Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Rams softball team endures disappointing season

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Shyaira Johnson and Whitehall finished 2-8 overall and 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio, but one of those wins came in the postseason. The Rams defeated Marion-Franklin 13-9 in the first round of the Division II district tournament.

Searching for a leader for the softball program, Whitehall-Yearling athletics director Bill Hughett hopes the new coach will return the Rams to the success they enjoyed under Brian Anderson. 

Hughett is looking for a replacement for Kirsten Lyshe, who stepped down after two seasons. 

Anderson coached Whitehall for six seasons and led the Rams to a share of the MSL-Ohio Division title in 2018. It was their first league championship since 2010. 

“I’m looking to bring somebody in that will be able to recruit players (in our school) and build our numbers back to pre-COVID times,” Hughett said. “Coach Anderson did a great job with our program. He’s doing a great job at Westerville North. I need a coach who is going to grow numbers.” 

The Rams had a limited schedule this season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, finishing 2-8 overall. 

Seeded 18th in the Division II district tournament, Whitehall beat 14th-seeded Marion-Franklin 13-9 on May 11 before losing to second-seeded Bloom-Carroll 18-0 in five innings in the second round May 13. 

The Rams beat Wellington 15-4 in five innings April 22 for their other win. They finished 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio, fifth behind champion Buckeye Valley (10-0). 

Whitehall had a limited roster all season, finishing with 10 players, and did not receive any all-league or all-district honors.

Senior Ry’Yair Smith joined the program for the first time just before the season and emerged as the starting center fielder. 

“I had so much fun and we went out to eat together after the last game,” she said. “We all had fun.” 

Freshman Brittany Goodman was the pitcher. Other players eligible to return are sophomores Nicole Dickens (OF), Haley Roberts (OF) and Brynn Whistle (3B) and freshman Michaela Skinner (2B). 

The Rams finished 5-17 overall and 3-6 in the MSL-Ohio in Lyshe’s first season in 2019. 

Lyshe also resigned as girls volleyball coach after guiding the Rams for one season. They finished 2-14 overall and 0-11 in the MSL-Ohio last fall. 

“We’ve had numbers for volleyball in the past,” Hughett said. “I’m looking for somebody who’s going to be there for a while. I just want some stability for the girls.” 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

SOFTBALL 

Record: 2-8 overall 

MSL-Ohio standings: Buckeye Valley (10-0), Bexley and Worthington Christian (both 7-3), Grandview (3-6), Whitehall (1-7), Wellington (0-9) 

Seniors lost: Kylie Brown, Shyaira Johnson, Mackenzie Schmittauer, Ry’Yair Smith and Ashley Villeda 

Key returnees: Brittany Goodman and Brynn Whistle 

Postseason: Defeated Marion-Franklin 13-9; lost to Bloom-Carroll 18-0 (5 innings) in second round of Division II district tournament