The Centennial High School softball team played visiting Eastmoor Academy tough for five innings in the City League championship game May 21.
The sixth inning was a different story, as the Warriors sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs in a 19-4 win over the Stars.
Centennial, which finished 15-8 overall, trailed just 4-2 entering the top of the sixth.
"I thought that inning was never going to end," coach Malik Dean said. "(Eastmoor) hit some shots, seeing-eye grounders and some bloops. We also walked three batters, hit a batter and made a couple errors.
"It was the one thing we talked about the whole second half of the season, to not give up the big inning. Things just snowballed on us. Up until then, it was a good, well-played game."
The Stars led 1-0 after the first inning. Elise Fallon singled home Etta Coale, but was later thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder back to Eastmoor pitcher Averi Brown.
The Warriors scored twice in the second and once in the third then took a 4-1 lead in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Fallon was hit by a pitch and came around to score on an Ikera Ike single.
"We were right there and putting the ball in play much better against (Brown) than we did last year when she had 15 strikeouts," said Dean, whose team lost to Eastmoor 13-5 in the City championship game last season. "We only had seven strikeouts this time."
The Stars reached the championship game by going 13-1 in the City-North Division to share first place with Whetstone and then beating the Braves 12-5 in a playoff game May 16 to determine which team advanced.
Centennial loses just two seniors in Fallon, the starting catcher, and first-year backup outfielder Abby Jones.
Fallon batted .565with 36 runs and 34 RBI and was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district in Division II. Jones batted .267 with 15 RBI.
"We will miss them," Dean said. "Elise was the rock of the team. I like what we have coming back next season, but we'll have to find someone to step up behind the plate for Elise. We had 29 players in the program this year and 15 were freshmen. We're losing two seniors and we're expecting another 10 to 12 incoming freshmen, so our numbers are growing."
Among the expected return-ees are juniors Jordan Fischer (CF), Ike (1B) and Gwen Moran (P), sophomores Mary LaForrest (2B), Brina Rigsbee (SS) and Izabell Segovia (3B) and freshmen Coale (RF), Giana Francescon (OF) and Yazmine Segovia (LF).
Ike batted .571 with 24 runs and 33 RBI, and Moran batted .436 with 29 runs and 22 RBI and was 9-5 with a 4.53 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings. Both were first-team all-league, and Ike also was honorable mention all-district.
Fischer batted .531 with 29 runs and 24 RBI. She was followed in batting average by Izabell Segovia (.500, 27 runs, 34 RBI), Coale (.397, 27 runs, 24 RBI), Yazmine Segovia (.306), LaForrest (.294) and Rigsbee (.276, 21 runs). Francescon batted .406 in 15 games.
Fischer and Izabell Segovia were named second-team all-league, and Coale and Yazmine Segovia were honorable mention all-league.
In the district tournament, the 13th-seeded Stars defeated 17th-seeded Linden-McKinley 21-1 in five innings May 8 at home and lost 13-0 in five innings at second-seeded Jonathan Alder in the second round May 10.
Boys track season ends at regional
Neither of the Division I regional representatives for the boys track and field team qualified for state.
Competing May 23 at Pickerington North, sophomore Kelvin Gilliam finished 11th in the discus (124 feet) and senior Coreion Watts placed 13th in the 400 meters (51.52 seconds).
The top four finishers in each event advanced to state Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State, while the top eight in preliminaries advanced to the regional finals May 25.
Both had advanced to regional by placing in the top four in the district 3 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby. Gilliam was third in the discus (140-9) and Watts was fourth in the 400 (51.6).
For the girls team, competing in regional preliminaries May 23 was senior Ruby Greenwood. She advanced to the regional finals May 25 in the 400, but did not advance in the 200, placing 10th (25.88).
In the district 2 meet, Greenwood placed third in the 400 (58.03) and fourth in the 200 (27.45) to advance to regional.