Senior Erica Ogden has the type of "quiet" personality that Ready High School softball coach Jen Goff says can lead to her being overlooked.
In helping the Silver Knights get out to a strong start this spring, Ogden's defense in center field and her success at the plate have spoken for themselves.
Ogden was batting .444 with three home runs through eight games for a team that was ranked fourth in last week's Division III area coaches poll.
"She's continued on the track and just consistently does her thing," Goff said.
Ready beat Hartley 10-0 on April 19 but lost to Marysville 7-0 and Delaware 10-2 on April 22 and was 7-6 overall and 2-2 in the CCL after losing to DeSales 5-2 on April 24.
The Knights beat the Stallions 8-3 on April 10 and lost their first league game April 12 when they fell 3-2 to Watterson.
Ogden, who bats third, has been part of a top of the lineup that has continued to impress.
Through eight games, freshman Hannah Bryan (3B) was batting .689 with three homers from the leadoff spot, junior Dani Hall (SS) was hitting .476 batting second and junior Nikki Hawkins (2B) was hitting .583 from the cleanup spot.
That group has helped support a pitching staff featuring sophomores Skylar Lafferty and CeCe Phillips. While Lafferty has pitched in most of Ready's key games, Phillips gave up just three hits in an 11-1 win over Westerville South on April 5.
"We've really just been working well as a team," Ogden said. "We just all get along really well. It's been going pretty well. I depend on the underclassmen a lot because they all play a huge part."
Ogden, who is one of two seniors along with outfielder Mara Stults, was an eighth-grader when Ready made a run to a 2013 state semifinal. She remembers traveling to most of the games throughout the district and regional tournaments.
She also played for Ready's girls volleyball program in all four of her prep years.
Ogden played shortstop her first two seasons before moving to center field last season.
"When I was younger I played baseball and once I got to U-11 my parents put me in fastpitch and I loved it," Ogden said.
"I feel like I've taken the freshmen under my wing a little bit this year. I thought it was possible that we'd be doing this well, but I didn't really expect it. We'll be really good by the end of the year."
Track teams hope to
peak for postseason
Boys and girls track and field coach Rich Green believes both teams are "on target" to peak for the postseason.
The girls team has gotten out to a strong start that included earning a runner-up finish (87.5) in the 14-team small-school division of the Rocky Brands Invitational on April 1 at Nelsonville-York behind Reedsville Eastern (89).
Sophomore Lauren Whitt, who was undefeated in the 400 meters in April through Ready's first six meets, has been joined by freshman Lindsey Bair as a leader in several events. Senior Katie Perry, juniors Natalee Patel and Allison Poe, sophomore Brigitte Bowman and freshmen Sophia Hoersten and Katelyn Paul also have been standouts.
"As expected after last season, Lauren Whitt has been the leading scorer for our team, but she's being pushed by freshman Lindsey Bair," Green said. "Lauren is our anchor on our (1,600 and 3,200 relays). Lindsey has proven she's an athlete. She's scored well in the 400, 800 (and) 1,600, also contributed to our (1,600 and 3,200 relays) and recently added some victories in the long jump.
"Our girls are exceeding expectations we had going into this season."
The boys team has struggled with injuries, but Green is hopeful it can be healthy by season's end.
Freshman Matt Frye, who competes in sprints and hurdles, has been an early standout.
Senior Erik Manning, junior John Riewe, sophomore Austin Aiello and freshman Jack Foley are among those who have missed time.
"The boys have found it hard to score points," Green said. "We've already had our fair share of injuries. (Aiello, Foley, Manning and Riewe) are dealing with this adversity well and continue to provide support and leadership."
Tennis team looking
to show improvement
After falling to Central Crossing 5-0 on April 19, the boys tennis team was 0-7 overall.
Coach Dan Skuce believes his team has matches it should be competitive in Thursday, April 27, at home against Village Academy and Monday, May 1, at Franklin Heights.
He's also hoping for a strong performance in Ready's final CCL match, Tuesday, May 2, at home against DeSales. The Knights are 0-3 in the league.
Ready also plays host Wednesday, May 3, to Central Crossing, which was winless before its win over the Knights.
"We play Central Crossing twice and they don't have any (other) wins," Skuce said. "We might be able to scrape out something against DeSales.
"When you're just starting, it's hard not to (improve)."
On April 18 in a 5-0 loss to St. Charles, sophomore Sandon Skuce played first singles, sophomore Connor Nagy was at second singles and sophomore Daniel Hamilton played third singles. In doubles, junior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai and sophomore Dom Tokar were at No. 1 and sophomores Jarek Kolinski and John Pyles played No. 2.