Softball: Hilliard Bradley Jaguars working to get up to speed

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Junior outfielder Kenna McClellan returns for Bradley after batting .403 with 23 RBI in 2019. The Jaguars opened April 7 against Marysville and play host to Watterson on April 8.

A mixture of veterans and freshmen will look to mesh as the season goes along for the Hilliard Bradley softball team.

Coach Kevin Moody wants to make that come to fruition in his 11th season leading the Jaguars, who didn’t open until April 7 against Marysville.

“Our spring break came in the first week of the season and I always give the kids time to spend with their families,” Moody said. “We gave them a couple days off and then we came in and worked on things. We can focus on teamwork and the things we need to work on with gloves and throws and everything.”

Senior Makenzie Hilling has started at catcher since her freshman season. As a sophomore, she led the Jaguars in batting average (.452), RBI (31) and triples (3) and also had one home run, 25 runs scored and nine doubles. 

Junior outfielder Kenna McClellan returns after batting .403 with 23 RBI and 13 runs in 2019.

Sophomore pitcher Chloe Sayre was expected to gain varsity experience last spring behind 2020 graduate and current Walsh player Macie LoParo, but all spring sports were canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Chloe gets her chance to throw for us this year,” Moody said. “It would have been nice for her to learn the little things about pitching from Macie last year.”

At first base will be freshman Loghan Cromer, who also backs up Hilling behind the plate.

Senior Kelly Conley and juniors ReAnne Daye and Stella Thress are competing at second base, with freshmen Taylor Hopkins (SS) and Andrea Day (3B) rounding out the infield.

Hopkins also is the backup pitcher. 

McClellan plays center field with senior Laura Powell and junior Grace Good in left and sophomore Hannah Hashman in right.

“We’ve been working on the quickness of the game,” said Moody, whose team is in the revamped OCC-Central Division with Davidson, Dublin Coffman, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange and Upper Arlington. “We learned a lot in our scrimmages, especially that we need to get used to each other.

“Without having a season last year, we weren’t able to do that. We need to create that now with a fresh group of kids. We have three freshmen on the infield, and they have to relax more and get used to the speed of the game.”

INSIDE THE JAGUARS

Coach: Kevin Moody, 11th season 

Next game: April 8 vs. Watterson

Key athletes: Loghan Cromer, Makenzie Hilling, Taylor Hopkins, Kenna McClellan and Laura Powell

Young Panthers will

be learning on the go

Darby has a young group led by seniors Jordyn Anderson (P), Megan Henery (2B) and Erin Littin (1B).

Anderson has seen action at pitcher since her freshman season. She was 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 41 1/3 innings as a sophomore while also batting .317 with 15 RBI.

“Any game with Jordyn in the circle is big, especially when she’s dialed in,” sixth-year coach Shawn Papp said. “She’s worked hard in the offseason with a personal trainer and weights to get ready for the season. She’s stronger, has a good number of pitches and we look for her to log a lot of innings.”

Junior Kyrin Enneking moves from the outfield to third base after batting .265 with 22 runs and 16 RBI as a freshman.

“We’re very young and with only a few upperclassmen, but we have a fun, energetic group that likes to learn,” Papp said. “We have three seniors, but they’ve done a great job helping out leading with the seven sophomores we have on varsity this year.”

Anderson will throw to sophomore catcher Sydney Apling, and the infield will feature Littin (1B),  Henery (2B), sophomore Candyce Sharrock (SS) and Enneking (3B).

Junior Bella Mollnaro and sophomores Sydney Kloth and Kaitlyn Patrick are the expected starters in the outfield.

“The young sophomore girls are travel-ball players but getting them to play together is the big thing,” Papp said. “We’re definitely working with the inexperience and bringing them up to speed to play at such an elite level. We have a lot of catching up to do fast.”

The Panthers won their first three games, defeating Groveport 3-2 and Circleville 9-8 on March 27 and London 5-3 on March 30.

INSIDE THE PANTHERS

Coach: Shawn Papp, sixth season 

Next game: April 8 at Coffman

Key athletes: Jordyn Anderson, Kyrin Enneking, Meredith Henery, Erin Littin and Candyce Sharrock

—Scott Hennen

Wildcats to feature 

experience, leadership 

With five starters back from 2019, Davidson coach Katie Speakman has high expectations for her team. 

The Wildcats finished 13-13 in 2019, but Speakman expects them to improve on that record. 

“We’ve had an opportunity to see a lot of different people in a lot of different places,” said Speakman, who is in her eighth season. “We’ve shown growth from the first scrimmage to the fourth. That’s a positive trend heading into the regular season.” 

Davidson opened April 2 against Newark and begins OCC-Central play April 15 at Orange. 

Senior CiCi Keidel (SS) batted .411 as a sophomore with a team-high 36 RBI. 

“Having her back — with not only her talent level, but just the way she can lead by example — is a key,” Speakman said. “I have five starters back from 2019, which is great.” 

Junior Erin Hennessy (OF) batted .364 and senior Carlie Champion (OF) hit .341, while senior Lauren Runals (P/1B) went 9-7 and is expected to split pitching duties with sophomore Dakota Cordle. 

Senior Kami Graham (1B/2B) is the other returning starter, and Maddy Hayes (3B/utility) and Alyssa Rivera (OF) are the other seniors. 

Sophomore Cady Mullins will start behind the plate in place of her sister, Abby, who graduated last year. 

“We’re happy to be back doing this and I know our girls are appreciative,” Speakman said. “We tell them to take this seriously and focus on getting to enjoy each day that you’re out here. We’ve talked a lot about just being grateful about our opportunity.” 

INSIDE THE WILDCATS 

Coach: Katie Speakman, eighth season 

Next game: April 8 vs. Thomas Worthington 

Key athletes: Carlie Champion, Kami Graham, Erin Hennessy, CiCi Keidel and Lauren Runals 

—Frank DiRenna

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