Eight of the 10 players who batted in the Watterson High School softball team's Division I district semifinal May 15 had at least one hit.
Equally as important as the distribution of the offense is that the Eagles continued to tack on runs once they built an early lead against fifth-seeded Marysville on their way to a 9-6 victory at Olentangy.
There was Maddie Egelhoff's two-run home run in the fifth inning that gave 15th-seeded Watterson an 8-3 lead, and after the Monarchs made it 8-6 in the bottom of the inning, the Eagles added a run in the sixth when Sydney Blake advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error.
Marysville loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, but catcher Rachel Reuter caught back-to-back foul-tipped third strikes and pitcher Moira O'Reilly retired the final batter to send the Eagles to their first district final since 2013.
Watterson came up short of winning its first district title May 17 when it lost to ninth-seeded Gahanna 4-0 at Pickerington Central to finish 17-10. The Lions won their seventh consecutive district championship.
"We've been talking all year about how we know we can do it and we have the ability to go a lot farther this year," O'Reilly said. "We just have to stay level-headed and have a plan. Everyone really wants to be a part of it."
Against Gahanna, Watterson loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning but failed to score. The Lions scored three of their four runs in the fourth inning.
The Eagles defeated host and 14th-seeded Dublin Jerome 5-3 in a second-round game May 8 before upsetting the Monarchs.
Against the Monarchs, Egelhoff hit her first home run of the season to give the Eagles a five-run lead. Blake, Gracie Bressoud and Maddie McCleary all had two hits.
"We just keep our heads high and every time we make a mistake, not focusing on it and playing as a team," Egelhoff said. "I haven't had a home run in a while and the pitch was perfect for me. It felt nice."
Baseball team reaches district semifinal
The third-seeded baseball team faced eighth-seeded Bloom-Carroll in a Division II district semifinal May 21.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Sparta Highland or ninth-seeded Granville in a district final Thursday, May 23, at a neutral site. The district champion plays Dayton Chaminade Julienne, Bellbrook, Cincinnati Wyoming or Cincinnati McNicholas in a regional semifinal May 30 at Mason.
Watterson advanced to the district semifinal with a 22-0 win over 19th-seeded Linden-McKinley in a second-round game May 16.
Drake McAninch, Ryan Roark and Mason Graney combined to throw a no-hitter against the Panthers. Noah Truax had three RBI, Grant Horvath went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and Graney and Noah Grayem both had two RBI.
Watterson beat Newark Catholic 5-3 on May 18 in a regular-season game to improve to 20-6.
Boys lacrosse team makes regional semi
The top-seeded boys lacrosse team played host to fourth-seeded Licking Valley in a Division II, Region 7 semifinal May 20.
The winner plays second-seeded DeSales, third-seeded Columbus Academy or sixth-seeded Big Walnut in a regional final Thursday, May 23, at a neutral site.
The regional champion faces Cincinnati Indian Hill, Cincinnati Mariemont, Cincinnati Summit Country Day, Cincinnati Turpin or Wyoming in a state semifinal Wednesday, May 29, at a neutral site. The state final is June 1.
The Eagles opened the postseason May 13 with a 21-6 win over 10th-seeded Granville and beat ninth-seeded Dayton Oakwood 20-6 in the second round May 16 to improve to 16-2 and advance to play Licking Valley.
Against Oakwood, Max Graham scored six goals and Dominic Dean scored four.
Track teams competing at regional
Members of the track and field teams are competing at regional this week.
The boys are in the Division II regional Thursday, May 23, and Saturday, May 25, at Lexington, while the girls are competing in the Division I regional at Pickerington North, which began May 22 and concludes Friday, May 24.
At both regional sites, the top four finishers in each event advance to state May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
The boys finished 10th (25) in the 13-team district 1 meet held May 14, 15 and 18 at Westerville North, behind champion DeSales (117.5).
Advancing to regional were Callen Dailey in the 100 meters (third, 11.38 seconds) and Will Garey in the 1,600 (third, 4:31.68). Placing fifth to finish one spot shy of advancing was the 800 relay of Spencer Mandzak, Nick Youell, Jimmy Racher and Daily (1:34.14).
The girls finished fifth (51) in the 17-team district 3 meet held May 15, 16 and 18 at Hilliard Darby, behind champion Olentangy Orange (125.5).
Anna Kessler led the Eagles, winning both the 100 (12.48) and 200 (26.28).
Also advancing to regional were Erin Connors in the 300 hurdles (third, 46.68) and the 3,200 relay of Bridget Dougherty, Connors, Brooklyn Brush and Claire Sugar (fourth, 9:40.03).
Placing fifth were Sugar in the 800 (2:21.56), the 400 relay of Julia Walling, Logan Paeglis, Cailin O'Reilly and Kessler (50.7) and the 1,600 relay of Connors, O'Reilly, Jane Porter and Kessler (4:02.27).
Volleyball team opens postseason
The second-seeded boys volleyball team opened the Division II East Region tournament May 18 by beating ninth-seeded and host Licking Heights 25-17, 25-21, 25-10.
The Eagles were 14-9 before playing fourth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a regional semifinal May 21. That winner plays top-seeded St. Charles or third-seeded Briggs in a regional final Friday, May 24, at Westerville Central.
The regional champion advances to a state semifinal June 1 at Capital.
Girls lacrosse team ousted by Stallions
The fourth-seeded girls lacrosse team lost to top-seeded DeSales 15-7 in a Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal May 18 to finish 11-6.
The Eagles also lost to the Stallions 18-8 on April 11.
Watterson opened the postseason with a 17-9 victory over 14th-seeded Dayton Oakwood on May 15 to improve to 11-5. Zoe Coleman scored eight goals and goalkeeper Regan Abahazie had 16 saves.
Finissi ends tennis season at district
Senior Chris Finissi of the boys tennis team lost to Wellington's Trevor Ball 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of the Division II district tournament May 16 at Columbus Academy to finish the season.
Finissi was one of three key seniors for the Eagles, along with Jacob DeVendra, who teamed with sophomore Cole Petrilla to reach a quarterfinal in doubles at the sectional May 9 at Academy, and Dylan Tucker, who teamed with sophomore Adam Pavliga to also reach a sectional quarterfinal in doubles.
Finissi placed fourth at sectional.
"(Finissi was a district qualifier) two years in a row and he was a four-year varsity player," coach Ryan Schwieterman said. "It was a good run for us having him, and he's a good kid, too."
Sophomore Johnny DiOrio, who reached a sectional quarterfinal in singles, and sophomore Nick Geelan, who lost in the first round at sectional in singles, should be the top returnees next season.
For much of the regular season, DiOrio played second singles behind Finissi and Geelan was at third singles, as Watterson finished 7-8 overall and placed second in the CCL at 3-1, behind St. Charles (4-0).
"DiOrio and Geelan both are sophomores and both play a lot," Schwieterman said. "It kind of depends on the day to determine who beats who. It'll be a pretty good one-two lineup. We can rely on those four (sophomores) and we'll have to find some other people. We lost four or five matches by 3-2 scores, so we played some really good matches this year."