The memory of the play that occurred late in the first period March 19 against Dublin Scioto remains hazy to Dominic Dean, but the junior attacker for the Watterson High School boys lacrosse team has seen the film.

He knows it wasn't pretty.

"I was coming around the crease against Scioto and got blindsided after I scored," Dean said. "When I came down, I was cross-checked and hit somebody's knee."

The concussion Dean sustained on the play kept him out for the rest of the Eagles' 12-6 victory as well as for their wins over Hilliard Darby (14-7 on March 21), Delaware (8-4 on March 25) and Toledo St. Francis (12-10 on March 27).

Dean scored six goals in Watterson's 10-9 opening loss to Worthington Kilbourne on March 16 and five more against Scioto, and since returning to the lineup, he's picked up where he left off offensively.

After scoring 65 goals last season, Dean had 35 goals through nine games this season.

Still to come for Watterson are CCL games April 25 against DeSales at Fortress Obetz and May 9 at St. Charles.

The Eagles, who beat Cincinnati Summit Country Day 13-4 on April 12 and lost to Cincinnati Indian Hill 9-8 in overtime April 13, were 8-2 overall before playing Granville on April 15.

"Dom's put some points on the board, for sure," coach Chris Sauter said. "We have a new offensive coordinator this year in Ray Finnegan, who won a state championship at Scioto (in 2003). What Ray does a great job of is, he gets everybody engaged. It doesn't matter what position you are. If you've got a short stick, you've got to play both ways with this team."

On April 4, Watterson won 16-11 at Columbus Academy, which figures to be one of central Ohio's stronger Division II teams along with the Eagles.

Then on April 6, Dean scored seven goals as Watterson edged Cincinnati Mariemont 10-9 at Otterbein.

Junior midfielder Max Ritchey and senior defender Barrett Baur also have been among the team's offensive catalysts, according to Sauter.

Sauter also was impressed with the way his team responded during Dean's absence.

"When one door closes, it opens up a door for some other guys and it was an opportunity for others to showcase their talent," Sauter said. "It was certainly a different dynamic, but I was extremely pleased with the guys that stepped up that had an opportunity to play. Obviously, when you see one of your top guys go down with a vicious injury, it shakes the soul for the rest of the team for sure, but they were eager to take that challenge on."

For Dean, who has received interest collegiately from High Point and Rutgers and also was a key player for the football team last fall, getting back on track after his injury was something he's tried to take in stride.

"I just had to pop back in and get my role back," Dean said. "I'm feeling great. We didn't lose too many kids from last year. Being on the field and having the chemistry that we do just puts me in the right place, and give all the credit to these guys for giving me great passes."

Softball team hits offensive stride

When her players head to the plate, softball coach Emily Manahan reminds them that if they're going to swing, they should swing hard.

"We've been working on power hitting the whole year and understanding putting the ball in play hard creates chaos most of the time," Manahan said. "What we ask our kids to do is to put a challenge on the defense. ... If you're going to miss, I want to see all of it in your swing."

The emphasis has been paying off.

During a six-run third inning in a 12-2 victory over Grandview on April 9, the Eagles had six doubles and two singles.

Rachel Reuter went 3-for-4 with four RBI and homered for the third consecutive game, while Natalie Funge went 3-for-3 and Maddie Egelhoff, Maddie McCleary, Amy Emswiler and Sydney Blake had two hits apiece.

Gracie Bressoud was hitting .529 with 11 runs scored through 13 games.

Moira O'Reilly and Nicole Funge have been splitting time in the circle, and both have been averaging about one strikeout per inning.

Watterson went 3-2 during a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in late March and was 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the CCL before playing Ready on April 15.

On April 10, the Eagles beat DeSales 5-2 in a league contest as Funge hit a three-run homer in the sixth.

"We're starting to score some runs consistently," Manahan said. "We were doing a lot of hitting but not a lot of scoring (earlier in the season), so they've definitely made an adjustment in being able to drive some of those runs in. We've had some really good games recently."

Baseball team set for second half

The baseball team was 10-2 overall before facing Johnstown on April 16 and 1-0 in the CCL before playing Ready on April 17.

The Eagles opened CCL action April 12 with a 2-1 win at DeSales.

Watterson defeated Gran-ville 8-1 on April 9 and Coffman 7-1 on April 11.

Against Granville, Drake McAninch struck out three over three shutout innings and Ryan Roark gave up one run over the final four innings, also striking out three.

Through 10 games, McAninch was 2-0 with 15 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, Noah Truax had 12 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings and Stephen Garrett was 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Against DeSales, McAninch struck out 12 over six innings and picked up the victory and Truax tossed a scoreless seventh to earn the save. Roark and Grant Horvath both had two hits.

Adam Fallon was batting .500 through 10 games, followed by McAninch (.435) and Truax (.412).

Watterson returns to CCL action Wednesday, April 24, at home against St. Charles and then will play host to Hartley on April 26. Hartley and DeSales shared the CCL title last season.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek