The Centennial High School softball team was looking to clinch the City League-North Division title this week.
The Stars were 10-3 overall and 9-0 in the league before playing International on May 1 and East on May 2. They then will play Thursday, May 4, at Whetstone, which was 9-1 in league play entering this week with the loss coming to Centennial 10-9 on April 10.
"I know we've won the City championship for three years in a row and we beat (the Braves) in the first round (of league play), but this is a learning process this year because we're a different team," coach Malik Dean said. "It's been a strange year because this team lacks some confidence.
"When they make mistakes, they become unsure of themselves. They're a little fragile, which is why it was so wonderful to rally to beat (Whetstone) the first time. I'm surprised it happened, because it's something we haven't shown a lot of this season."
Centennial rallied from a 7-0 deficit to win the first meeting, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth and seven in the fifth.
Elise Fallon was 3-for-4 and scored three times to lead the Stars. Katie Conroy was 2-for-3, scored twice and drove in three, and Rachel O'Leary was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Ariel Miller hit a solo home run and had two RBI, and Kaylee Beyer also drove in two.
"We only have two players who have been with us for four years, Katie and Rachel, and the rest are still learning the game pretty much," Dean said. "I'd like to see us be more aggressive defensively, be proactive instead of reactive. The more games these girls play, the better they'll get. We're still waiting for them to turn the corner."
Both Whetstone and Centennial also have makeup games to complete the standings. If the teams end up tied, they would have a playoff game to determine which team wins the City-North and represents the division in the City championship game.
Through 12 games, O'Leary was hitting .500 with 12 walks and 14 runs scored. She was followed in batting average by Conroy (.480, 13 runs, 17 RBI), Ikera Ike (.455, 12 runs, 10 RBI), Stacey Leach (.462, 12 runs), Lexi Thompson (.435, 14 runs, 16 walks) and Fallon (.417, 16 runs). Miller and Jordan Fischer both had nine RBI.
Leach and Gwen Moran both were 5-1 in the circle.
The Stars went 3-2 last week, winning league games against Northland (13-2 on April 24), Linden-McKinley (18-3 on April 25) and Mifflin (13-0 on April 26) and losing to Bloom-Carroll (17-0 on April 27) and Reynoldsburg (9-3 on April 28).
"We were down 4-3 to Reynoldsburg in the sixth inning and we allowed a two-out grand slam, but we played pretty well overall in that one," Dean said. "Against Bloom-Carroll, we came out really flat and walked a ton of batters. They scored six runs in the first and our heads dropped. Then we gave up a grand slam in the second when they scored 11 runs.
"But we schedule those non-league games to help us learn about ourselves. Some of them, like Reynoldsburg, we can learn from."
The Division I district tournament draw was April 30. The Stars are seeded 30th of 46 teams and play host to 36th-seeded Canal Winchester in the first round Monday, May 8, with the winner playing at fourth-seeded Gahanna in the second round Wednesday, May 10. The Stars did not play either team in the regular season.
Baseball team still
battling in City-North
The baseball team needs to beat host Whetstone on Thursday, May 4, to have any chance of sharing the City-North title with the Braves.
The Stars were 7-2 in the league before playing East on May 2 and Linden on May 3. Whetstone was 9-0 before playing Northland on May 1 and East on May 3. Northland was 6-3.
The Stars, who lost to the Braves 6-0 on April 10 when they managed just four hits off Seth Bragg, lost their second league game April 24, falling to Northland 2-1 in eight innings.
Myles Martinez was the tough-luck losing pitcher, allowing five hits. But the Stars managed just five hits off Northland's Eddie Castro.
Centennial bounced back to beat Linden 13-1 on April 25, as Tanner Radford allowed one hit in five innings. Shaan Morales allowed only three hits in a 12-3 win over Mifflin on April 26.
The Division II district tournament draw was April 30. The Stars are seeded 16th of 26 teams and play host to 22nd-seeded South in the first round Tuesday, May 9, with the winner playing at second-seeded Lakewood in the second round May 11. Centennial did not play either team in the regular season.
Boys tennis team
preps for sectional
The boys tennis team closed the regular season by playing Teays Valley on May 2 and DeSales on May 3.
The Stars, who competed against West in the City final May 1 at Africentric, will compete in a Division II sectional May 11 and 13 at Columbus School for Girls. Centennial went 5-0 to win the City-North and reach the City final.
"We're doing great," said coach Barbara Stevenson, whose team was 9-3 overall entering the week. "Jack Jones has been great at first singles and Kitano Watkins also went unbeaten in the City-North. Both doubles teams -- Dhrough Patel and Sam Ferrell and Preston Newkirk and Tyrell Davis -- also went unbeaten in the league.
"Outside the league, we scheduled some tougher competition to prepare them for the sectionals. I think that's going to pay off for us this year."
lead girls track team
Jazilee Williams and Olivia Turner both had runner-up finishes as the girls track and field team scored 53 points to place fourth behind champion Watterson (93.5) in the 14-team Braves Invitational on April 26 at Whetstone.Slideshow •View photos from the Braves Invitational at Whetstone on April 26.
Williams was second in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) as well as fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (51.18 seconds), and Turner was second in the 800 (2:25.7).
The 800 sprint medley relay of Kamika Sith, Oreoluwa Obayemi, Lauryn Boudreaux and Ruby Greenwood was second (1:56.21), and LaVaudia Davis was fourth in the shot put (31-6 1/4).
The boys team finished seventh (38.5) behind champion Walnut Ridge (92), as Kelvin Gilliam was third in the high jump (5-6) and Chris Street tied for third in the long jump (20-3 3/4).
Finishing fourth were Kamryn Simpson in the 100 (11.4) and Xavier Slaughter in the 800 (2:05.95).