Standing on third and the Gahanna Lincoln High School softball team trailing by one run with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning April 4 against Marysville, Molly Troutman motioned over to her team's dugout.
"Get 'em loud," the senior said. "Let's go."
Troutman, who scored the host Lions' first run when Lauren Ringhiser was hit by a pitch as Gahanna went on to win 2-1 in nine innings, is someone that coach Jim Campolo calls a "real team player."
"She's definitely a leader," Campolo said. "Sometimes she's almost too serious and it takes away from her performance because she's so into it."
Gahanna was 7-4 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division before facing Grove City on April 15. The Lions opened league play with wins over Reynoldsburg (13-3 on April 10) and Pickerington North (3-0 on April 11).
The win over Marysville was the first of back-to-back one-run victories for the Lions. Sam Lindsey got the team's only hit to lead off the ninth inning and ended up scoring on an error.
Then on April 8, Gahanna got home runs from Lindsey in the fourth and Danielle Shoulders in the seventh to tie the game at 7 on its way to an 8-7, eight-inning victory over visiting Westerville North.
According to Troutman, the Lions will have to battle through more games to have the type of success they're hoping to achieve this spring.
"We definitely have to play solid defense," Troutman said. "With how many players we've graduated, it's hard. We're throwing girls out there that haven't really pitched much before, but they're doing a fantastic job. We have to trust each other."
Even before making varsity as a freshman, Troutman committed to play for Ohio University, where she likely will play center field.
She now is at the center of the Lions' defense as their shortstop and bats leadoff after a short experiment at the beginning of the season as the No. 3 hitter.
"I feel good," said Troutman, who batted .520 last season after hitting .636 as a sophomore. "I'm starting to get a little bit more power back and have been hitting more extra-base hits, but being in the leadoff spot, I'm just trying to see pitches. My first two years, we had so many returning girls that if you pitched to us, one through nine we'd still beat you.
"When I was younger, I hit right-handed, but once I flipped over to the left side, it kind of just clicked. I wouldn't say (hitting has) come easy, but at the same time, when I play with confidence and my swag, the ball looks like a meatball."
Gahanna played defending OCC-Ohio champion Lancaster on April 17 and is host Thursday, April 18, to Pickerington Central, which was league runner-up last season.
Campolo is hoping his team continues to play in the field the way it did against Marysville when Troutman and senior second baseman Ashley Waters executed two double plays as part of a defense that committed no errors.
"It's the best I've ever seen (Ringhiser) pitch in two years," Campolo said. "She was in it the whole game and did everything she possible could to keep us in the game. It was also probably the best our defense has played. It's kind of interesting when you only have one hit and you win the ballgame, especially when the other team has nine."
Baseball team getting solid pitching
Since returning from its trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida, the baseball team's pitching staff has made things difficult for opponents.
The Lions lost to Menomo-nee Falls (Wisconsin) 10-4 on March 28 to conclude their trip with a 3-1 record, but they held each of their next five opponents to three runs or fewer.
Gahanna defeated Pickerington North 6-2 on April 12 and was 9-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio before facing Grove City on April 15 and 17.
In a 3-1 win over Pickerington North on April 10, starter Mason Weber gave up one run on two hits over 5-plus innings before being relieved by Zach Marzetz.
The day before, Blake Reed pitched a complete game in a 5-2 victory over DeSales. The Lions trailed 2-0 after four innings but got a two-run single from John Belli during a five-run fifth inning.
Gahanna opened league action with a pair of wins over Reynoldsburg, 5-3 on April 5 and 2-1 on April 8. In the second game against the Raiders, Marzetz singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error.
Girls lacrosse team hanging tough
The girls lacrosse team has battled through injuries thus far this season.
Sophomore Haley Meheren, who is one of three goalkeepers in the program along with senior Lexi Bochenek and junior Nevaeh Lashley, missed time with a concussion but has returned.
Gahanna is likely to be without sophomore attacker Anna Linnabary until early May because of a foot injury.
"We're doing pretty well (considering our circumstances)," coach Maggie Maley said.
Junior midfielder Julia Foresi scored eight goals in a 14-9 victory over Westerville Central on April 2.
The Lions lost to Pickerington North 14-6 on April 4 and Hilliard Davidson 15-7 on April 8 in their OCC-Central opener, but beat Marysville 18-8 in a league contest April 11 and were 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the league before playing Pickerington Central on April 15.
Against Davidson, sophomore Brooke Gates had five goals, senior Melanie Whalen scored two and Meheren had 16 saves.
Freshman Kenzie Streby also has been a key contributor, according to Maley.
"Foresi and Streby are playing really well and they work really well together," Maley said. "Linnabary and Whalen get a lot of the assists."