie Sevenish, a Tiffin recruit who hit .396 with 36 hits and 20 RBI, was second-team all-league and all-district. Senior catcher Amber Mullen (.419, 36 hits, 20 RBI) was named second-team all-league honorable mention all-district.

Junior infielder Kylie Wick-iser (.333, 26 hits, 4 home runs, 24 RBI) was special mention all-league, and junior Cassie Bednarek (.286, 20 hits) was honorable mention all-league.

Other expected returnees include juniors Mackenzie Litterst (OF), Lexi Reed (3B/OF) and Payton Siebenaler (OF).

Tennis team fell short of top goals

After both of the boys tennis team's doubles pairings were eliminated in the first two rounds of the Division I state tournament at Ohio State, coach Marc Thomas sighed as he thought about his five seniors and the legacy they leave.

"We have some big shoes to fill next year, that's for sure," Thomas said. "We lose three of our top four (players). We played a lot of guys this year and we will need them next year. ...

"We will have (sophomore) Graeme (Green) back, but he's the only one in our top four who comes back. But he can do it. Graeme is a great player. He will be one of those guys we count on next year."

Senior Nick Blair and Green went 1-1 at state, losing to eventual champions Nakul Narendran and Alex Taylor of Cincinnati Sycamore 6-1, 7-5 in the second round May 29. Earlier that day, seniors C.J. Cash and Alex Kobelt lost in the first round to Mason's Nadim Boulos and Sean Reid 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5). That was a rematch of last year's third-place match at state, which Cash and Kobelt won.

Those results capped another largely successful season for the Eagles.

New Albany went 15-2 overall and 7-0 in the OCC-Capital to win its 10th consecutive league championship, ahead of Orange (6-1), Olentangy (5-2), Kilbourne (4-3), Big Walnut (3-4), Delaware (2-5), Mount Vernon (1-6) and Franklin Heights (0-7).

The Eagles are 59-0 in OCC-Capital matches since joining the league before the 2006-07 school year. New Albany's string of league titles began when it won the MSL-Ohio in 2006.

In a sectional tournament that concluded May 16 at Upper Arlington, Cash and Kobelt won the doubles title with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Blair and Green in the final.

Cash and Kobelt also won the district doubles title May 23 at UA, again defeating Blair and Green in the final, but by a 6-0, 6-0 score.

The Eagles fell in an OTCA Division I district final, 3-0 at UA on May 26.

Other expected returnees include juniors Noah Fox and Harrison Lippy.

"It was a great season," Thomas said. "I can't fault the guys. They left it all out there."