The last time the Worthington Christian High School baseball team posted a .500 record against CCL competition was 2006 when it went 6-6.

The last time the Worthington Christian High School baseball team posted a .500 record against CCL competition was 2006 when it went 6-6.

Not that the Warriors are into moral victories, but coach Tim Kraynak believes coming close to that finish or eclipsing it is something which should be within their grasp.

The reason for optimism after a season in which Worthington Christian went 16-15 overall and tied St. Charles for fourth in the CCL at 3-7 behind champion DeSales (10-0) has to do with experience.

The Warriors, who return every starter from a year ago, will travel to Orlando for scrimmages against Mount Washington (Ky.) Bullitt East and Olivia (Minn.) Bold on Monday, Denver (Colo.) D'Evelyn on Wednesday and Ashland (Ky.) Rose Hill Christian and Lexington (Ky.) Catholic on April 2. The opener is April 6 at Ready.

"First and foremost, they're just a year older," Kraynak said. "So in terms of what to expect, they understand what type of competition we can expect in the CCL. I've got a core of six or seven guys who have dedicated months to baseball lessons, fall baseball, working out. We're in a lot better shape in terms of baseball conditioning."

Senior shortstop Jordan Doherty is the top returnee after hitting .402 with 33 runs scored, 14 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He has signed with Mount Vernon Nazarene.

Doherty also is the No. 2 pitcher behind junior Mike Bush, who was 10-3 with a 4.05 ERA and hit .369 with 14 stolen bases last year. Bush will play shortstop or second base when Doherty is pitching.

The other seniors are Jarred Lawson (OF), Tyler Morgan (P/2B/3B) and Matt Schoonover (1B). Schoonover hit .380 with 21 RBI and two home runs.

Junior Ike Meyers is expected to start at first base, with Morgan at second and sophomore Daniel Bauslaugh (.329) at third base.

Junior Tim Webb will be at catcher, with the outfield expected to be comprised of Lawson and juniors Caleb Palumbo and Alex Scott (.362, 24 RBI).

Also on the team are junior Matt Anglea and sophomore Austin Morgan.

Doherty, Bush and Schoonover were first-team all-district, Scott made the second team and Webb was honorable mention last year. Bush and Doherty were first-team all-league.

In the Division IV district tournament, the second-seeded Warriors beat Millersport 17-3, Berne Union 9-3 and third-seeded Fisher Catholic 7-6 before falling to top-seeded Newark Catholic 5-2 in a district final.

They also lost to the Green Wave in a district final in 2007 and in district semifinals in 2004 and 2006.

"Last year our team batting average was around .330, our ERA was just slightly higher than 4.00 and our fielding percentage was .930," said Kraynak, who is in his sixth season. "To have statistics like that with how young of a team we had felt good. We're going to pitch the ball extremely well and play solid defense, and we have really good offensive power."

•The softball team has come a long way in terms of numbers.

After having just six players at tryout a season ago, the Warriors have 11 this year, including seven freshmen. In addition, second-year coach Dave Krebs believes as many as 14 players could come out next year from the middle school program.

The Warriors open April 6 with a league game against visiting Ready.

"It's an exciting future," said Krebs, who has coached softball or baseball at several levels over the last 37 years. "We have to tough it out this year with numbers, but we're trying to build a program. The program is going in the right direction."

Worthington Christian had no seniors a year ago and has just one this season in catcher Angie Wigton (.348, 1 home run). Also returning are junior Bekah Mack (SS) and sophomores Erinn Houts (3B) and Allie Krebs (P), who is coach Krebs' daughter. Last year, Allie Krebs went 2-10 pitching and hit .356.

New to the team are freshmen Liz Akin (CF), Ruthie Cathers (1B), Sam Dorgan (OF), Amber English (OF), Carey Karnemaat (RF), Caroline Simms (2B) and Sarah Whitt (LF).

Worthington Christian went 4-14 overall and 0-8 in the CCL a year ago to finish behind champion Ready (9-1), which won its fourth consecutive title. The Warriors lost to Bloom-Carroll 11-0 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.

"We have a lot of new people, and obviously we have some work to do," coach Krebs said. "What I like is that we all get along fabulously. They support each other and are all just really positive. That'll carry us along way toward doing a great job."