Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers softball squad falls short in district final
The Delaware Hayes softball team came up short in its campaign for a district title, but coach Mark Thomas said the Pacers should be proud of what they accomplished this season.
After missing last year because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Pacers put together a strong season in which they finished 19-4-1 overall and went 13-0 in the OCC-Capital Division to capture the league title.
Sixth-seeded Delaware opened the Division I district tournament with an 8-5 win over 32nd-seeded Licking Heights in the second round May 12 and defeated 26th-seeded Newark 7-6 on May 17 to advance to its first district title game since 2015.
The Pacers lost 14-2 in six innings to third-seeded Mount Vernon in the final May 19, but Thomas said they shouldn’t hang their heads.
“I’m very happy. The girls met our goals,” said Thomas, who earned OCC-Capital Coach of the Year honors. “Of course we didn’t win the district title, but we got to a district final, and we won an OCC title. So I’m good with the season. I’m happy with the season. The girls played very hard. I have no complaints.”
Sophomore infielder Lauren Tompkins led the Pacers at the plate, hitting .576 with 49 hits, 34 RBI and five home runs as part of an offense that generated 297 hits, 246 runs and 39 home runs.
Junior catcher Myaih Cloud hit .500 with 39 hits, 29 RBI and 10 home runs, and junior infielder Olivia Nelson hit .485 with 33 hits, 39 RBI and a team-leading 12 home runs.
Junior infielder Kami Slayton hit .476 with 39 hits, 35 RBI and five home runs.
“We had a great season – a better season than some people would have expected with us being such a young team,” said Cloud, who was named OCC-Capital Player of the Year. “We made goals as a team at the beginning of the year and accomplished almost every single one of them. One of our top goals was to win the OCC and we did that.
“Our hitting just fell short in the district final game. We will learn from this season and come back even stronger next season.”
Junior pitcher Hope Clark and freshman pitcher Maddie Kiss had strong seasons in the circle. Kiss went 17-1 with a 3.44 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 110 innings, and Clark went 2-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.
Nelson, Tompkins, Kiss and Slayton were first-team all-league, and senior infielder Judaea Wilson was second-team all-league.
Junior outfielder Brianna Richey and freshman outfielder Addy Tope were special mention all-league, and senior infielder Sophia Salem was honorable mention all-league.
Cloud also was first-team all-district, while Slayton was second-team all-district and Tompkins was honorable mention all-district.
Track teams qualify
several for regional
The track and field program qualified one boy, one girl and a girls relay for the Division I regional meet May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.
The top four finishers in each event at district, which concluded May 22 at Hilliard Darby, advanced to regional.
Orion Ward of the boys team placed first in the 200 meters (personal-record 21.62 seconds), second in the 100 (personal-record 10.81) and third in the long jump (personal-record 22 feet, 4 inches).
For the girls team, the 400 relay of Hannah Halstead, Madi Diaz, McKenzie Hayes and Taylor Brown placed third (50.49) and Samantha Toney was third in the shot put (34-11).
At regional, the top four finishers in each event qualified for state June 4 and 5 at Darby. Also, two at-large state berths were awarded in each event based on times and distances statewide.
The boys finished seventh (38) of 18 teams in the district 1 meet behind champion Canal Winchester (114), and the girls placed 13th (18) of 18 teams in district 1 behind champion Pickerington Central (85).
Record: 19-4-1 overall
OCC-Capital standings: Delaware (13-0), Westerville North and Westerville South (10-4), Canal Winchester (9-5), Big Walnut (5-9), Dublin Scioto (4-8), Worthington Kilbourne (3-11), Franklin Heights (0-13)
Seniors lost: Ericah Arrmstrong, Sophie Salem, Ainsley Tatman and Judaea Wilson
Key returnees: Myaih Cloud, Maddie Kiss, Olivia Nelson, Kami Slayton, Lauren Tompkins and Addy Tope
Postseason: Defeated Licking Heights 8-5; def. Newark 7-6; lost to Mount Vernon 14-2 (6 innings) in district final