Bexley Roundup: Lions softball team trying to make up for lost time

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Sophomore first baseman Quinn McDermott is one of the key players for the Bexley softball team, which has only two players with varsity experience. “I’m really upset we didn’t get to play last season because we’d put in so much work in the offseason,” coach Jess Sciacca said.

The Bexley softball team is trying to catch up from missing the 2020 season and most of its offseason workouts because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Lions have just two players back from 2019 in senior pitcher Claire Melville and senior shortstop Liv Wilson. A third would have been senior Aly Cox, who was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered last fall playing soccer. 

As a sophomore, Cox was the co-Player of the Year in the MSL-Ohio Division.

“I’m really upset we didn’t get to play last season because we’d put in so much work in the offseason,” second-year coach Jess Sciacca said. “We lifted, we ran, we hit. We were here at the school at least four days a week last year, and this year with COVID, we didn’t get started until December.

“No matter how good of a team you have, if you take a year off it’s going to take a while to jell back together. The younger kids are pretty timid, and you want them to come out of their shells and start producing. They’re a good group of girls with a lot of talent and they need to start stringing things together.”

Melville batted .338 with 15 RBI, seven runs and a team-high six triples as a sophomore, and Wilson hit .262 with 12 RBI, 18 runs and seven stolen bases. Both were first-team all-league.

“It’s exciting and also kind of sad at the same time because we had our junior season taken away, but I’m glad we’re having a season even with the masks and all of the restrictions put in place,” Melville said. “We have a young team, and it’s important for me to be a leader this year as a senior.”

Taking over behind the plate for Cox will be sophomore Annabelle Brown, and the infield will include sophomores Quinn McDermott (1B) and Ellie Goldson (2B), Wilson (SS) and senior Eleanor Reich (3B).

The outfield will be senior Makenzie Holt (LF) and freshmen Izzy Carleton (CF) and Alina Lacki (RF).

“It’s early on and we need to see more pitches and understand pitch counts better,” said Sciacca, whose team lost its opener to Hamilton Township 7-4 on March 29. “We need to understand that we don’t have to swing at the first pitch. We might swing at the first pitch and line out when two pitches later we might see a better pitch we could get a single or double out of. We need to be more patient at the plate.”

SOFTBALL

Coach: Jess Sciacca, second season 

Opener: April 8 vs. Westerville Central

Key athletes: Annabelle Brown, Izzy Carleton, Ellie Goldson, Quinn McDermott, Claire Melville and Liv Wilson

Baseball team

gaining experience

The baseball team returns a strong nucleus, but has little varsity experience beyond that.

First-year coach Joe Krabill was set to lead the program last spring before COVID-19 ended the season. He coached at Briggs from 2014-19, Brookhaven from 2008 until it closed in 2013 and Maumee Valley Country Day before that.

“Last year we would have had just one senior,” said Krabill, who replaced Andrew Orlins after four seasons. “We’re young again this year, but in a different vein. We would have had several kids get varsity experience last year before everything ended.”

The players with the most varsity experience are seniors Tommy Bloebaum (P/SS/3B/1B), Tim Old (CF/P), Cade Phillips (P/3B/SS) and Jackson Remeis (RF/C) and junior Joey Shapiro (C).

Sophomores Josiah Old (OF/P) and Jon Spiess (SS/P/3B) were expected to start last spring.

Bloebaum, Phillips and Spiess are the team’s top pitchers, with Josiah Old, Tim Old and sophomore Jacob Rubin also expected to see action on the mound.

“I’d say we have pretty strong pitchers and the top of our lineup is pretty strong,” Krabill said. “We’re young in a couple of key positions like first and second base, so we’ll see how well we can do.”

Shapiro will be at catcher, with junior Ryan Bernstein or Rubin at first and sophomore John Westman or freshman Jamey Wright at second. 

Spiess and Bloebaum will rotate at shortstop and the other will play at third when not on the mound. Phillips will also play third.

The outfield will be Josiah Old (LF), Tim Old (CF) and Remeis (RF).

The Lions started 0-2 against a pair of Division I teams, falling 10-0 to Olentangy Berlin in five innings March 27 and 9-3 to Dublin Jerome on March 29.

“I think our nine are as good as anyone we run into, especially with Division II teams,” Krabill said. “We schedule above our head early, so when we get into league play we’ll be better prepared.”

BASEBALL

Coach: Joe Krabill, first season 

Next game: April 8 vs. Briggs

Key athletes: Tommy Bloebaum, Tim Old, Cade Phillips, Jackson Remeis, Joey Shapiro and Jon Speiss

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