Notebook: Camping trip gives Central Crossing Comets softball team chance to bond
After a slow start to the season, the Central Crossing softball team was looking for a reset.
The Comets got just that with a camping retreat April 10 and 11, and coach Rona Dorsey said she believed that it was especially beneficial in helping her young players bond with their teammates.
“We had a great weekend, and we had a team camping trip to Lake Snowden near Athens,” Dorsey said. “Every year we do something with the kids and it’s usually camping.
“They were sharing their strengths and weaknesses and learning about building each other up. I feel we’ll play together as a team a whole lot better. It was great and helped them clear their minds before we got back at it.”
The Comets followed the camping trip by splitting their first two contests. They lost 15-5 to Hilliard Darby in five innings April 12 before defeating Dublin Jerome 9-7 on April 13 for their first victory.
Against Jerome, freshman Cassidy Pfeiffer had a double and three singles to drive in three runs, and sophomore Brianna Garner singled and scored three times. Junior Bella MacKellar had two singles, one RBI and two runs, and junior Abby Sullivan had two singles and two RBI.
“It was good for the girls to finally get that win,” said Dorsey, whose team was 1-9 before opening OCC-Buckeye Division play April 15 against Lancaster. “They had a chance to give it away, but they didn’t. They found a way to win and that’s a part of the learning process.”
Central Crossing has a lineup filled with freshmen and sophomores who are still learning how to play at the varsity level.
“We’re starting to get better, especially in the first few innings,” Dorsey said. “Sometimes when they make mistakes, they dwell on it instead of getting over it.
“Now we’re up to playing four or five innings of good ball. We’re getting better, and they’re going to get even better.”
Through eight games, Garner led the team with a .381 batting average with three RBI, three runs, three doubles and two stolen bases. Senior Madison France was batting .364.
•The Grove City softball team entered the midway point of the season looking to remain undefeated.
The Greyhounds were 13-0 before opening OCC-Ohio play April 15 against New Albany.
“I would probably never have thought we’d be 13-0 with some of the teams that we’ve played,” coach Ted Williams said. “We’ve had some breaks. Our bats came alive after our scrimmages and our defense has been pretty solid. … We always have something additional to work on.”
The Greyhounds have been led in the circle by junior Gabby Adams, a transfer from Groveport.
“I wish she’d hit her spots a little bit more,” Williams said. “We’ve had a conversation with her when we get up a little bit. I want her to keep her foot on the gas. If we give her five (runs), we want to shut them down and score another five.”
•Marcus Loring led the Central Crossing baseball team on the mound in addition to providing the Comets with offensive production through seven games.
The junior was 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA, 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 24 1/3 innings for the Comets, who were 4-3 overall defeating Lancaster 8-6 on April 12 in their OCC-Buckeye opener. At the plate, he was batting .375, with six RBI, five runs, five doubles and three stolen bases.
Junior Chance Woods was batting a team-high .421 with three RBI and eight runs, and senior Hayden Thompson was hitting .417 with four RBI, seven runs and three stolen bases. Sophomore Angel Abreu had a .400 batting average with five RBI and four runs, and junior Quintin Amon was hitting .333 with four RBI and a team-leading 11 runs.
•The Grove City boys tennis team got out to a good start under coach Josh Chandler.
The Greyhounds were 3-1 overall before facing Worthington Kilbourne on April 14 and 0-1 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Westerville Central on April 15.
Grove City’s victories came against Marysville (3-2 on April 6), Hilliard Bradley (3-2 on April 7) and Teays Valley (5-0 on April 12).
The loss was to state-ranked New Albany 5-0 on April 13.
Through four matches, Andrew Hougland (first singles), Jesse Stevens (second singles) and Owen Miller (third singles) all were 3-1.
“I’m proud of the way all of my guys are battling every match and being excited for team wins,” Chandler said. “It’s going to be a great year with a lot of team wins.”
•The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has affected the start of the season for the Grove City Christian baseball team, which was 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the MSL-Cardinal before playing Fairfield Christian on April 14.
“The number of games doesn’t really bother us as a coaching staff,” coach A.J. McCampbell said. “Games get canceled and rescheduled all the time. The bigger difficulty has been going from having 10 days of being unable to practice or do anything and then going back into our schedule.
“The rust clearly showed in the first two games and I’m hoping it’s now starting to wear off as we just made some really big mistakes that I think would have been limited with having practices and games spaced out a bit more.”
•The Grove City Christian softball team has enjoyed early success under first-year coach Chad Kennedy, as the Eagles were 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Cardinal before facing Fairfield Christian on April 14.
“I’m very proud of all the hard work they’ve put in so far,” Kennedy said. “We opened the season with McKenzie (Kennedy) throwing a perfect game against Harvest Prep. We’re definitely improving with every game.”
Grove City Christian beat Harvest Prep 21-0 in five innings April 5.
Through five games, Kennedy was 2-1 with a 1.56 ERA, 34 strikeouts and four walks in 18 innings, while Grace Leffel was 2-0.
Kennedy was batting .600, and Paige Spencer was batting .500 with a team-high 11 runs. Leffel had a team-high 12 RBI.
•After six seasons, Neil Hohman has stepped down as coach of the Central Crossing boys basketball program to spend more time with his family.
“As you go along, time becomes a valuable asset,” said Hohman, whose team finished 3-19 overall and 0-10 in the OCC-Buckeye this winter. “I think it’s time to spend more time with my family. I’ll still be around the school, but I’m stepping back right now.”
Hohman, an intervention specialist at Central Crossing, had a record of 43-94 overall and 18-46 in the OCC with the Comets. He also compiled a 60-74 record leading the girls basketball program from 2010-15.