Losing seven players from a year ago to graduation, including a pair of four-year starters, hasn't slowed down the Eastmoor Academy softball team this spring.
The Warriors will try to win a third consecutive City League championship Wednesday, May 15, at home against Whetstone or Centennial.
The addition of freshman Brooke Barnes (C/P/INF), combined with her older sisters, junior Paige Barnes (1B/P/OF) and senior Mallory Barnes (SS/OF/P), has helped the Warriors' continue their recent run of success.
Eastmoor was 15-5 overall and 12-0 in the City League-South Division before facing Independence on May 6.
"I've got three Barnes girls now," coach Travis Clodfelter said. "We've actually got three sets of sisters on the team. We've got some girls who were on (junior varsity) last year that have stepped up and done the best they can do. I'm pleased. They've definitely stepped up."
Brooke Barnes has been the Warriors' No. 1 pitcher and was 6-1 with 48 strikeouts in 41 innings through 18 games. Sophomore Tia Elder (CF/P/SS) was 5-2 with 56 strikeouts in 37 innings and Paige Barnes also has seen time in the circle.
Offensively through 18 games, Mallory Barnes was hitting .796 with six home runs and 44 RBI, Paige Barnes was batting .566 with two home runs and 25 RBI and Brooke Barnes was hitting .500 with two home runs and 24 RBI.
Junior Maliyah Eiland-Johnson (OF) and Elder also were hitting over .400.
The Warriors are seeded eighth for the Division II district tournament and open with a second-round game Thursday, May 9, at home against ninth-seeded Caledonia River Valley or 23rd-seeded South.
The winner plays second-seeded Jonathan Alder, 15th-seeded London or 22nd-seeded Cristo Rey in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 14, at a site to be announced, with that winner advancing to a district final May 17 or 18 at Pickerington Central.
Cougars tennis team excited to beat Braves
The Beechcroft boys tennis team earned a breakthrough win when it edged Whetstone 3-2 on May 1.
It marked the Cougars' first victory over the Braves during Daphne Hess' 10-year tenure as coach.
Winning for Beechcroft were Henry Bright at first singles, Maxime Ngoupa and Andrew Zigarevich at first doubles and Louis Ghazazwah and Gideon Adjei at second doubles.
"This is huge for us," Hess said.
The Cougars will compete in a Division II sectional Thursday, May 9, and Saturday, May 11, at Columbus School for Girls.
Bright is joining Ali Mojtabaei to comprise one doubles team and Adjei and Ghazazwah will make up the other. Competing in singles will be Zigarevich, Sam Kyereh and Ngoupa.
On May 2, Beechcroft lost to Westerville South 3-2 to drop to 9-3 overall. The Cougars played Central Crossing on May 7.
Against Westerville South, Kyereh won at third singles and Adjei and Ghazazwah won at second doubles.
"We had a very difficult match that came down to the final court," Hess said. "Ali Mojtabaei fought hard the whole match (at second singles before losing to Adrian Self 6-7, 6-4, 6-4). I couldn't be more proud of our players."
Vikings, Cougars open softball tourney
The postseason is underway for the Northland and Beechcroft softball teams.
The 36th-seeded Vikings were 10-7 overall before playing host to 37th-seeded Westland in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 6, with the winner visiting fifth-seeded Marysville in the second round May 8.
The second-round winner plays 14th-seeded Dublin Jerome, 15th-seeded Watterson or 41st-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a district semifinal Monday, May 13, at a site to be announced, with that winner advancing to a district final May 17 or 18 at Pickerington Central.
Northland entered the week 8-4 in the City-North. The Vikings must make up a league game against East that was postponed May 3 and also must reschedule a league game against Linden-McKinley that was to have been played May 6.
On May 1, Northland beat Mifflin 27-9 as Tenasia Watson had four hits, Iyauna Bonner had three hits and four RBI and Keyerra Norris pitched the first five innings to pick up the victory.
Through 17 games, Watson was batting .609, Norris was hitting .467 and Amara McCuen-Roberts was hitting .440.
Seeded eighth, Beechcroft played host to 18th-seeded Whitehall in the first round of the Division II district tournament May 7, with the winner visiting fifth-seeded Granville in the second round Thursday, May 9.
The second-round winner faces sixth-seeded Sparta Highland, 13th-seeded Buckeye Valley or 14th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 14, at a site to be announced, with that winner advancing to a district final May 17 or 18 at Pickerington Central.
The Cougars were 7-7 overall and 6-6 in the City-North before playing East on May 6. They also have a league game to make up against International that was postponed May 2.
Through 14 games, Shailin Hasty was batting .444 with 20 RBI and Azhane Garrett had 23 RBI.