Some of Dani Hall's long-term plans recently were turned upside down, but she knows where she hopes to head at least in the near future.
The senior shortstop for the Ready High School softball team wants to end her prep career by reaching the highest level of her sport -- the state tournament -- just as her two older siblings did.
Last season, the Silver Knights were Division III regional runners-up.
"Last year was amazing," Hall said. "The ride is always really fun, but we hoped to make it out of regional finals. We really wanted to make it to the final four in Akron, but we're hoping to go back. ... We have a lot of potential. We have a lot of individual talent and we just have to come together as a team."
Ready was 7-6 overall and 2-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales on April 25.
The Knights opened league play with a 6-0 loss to Watterson on April 9 but beat DeSales 7-3 on April 11 and Hartley 13-1 on April 18.
Hall is one of three Ready players who have committed to play collegiately, along with Shelby Tracy (Belmont Abbey) and Nikki Hawkins (Wittenberg). She signed in November with Eastern Michigan, but she ultimately will end up on a different path.
In mid-March, it was announced that Eastern Michigan was eliminating wrestling, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis and softball at the conclusion of this season.
Hall also was a second-team all-district guard for the girls basketball team this winter as it was a Division III district runner-up.
"(Eastern Michigan) dropped (its) program so I'm looking at other schools," Hall said. "I'm figuring out what I want to do. I took a visit to Grand Valley State. I'm looking at a lot of Division II schools or maybe going Division III for both sports. We don't really know yet.
"I knew (the coaches at EMU) for a year so it was just really hard to hear, but it was probably hard for the other girls, too. They're trying to find someplace else to play."
Hall's brother, Josh Hall, is a 2011 Ready graduate who finished sixth at 112 pounds in the Division III state wrestling tournament as a senior and went on to compete for Case Western Reserve.
Her sister, 2014 Ready graduate Julia Hall, pitched for the softball team in 2013 when it reached a Division III state semifinal.
"(Dani Hall is) a solid athlete," coach Jen Goff said. "She hits the ball hard and can lay down a sneaky bunt when we need her to. She runs the bases well and doesn't have a problem diving anywhere on the field for a ball."
Hall was in eighth grade when the Knights surprised their way to the state tournament despite entering the postseason with 15 losses.
She's hoping she and her teammates can come up with the right formula to go on another long postseason run this spring.
"We have a lot more experienced players (than in 2013)," Hall said. "They lost a ton of games and got hot at the end. I'm hoping we'll have a good season and get really hot at the end."
Track squads making progress
The boys and girls track and field teams slowly are taking steps forward, according to coach Rich Green.
The Knights have invitationals remaining Saturday, April 28, at Franklin Heights and May 4 at Columbus East before the CCL meet is held May 8 and 10 at Hartley.
"From a shape standpoint, we're where we were hoping to be two or three weeks ago," Green said. "We don't have our own track and we haven't had a lot of days outside, but I think we'll be where we want by the end of the season."
On April 13 in the Washington Court House Invitational, the girls placed fifth (52.5) of 12 teams behind champion Wheelersburg (128.5) and the boys were 11th (40) of 12 teams behind champion Hillsboro (112.5).
Lauren Whitt was runner-up in the 400 meters (1 minute, .97 of a second), fourth in the 100 (13.72) and fifth in the 200 (27.52) to lead the girls. Lindsey Bair was second in the long jump (15 feet, 7 1/4 inches), fourth in the 400 (1:03.36) and sixth in the 800 (2:46.12), Derricka Bramwell was fourth in the shot put (33-4) and Allison Poe was sixth in the discus (90-4).
Bair endured what Green hopes is a minor hamstring injury while running the 800.
Bramwell set a personal record with her performance in the shot put for the third consecutive meet.
Leading the boys was Shelrick McElroy, who won the 100 (11.64) and 200 (23.54) and ran on the sixth-place 800 relay (1:38.39) with Austin Aiello, John Riewe and Jack Foley. The 1,600 relay of Foley, Riewe, Evan Cordle and Matt Frye was fifth (3:45.12) and the 3,200 relay of Foley, Kyle Caisaguano, Grant Cordle and Luke Bergman was sixth (9:48.0).
Among the biggest highlights, according to Green, was that Evan Cordle earned a runner-up finish in the 2,000 steeplechase (7:37.0), which is a non-traditional prep event.
"He's the first one from our school to ever run it," Green said. "He had no practice running it and he only got beat by the kid from Washington Court House. He enjoyed it. He was dead tired afterward. They have a water pit so your feet are going to be wet, but it was a great night for a track meet."
Tennis, baseball teams beat Falcons
Both the boys tennis and baseball teams recently earned their first victories this season.
On April 14, the baseball team split a doubleheader with Franklin Heights, winning 9-2 and losing 8-5.
It was the first win under new coach Bruce Lunsford.
Ready was 1-10 overall and 0-3 in the CCL before playing Hartley on April 23 and DeSales on April 25.
In the win over the Falcons, Eric Terranova earned the victory on the mound.
The tennis squad defeated Franklin Heights 4-1 on April 13 for its first victory.
The Knights’ league match against Watterson on April 23 was postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday, May 2.
Against the Falcons, Connor Nagy won at first singles and Mary Tokar picked up a forfeit win at third singles. The first doubles of team of Daniel Hamilton and Tommy Sithidouangleuthai and the second doubles team of Jarek Kolinski and Dominic Tokar also were victories.
The tennis team earned its only win last season over Franklin Heights.
On April 10, Ready opened CCL action with a 3-2 loss to Hartley as Nagy and Sandon Skuce won matches at second and third singles, respectively.
Below are the coming schedules for the Ready baseball, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
April 26 -- Home vs. Fredericktown
*April 27 -- At Watterson. The Silver Knights lost to the Eagles 13-0 on April 19.
April 28 -- At Marysville
May 1 -- At Grandview
*May 2 -- Home vs. St. Charles. The Knights lost to the Cardinals 17-4 on April 20.
April 26 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
April 28 -- Home vs. Williamsport Westfall and Lancaster
*April 30 -- Home vs. Hartley. The Knights beat the Hawks 13-1 on April 18.
May 1 -- Home vs. Licking Valley
April 30 -- Home vs. Teays Valley
*May 1 -- At DeSales
*May 2 -- At Watterson
TRACK & FIELD
April 28 -- Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights
May 1 -- At Watkins Memorial