Hilliard Davidson High School softball coach Katie Speakman was confident her team would bounce back this spring after a disappointing season a year ago.
The Wildcats have done just that, as they were 11-10 overall and 3-5 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Central Crossing on April 30 after finishing 5-19 last season.
"We've already doubled last year's win total, which we're very pleased with," Speakman said. "We are exceeding expectations, but at the same time, we don't want to get complacent. We're expecting more every day. We know that we can compete, so we need to get to that next step."
Davidson rebounded from a 13-8 home loss to Westerville North on April 27 to defeat visiting Thomas Worthington 13-3 in six innings later that day.
The Wildcats then beat Westland 13-1 in five innings in a league game April 29.
CiCi Keidel hit a two-run home run against Thomas and a grand slam against North. Natalie Myers added a two-run homer against North.
"The North game was a flat game, not our best game, but the response was positive," Speakman said. "I'm glad we responded in game 2 (against Thomas). That's usually the challenge, especially when you have a young group of kids. We were within one and two runs in game 1 (against North) a couple of times and just couldn't shut the door on it defensively, but came back and responded in game 2. I'm happy with that."
Through 20 games, Keidel led the team in batting average (.411), hits (30), extra-base hits (19), RBI (31) and runs scored (29). Myers was batting .400 with 22 hits, including 14 extra-base hits, along with five home runs, 19 RBI and 19 runs, Abby Mullins was hitting .397 with 16 RBI and Carlie Champion was batting .365 with 21 runs and 12 RBI.
"Offensively, we do a lot of things well. We just have to be selective with our pitches and watch what the pitcher is throwing," Speakman said.
Davidson is seeded 23rd of 45 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play host to 35th-seeded Hartley in the first round Monday, May 6. The winner plays at 20th-seeded Darby in a second-round game Wednesday, May 8, with that winner advancing to a district semifinal May 13.
The Wildcats defeated the Panthers 7-5 on April 6.
"I'm looking forward to seeing us compete in the postseason," Speakman said. "We have some good momentum going. The girls have a year of experience under their belt when it comes to the tournament. We competed well last year, so this year I hope we come out ready to play and can surprise some people."
Boys lacrosse team preps for postseason
Boys lacrosse coach Adam Beasley is hoping his team gains momentum heading into the postseason.
Davidson was 6-7 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Central before playing Marysville on April 30.
"We have an important stretch coming up for state tournament seeding (meeting) and a chance to win the Hilliard Cup, which is our goal every year," Beasley said. "We could end up anywhere between the fourth and eighth seeds, based on this week. We also want to be going into the tournament with some momentum."
The Wildcats defeated Bradley 9-8 on March 21 and will complete play in the Hilliard Cup on Tuesday, May 7, at home against Darby. Bradley and Darby faced each other as part of the Hilliard Cup on April 30.
Kirk Myers and Alex VanVoorhis both scored three goals and goalkeeper Kaiden Roche had 12 saves in a 12-6 loss to Hudson on April 26.
Track teams fare well in home meet
The track and field teams both finished second in the six-team Wildcat Premier on April 25.
The boys team scored 122 points in the home meet to finish behind Dublin Coffman (140).
Josiah Ezirim won both the shot put (50 feet, 6 inches) and discus (158-5), Jack Altman finished first in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 27.78 seconds), Christian Gillilan won the high jump (6-2) and the 3,200 relay of Thomas Lynch, Mitchell Montgomery, John Steitz and R.J. Sagrilla finished first (8:39.32).
The girls team scored 154 points and was edged by Coffman (162) for the title.
Winning individual events were Riley Ries in the 800 (2:25.59), Emma Conrad in the 100 hurdles (15.89), Emilee Fecht in the shot put (38-9 1/2) and Sarah Shevelow in the discus (105-4).
Also finishing first were Lydia Baumgartner, Caroline Schneidmiller, Sydney Ryan and Talaya Sanford in the 400 relay (50.91) and 800 relay (1:46.84) and the 3,200 relay of Justine Smith, Vivian Smith, Jayce Conley and Haleigh Spencer (10:10.63).
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*May 3 -- Upper Arlington at Tremont Elementary School. The Wildcats lost to the Golden Bears 12-10 on April 10 and 7-1 on April 12.
May 4 -- At Westerville North (DH)
*May 6 -- Home vs. Central Crossing. The Wildcats defeated the Comets 7-4 on April 15 and lost 4-2 on April 17.
*May 8 -- At Westland. The Wildcats defeated the Cougars 14-1 on April 22 and lost 3-1 on April 24.
May 2 -- Home vs. Thomas Worth-ington
May 4 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
May 7 -- Home vs. Darby
May 2 -- At Dublin Scioto
May 7 -- At Darby
May 8 -- Home vs. Miamisburg
May 2 -- Home vs. Scioto
May 3 -- At Newark
May 6 -- Home vs. 35th-seeded Hartley in first round of Division I district tournament
May 2 -- Home vs. Scioto
May 4 -- Davidson Doubles Classic at Bradley
May 6 -- Watterson at Park of Roses
TRACK & FIELD
May 3 -- Bradley Invitational
*May 2 -- At UA. The Wildcats defeated the Golden Bears 25-21, 25-14, 25-16 on April 11.
*May 6 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg. The Wildcats defeated the Raiders 25-10, 25-20, 25-10 on April 2.
*May 7 -- At Gahanna. The Wildcats lost to the Lions 25-18, 17-25, 25-15, 25-12 on April 16.