The Thomas Worthington High School softball team ended a rebuilding season with an 8-0 loss at 23rd-seeded Lancaster in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 12.

The Thomas Worthington High School softball team ended a rebuilding season with an 8-0 loss at 23rd-seeded Lancaster in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 12.

The 39th-seeded Cardinals, who had no seniors in their lineup, finished 3-21 overall.

"We only had one senior, Carson Baymiller, and she suffered a preseason injury and was not able to participate this year," coach Tim Masie said. "She will be attending (the University of Northwestern Ohio) in Lima next year and will be playing softball.

"With no seniors, they will all be returning next season. The coaching staff is very excited about our future with so many returning letterwinners. We are very optimistic about how the 2016 season will go. One big piece of our team will be the return of catcher Jamie Zinsmeister, who also was lost to injury. She will be a huge contributor to our team."

Zinsmeister, one of seven juniors, was injured early in the season and had just 14 plate appearances. She was expected to be one of the top hitters for the Cardinals, who finished with a .216 team batting average.

The Cardinals went 1-13 in the OCC-Central Division to finish eighth, behind co-champions Olentangy Liberty and Marysville (both 13-1), Hilliard Davidson (9-5), Dublin Coffman (8-6), Central Crossing (7-7), Westland (3-11) and Upper Arlington (2-12).

Thomas beat UA 3-1 in its league opener April 6. The Cardinals also beat Sauquoit (N.Y.) Valley 16-2 on April 3 during their spring-break trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and defeated Kilbourne 14-3 on April 25.

Junior pitcher Sarah Boue led the team at the plate and in the circle. She batted .444 with four home runs, six doubles, four triples and 20 RBI and had a 2.20 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings.

Junior shortstop Hannah McNeilly batted .377 and junior outfielder Kaylee O'Neal hit .250, and junior pitcher Julia Kimmel had a 4.79 ERA in 61 1/3 innings.

Others expected back are juniors Jerica Dunbar (OF) and Courtney Wootten (OF), sophomores Nicole Bienvenue (INF), Lauryn Hickman (3B/OF) and Dana Ward (C/OF) and freshmen Marie Ashline (OF) and Kylie Wadkowski (INF).

"Our defense will need to improve all around and eliminate costly errors," Masie said. "We will also need to become a better hitting ballclub, especially with runners in scoring position."

Wolves losing five seniors

Seeded 44th, Kilbourne lost at 17th-seeded Grove City 12-0 in five innings in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 12 to finish 2-26 overall.

"Despite an obviously tough season, all five of the seniors started and meant a lot to the program, helping to build a foundation for future years," coach Marty Mearhoff said. "Their leadership was critical to the program."

The Wolves are losing Grayson Brown (OF/P), Emily Dodd (3B), Courtney Fisher (OF/P), Elyssa LaBine (1B/C) and Meghan Swazuk (2B) to graduation.

"Emily Dodd was a major factor on the team, clearly our offensive leader," Mearhoff said.

"She batted nearly .400. Courtney Fisher was called into duty as a pitcher, our fourth of the year due to injuries to our other three pitchers. She showed courage, tenacity and leadership in the face of insurmountable odds on the diamond."

Entering the season, freshman Kasey Trout and sophomore Alex Friesen were expected to be the primary pitchers. Brown also saw time in the circle.

Dodd hit .397 with 21 RBI, 15 runs scored, 13 doubles and two home runs, and Brown batted .277. The only other players who batted over .250 were Friesen (.255, 11 runs) and sophomore outfielder Kailyn Turner (.263).

The Wolves, who lost their final 21 games, had a .222 team batting average.

"... It is clear we need to improve in all aspects of the game," Mearhoff said. "We need to consistently make routine defensive plays to avoid giving the other team five or six outs an inning. We also need to hit with more authority throughout the lineup to put pressure on the other team's defense and keep the pressure at a reasonable level for our pitching and defense."

The Wolves finished 1-13 in the OCC-Capital, placing eighth behind New Albany (13-1), Delaware (12-2), Olentangy Orange (11-3), Mount Vernon (8-6), Olentangy (5-9), Big Walnut (4-10) and Franklin Heights (2-12).

Kilbourne posted its victories against UA (9-8 on April 11) and Franklin Heights (2-1 on April 13).

Expected returnees include Friesen, Trout, Turner, junior Elise Katz (C), sophomores Karlie Scott (1B) and Molly Winget (2B/OF) and freshman Destiny Hilliard (SS/2B/OF).

"Two highlights were Dodd's game-winning, two-run home run against Franklin Heights and a two-run, game-winning single by Meghan Swazuk ... (against) Upper Arlington," Mearhoff said.