The Wellington School girls lacrosse team got a boost from a pair of unexpected sources during its Division II, Region 7 tournament opener May 11 at home against 16th-seeded Dayton Miami Valley.
With a low number of athletes available to compete, freshman Sloan Shock joined the team for the game and scored one of the Jaguars' goals in a 10-3 victory.
"We were thankful to have her support," coach Katie Hill said. "She was a natural. She had never picked up a lacrosse stick before in her life. Everyone gave her a run-down of the rules before the game and she took everything in stride."
In addition, freshman Jameela Askira moved to goalkeeper after not having played the position since last season and recorded 17 saves.
Mackenzie Beam scored four goals, Mia Croft and Anna Chester each scored two and Macy Croft scored one.
Wellington improved to 3-10 and advanced to play at top-seeded DeSales on May 15.
The winner plays fourth-seeded Watterson or 14th-seeded Dayton Oakwood in a regional quarterfinal Saturday, May 18, at the home of the better seed, and that winner likely will face fifth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or eighth-seeded Big Walnut in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at the home of the better seed.
The regional final is May 24.
The 16th-seeded boys team lost to 10th-seeded Granville 20-5 on May 11 in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament.
Boys tennis team returning to state
The boys tennis team made it back to state by beating Columbus Academy 3-0 on May 13 in a Division II district final of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament.
The defending state champion Jaguars will play in the state team tournament May 26 at Reynoldsburg.
Wellington was 11-3 after beating the Vikings, whom the Jaguars lost to 3-2 on April 23 when first-singles player Trevor Ball was out with an injury.
At an OHSAA sectional May 9 and 11 at Columbus School for Girls, Wellington advanced six of its seven players to the district tournament Thursday, May 16, at Academy and Saturday, May 18, at Reynoldsburg.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles at district advance to state May 24 and 25 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Ball, who missed most of the regular season, was seeded first for the sectional and beat teammate Adam Sorrels 6-3, 6-1 to win the sectional championship, as the top four in singles and doubles advanced.
The other singles entrant was Evan Manley, who lost in the first round.
In doubles, Milan Gonela and Griffin Biernat beat Bexley's Leo Schottenstein and Christian Roddy 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 for the championship, while Ben Marshall and Anarag Reddy finished third.
At district in singles, Ball opens against Watterson's Chris Finissi, with the winner to face Bexley's Jordan Koppes or Academy's Ryan Wahl in the second round. Sorrels opens against Academy's Ryan Panley, with the winner to face Academy's Drew Haffer or Bexley's Will Meyer.
In doubles, Gonela and Biernat open against DeSales' Liam Verfurth and Will McAfee-Witherspoon and Marshall and Reddy open against Academy's Arie Tuckerman and Jack Madison, with the winners of those matches meeting in the second round.
Baseball team begins postseason
The eighth-seeded baseball team was 11-12 after beating seventh-seeded Fairfield Christian 7-0 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament May 13 at Berliner Park.
The Jaguars played at third-seeded Fisher Catholic in a second-round game May 15. That winner likely plays second-seeded Berne Union or fourth-seeded Centerburg in a district semifinal Monday, May 20, at the home of the better seed.
The district final is Wednesday, May 22, at a neutral site. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 30 at Beavers Field in Lancaster.
Softball coach excited for future
The softball team improved by three wins from a season ago, as it finished 10-12 overall and 4-8 in the MSL-Cardinal Division to place fifth behind co-champions Fisher Catholic and Berne Union (11-1).
On May 7, the 19th-seeded Jaguars lost 11-1 at 14th-seeded Fairbanks in the first round of the Division III district tournament.
"I'm very proud of my team," coach Me-Chelle Burkhalter said. "Our record does not reflect the hard work and improvement they have made this season. Growth and team chemistry rank highly in my vision as a coach and I feel that this team persevered all season and showed maturity, camaraderie and a love for the game."
The Jaguars are losing nine seniors, including Soleil Tibbets-Barnes (CF), Aquila Simmons (C) and Camille Simpson (P).
Juniors Rosemary Haskett (SS) and Megan Leino (C/OF), sophomore Lina Grohovsky (3B/C) and freshman Alexis Burkhalter (1B) should be the top returnees.
Burkhalter batted .508 with 30 RBI and 19 stolen bases, Simmons hit .436 with 25 RBI, Leino batted .404 with 16 RBI, Haskett hit .355 with 19 RBI, 15 stolen bases and 34 runs scored and Tibbets-Barnes had 20 RBI and scored 20 runs.
Simpson went 7-9 in the circle, pitching 75 innings, and also had 19 RBI and 12 runs.
Freshman Ayana Cooper-Stevens, who pitched 25 innings, should be among the top candidates to become the No. 1 pitcher next season.
Others eligible to return include junior Lexi Horan (2B), sophomores Carina Dison (2B) and Lu Godfrey (utility) and freshmen Blais Blackburn (OF), Clara Evans (INF), Drew Ober (utility) and Lexi Robbins (1B).
"I'm excited for our future," coach Burkhalter said. "Megan and Rosemary understand my philosophy and our school culture. They'll be great senior leaders with strong support from Lina and Alexis."