The Thomas Worthington High School softball team already knew there is a fine line between winning and losing, as it returned its entire lineup from a year ago when it experienced several close losses.

The Thomas Worthington High School softball team already knew there is a fine line between winning and losing, as it returned its entire lineup from a year ago when it experienced several close losses.

But the Cardinals learned another lesson about that fine line on April 22 when they lost 2-1 in eight innings to Hilliard Davidson. The loss dealt Thomas a serious blow to its OCC-Central Division championship hopes.

"We've talked about how many one-run games we lost last year and this year we've been winning them," coach Tom Gianas said. "(The Davidson game is) the first one-run game we've lost this year, and it's a memory that I don't like, but we'll get over it."

With the game tied at 1, the Cardinals had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning with no outs but failed to score as Emily Hofacre hit into a double play and Kenzi Hannum grounded out. Davidson scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the eighth.

"This was a team that we shouldn't have lost to," second baseman Kim Hoerauf said of Davidson. "We couldn't come out and produce like we should have. We had runners on base, but we couldn't get them in. It was one of those games we shouldn't lose, but it happens."

Thomas entered the week 4-2 in the OCC-Central, two games behind first-place Central Crossing, which was 6-0. The Cardinals had hoped to have the chance to pull even with the Comets when they play host to Central Crossing on Wednesday, May 4, but the loss to Davidson means Thomas now needs help from another team to catch the Comets.

The Cardinals lost to Central Crossing 6-0 on March 30. The Comets are led by pitcher Savannah Dorsey, who had 122 strikeouts and a 0.60 ERA through 10 games.

Thomas defeated Worthington Kilbourne 4-3 in 11 innings on April 18, as a hit by Abby Zofchak rolled to the outfield fence in the bottom of the 11th, scoring Hoerauf from third base for the winning run.

The win marked Thomas' fifth consecutive victory over Kilbourne. The Wolves started 4-0 in OCC-Central play but entered the week 4-3 in the league.

Making Thomas' chase for the OCC-Central title even more challenging is the loss of pitcher and infielder Zoe Myers, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a broken finger. Myers had been splitting innings in the circle with Sally Nichols.

The loss means more innings for sophomore pitcher Megan McLaughlin, a lefthander who Gianas plans to use as a change of pace to Nichols.

"It does hurt not having Zoe," Gianas said. "As much as I'll miss her pitching, it's also her bat. She was batting over .500 for us."

Before its rematch with Central Crossing, Thomas plays Monday, May 2, at Hilliard Darby and plays host to defending league champion Upper Arlington on Tuesday, May 3. The Cardinals beat Darby 10-3 on April 13 but has yet to play UA.

UA went 21-5 last season but lost two all-state players in pitcher Audrey Plant and catcher Kasi Vasquez to graduation. The Golden Bears entered the week 3-1 in the OCC-Central.