The Westerville South High School baseball team is looking to rebound from its early challenging schedule.
The Wildcats were 6-7 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Buckeye Division before playing Westerville North on April 24. They defeated the Warriors 3-1 on April 22.
"Our big thing is if we just play our game, if we just play at the level that we can play, we're competitive against anybody," coach Tim Bates said. "We'd like to have our league record flipped. It would be nice if it was flipped."
The five league losses came against Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange. Liberty is the defending Division I state champion.
"It's difficult for our players, especially when we have a young team and a lot of sophomores who are starting for us, to play your first league games against the three Olentangy teams," Bates said. "We played six games against three of the best teams in central Ohio to start off the season. A lot of our young players realized how competitive our OCC (division) is. The older players kept the team morale up."
The Wildcats defeated Olentangy 8-2 on April 8, avenging a 13-7 loss to the Braves on April 5.
South lost to Liberty 7-2 on April 10 and 12-3 on April 12. The Wildcats were shut out by Orange 6-0 on April 15 and 2-0 on April 17.
The Wildcats continue league play with games against Westerville Central on Friday, April 26, and Monday, April 29. South lost five of six games to Central and North last season.
The Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak with an 11-1 win in six innings over Bexley on April 13. Brayden White hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Through 12 games, Jake Llaneza was batting .367 with two doubles and six RBI and Michael Dailey was hitting .324 with three doubles and 11 RBI. Brandon Kim was batting .333, Nick McConnell was hitting .320 and White was batting .297 with seven RBI.
On the mound, White was 2-1 with one save and a 1.62 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. He had 16 strikeouts and 12 walks.
Track teams play host to invitational
The boys and girls track and field teams both finished a close second to Reynoldsburg in the Wildcat Invitational on April 18 at home.
Gideon Abimbola led the boys, winning the 100 meters (11.12 seconds) and 200 (22.54). He also teamed with Ibukunoluwa Alfred, Aaron Powell and Austin Fickeisen to win the 800 relay (1:31.31) and 1,600 relay (3:26.11).
Cole Koehler, Ian Anderson, Isaac Combs and Reece Marcelain won the 3,200 relay (8:42.59).
South collected 139 points as Reynoldsburg finished with 140.5.
Makayla Roberts finished first in the discus (102 feet, 9 inches), Josephine Appiah and Gahanna's Sophia Hill tied for first in the high jump (5-0) and Caroline Sheridan won the pole vault (10-0) to lead the girls, who had 120 points to 121 for Reynoldsburg.
Softball team trying to 'stay competitive'
The softball team was 3-12 overall before playing Dublin Jerome on April 23 and 0-6 in the OCC-Buckeye before facing Liberty on April 24.
The Wildcats fell 8-7 at North on April 17. South led 5-3 in the fourth before the Warriors scored four times to take a 7-5 lead. The Wildcats tied the game at 7 with two runs in the fifth, but North scored again in the sixth.
South lost to Olentangy 4-0 on April 22.
Through 14 games, Tori Moore led South with a .450 batting average, followed by Megan Shoemaker at .440.
In the circle, Shoemaker had 42 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.
"With 12 of our 15 players (being) underclassmen and the lack of a j.v. team, we find ourselves still changing the lineup around in an effort to stay competitive with bigger programs," coach Emily Swank-Kavanaugh said. "We have great teams in our division, such as (state-ranked) Westerville Central, and had a tough loss to crosstown rival Westerville North, losing by only one."
Below are the coming schedules for the South baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
April 25 -- Home vs. Northland
*April 26 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*April 29 -- At Central
*May 1 -- At Olentangy. The Wildcats lost to the Braves 13-7 on April 5 and defeated the Braves 8-2 on April 8.
*April 30 -- Home vs. Central
*April 30 -- At Central
*April 25 -- At Olentangy Orange. The Wildcats lost to the Pioneers 12-5 on April 15.
April 27 -- At London with Franklin Heights
*April 29 -- Home vs. Westerville North. The Wildcats lost to the Warriors 8-7 on April 17.
*May 1 -- At Central. The Wildcats lost to the Warhawks 17-0 in five innings April 18.
April 25 -- At Olentangy Berlin
April 26 -- Home vs. Whetstone
April 30 -- Home vs. Watkins Mem-orial
TRACK & FIELD
April 26 -- Ranger Invitational at Hamilton Township
April 29 -- At North with Central