Audrey Hollerich's numbers speak for themselves despite limited play in her career with the Westerville North High School softball program.
Through 15 games this spring, the senior catcher led the Warriors in numerous offensive categories: batting average (.510), home runs (5), RBI (33), doubles (6), slugging percentage (.939) and on-base percentage (.554).
However, Hollerich did not play last season and missed a portion of her sophomore season because of complications from a concussion. Although she still suffers migraines, she has been able to focus at the plate and pummel opponents' pitching.
"I didn't play last year because of my trouble with migraines," said Hollerich, whose team was 11-6 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye Division after losing to Olentangy Liberty 6-3 on April 15. "Having taken a year off, it was interesting to see where I am. This is the best I have ever played throughout my career, and it's given me a confidence-boost."
Hollerich said the concussion came from a rather pedestrian play during her freshman season in volleyball. She was hit in the head with the ball, but only later would realize the repercussions.
"The ball hit me in the head and it wasn't even a hard hit, but it hit me in just the right spot," she said. "I missed like three months of school and I lost cognition so I had to go to therapy. I went back to school part time for the last half of my freshman year.
"I made it through the year without falling behind in my classes. I tried out (for softball) as a freshman but decided I needed to quit to keep up with my studies. I played my sophomore year, but had a lot of older players in front of me. Then I didn't play last year because of the migraines."
Coach Brian Anderson is amazed by Hollerich's concentration at the plate and behind it.
"Audrey has been great hitting the ball from day one," he said. "When she comes up with runners on base, we're shocked when she doesn't drive them in. Her RBI totals have been off the chart as well as her power numbers.
"She's also been doing a good job behind the plate. We give her full control of the game in terms of calling pitches. She's a very smart girl who understands how to set up and work hitters. She does a fantastic job calling the game."
Hollerich missed two games because of a migraine during the team's spring-break trip to the Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Warriors split the games March 28, losing to Medina 12-1 in five innings and defeating Tallmadge 10-5.
"I told coach on the way to the field that I might be having (a migraine) and told him I would sit down and see if it got better," she said. "It didn't so I called my mom at the hotel and she came and got me.
"I have prescription rescue medication and then I have some pain medication. After the migraine goes away, I have throbbing pain. I usually have to take a nap afterward."
Not only did Hollerich have the painful headaches, but early on she wasn't able to adequately convey the problem. She wasn't sure how others would interpret it.
"At first, I really struggled with external judgment because I felt like people didn't understand because it's not physical," Hollerich said. "It's not like you have a broken leg and everyone can see it. I had trouble communicating about them because maybe I was afraid that people wouldn't understand."
Hollerich played volleyball as a sophomore but since has focused on softball. When she wasn't able to play as a junior, she got a job at Mannino's Grand Slam, an indoor hitting facility in Dublin.
"Audrey has good basic mechanics and she has good bat speed, which helps her with her power numbers," Anderson said. "She's patient at the plate and doesn't chase out of the zone. She makes you throw her strikes and when you do, she's ready to hit."
Hollerich said she won't play softball in college. She has a 4.51 GPA and plans to major in communications and journalism at Arizona State or Ohio State.
"I'm having so much fun," she said. "I came back because I wanted to have fun my senior year. I have never been on a school team that has been this close. Everybody gets along and we're all friends."
Bond, Lowder leading baseball team's lineup
Brandon Bond and Mason Lowder were leading the baseball team through 10 games.
Bond led the Warriors with a .438 batting average and 10 runs scored, and Lower was batting .407 with a team-high 11 RBI.
Auri Dover was hitting .345 with six RBI, eight runs and a team-leading six stolen bases. Adam Stefanelli was batting .333 with five stolen bases and a team-best .526 on-base percentage.
The Warriors were 5-6 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Liberty on April 17.
North lost to Westerville Central 7-5 on April 5 in its league opener before falling to Central 9-8 on April 8. It then split with Olentangy in league play, losing 3-2 on April 10 and winning 8-6 on April 12.
Girls lacrosse team splits with Central, South
The girls lacrosse team was 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Buckeye after losing to Central 13-6 on April 15.
North split with its Westerville rivals, having defeated South 10-5 on April 9. Kait Boso, Gracie Heighway and Paige Miller all scored three goals and Madi Martin made seven saves.
Miller led the Warriors with 18 goals and four assists through seven games, and Heighway had 14 goals and seven assists.
Boso had six goals and Martin had 67 saves.