City League Roundup: Mistakes hindering Centennial Stars softball squad
During the first two weeks of City League-North Division action, the Centennial softball team outscored its opponents 85-6 despite sometimes not looking as sharp as it was hoping.
The Stars created a teachable moment for first-year coach Alexis Marsh on April 19 when junior pitcher Kassy Stefanski allowed only four hits but her team committed 12 errors in a 15-5 loss to Whetstone that dropped Centennial to 5-1 in the City-North.
Centennial lost to Buckeye Valley 11-0 on April 20 to fall to 6-7 overall.
The Stars picked up a non-league win 6-4 over Grandview on April 2.
“We’ve been able to obviously hold our ground so far,” Marsh said. “However, we have been making a few silly mistakes that we’re trying to break. I think we still have a really good shot at winning the (City) championship, but it’s going to come down to if they put the work in and want to get there.”
Centennial will get another shot at Whetstone on May 5 on the road. In 2019, the teams split during the regular season to force a one-game playoff, which the Braves won to advance to the City championship game.
Senior catcher Erica Crippen, junior shortstop Toni Sfikas, sophomore third baseman Jazmine Singleton and freshman left fielder Zaria Brown have been among the team’s top hitters.
Singleton had two hits and three RBI in a 17-1 win over Beechcroft on April 16. Crippen had two RBI in a 17-3 win over Linden-McKinley on April 14, and Brown and Sfikas both had three hits in a 17-0 win over Mifflin on April 12.
Also against Mifflin, Stefanski and freshman Grace Murphy combined on a five-inning no-hitter, with Stefanski striking out eight and Murphy striking out five.
Despite the high run totals, Centennial was credited with only four hits against Linden and benefited from nine errors against Mifflin.
“In the long run we need to be hitting better, so we’ve been working on that every single day,” Marsh said. “I come to find that offense and hitting wins games in the long run, so if we continue to hit better, we’ll be really consistent this season and start off next season fresh as well. We’re working on being consistent.”
The Briggs boys volleyball team has another week of preparation before it gets a rematch May 6 against Northland, which beat the Bruins 25-17, 21-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-8 on April 1.
The Bruins won the City championship and went 21-6 in 2019 behind then-senior Justin Sharfenaker, who is now competing for Lincoln Memorial.
Also in 2019, Briggs reached a Division II regional semifinal.
There are 17 players out for this year’s team, which won seven of its first 10 matches, including four of five in the City.
“We’re doing fine,” coach Herb Sharfenaker said. “We dropped our first league (match) since I’ve been the head coach when we lost to Northland. We blew them out the first game and then got a little complacent. We only have one kid back who played when Justin played.”
The top players are senior setter Monty Peterson, who recently committed to Kentucky State, and senior outside hitter David March.
Seniors Dom Brown (defensive specialist) and Cameron Davis (middle hitter), junior Naugn Lian (libero) and freshman Quinn Tenleon (middle hitter) are other key players.
In last week’s state poll, Briggs was among the teams from the area receiving votes in Division II. Worthington Kilbourne was seventh, St. Charles was eighth and Olentangy was ninth.
Briggs won 25-19, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25 on March 30 over Watterson, which was the Division II state runner-up in 2019.
“I feel so bad that we lost our season last year, especially for our seniors because David and Monty are looking at colleges,” Sharfenaker said. “Division II is wide open. St. Charles does well and they lost a lot from two years ago. Olentangy got dropped to Division II and Kilbourne is Division II this year.”