Softball: Thomas Worthington Cardinals relishing return to diamond

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Senior Kendall Timms is the top pitcher for Kilbourne, which has only 11 varsity players this spring. Coach David Trout said it will be important for the Wolves that Timms and her backup, sophomore Meena Lee, stay healthy.

The Thomas Worthington softball team doesn’t want to let one minute go to waste after having last season canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year when I took over, that team was hungry to compete,” coach Patrick Finn said. “I think going into this year, especially the seniors, for the first time they really realize (what could happen). They watched the season be taken away from the seniors from last year and they definitely could see it happening again. So they didn’t want to take anything for granted.” 

This mentality inspired the Cardinals to push themselves in the offseason, Finn said, even more than last year’s group. 

“Our offseason going into last year I thought was very well attended. The girls worked hard, and I thought this year they worked even harder,” Finn said. “They knew what we probably could have been last year and I think they wanted to roll that into this year.” 

The Cardinals’ infield and outfield mostly will feature upperclassmen. 

Senior Tori DeTemple will play first base, with senior Brianna Waltermeyer at second, senior Alli Kiehl at shortstop and junior Saadielys Maysonet at third. 

Junior Emma McNeilly will catch for junior Sophia Rond and sophomore Faith Yoho. The two pitchers “complement each other really well,” Finn said, as Yoho employs more velocity and power while Rond utilizes more ball-placement and spin. 

Finn said the Cardinals have a deep outfield with multiple players competing for time, including seniors Reid Dunbar, Emaleigh Caudill and Grace Hamor and juniors Olivia Ankrom, Allyson Mannello and Rond. 

Expectations of a league or district title aren’t the main priorities, Finn said. Instead, he wants the Cardinals to work through the season “one day at a time.” 

“My goal is for them to compete every single day, because we haven’t done that in a while,” Finn said. “We’re getting them to buy into our philosophy as coaches – win the day, take each day one day at a time – and that’s what’s going to lead us to success right now.” 

INSIDE THE CARDINALS

•Coach: Patrick Finn, first year 

•Next game: April 8 at Hilliard Davidson 

•Key athletes: Alli Kiehl, Saadielys Maysonet, Emma McNeilly and Faith Yoho 

Less is more

for Wolves

Light on numbers, Kilbourne is going to be all hands on deck this season.

The Wolves have 11 varsity players and only three with varsity experience in seniors Claire Ogden, Morgan Beals and Olivia Janosy. 

First-year coach David Trout said it’s important for the Wolves to take their preparation seriously and maximize the talent they have because of their lack of depth. He believes the players have accepted that challenge. 

“I don’t think there’s much rust because we had a very active winter where almost all of our kids came to the open gyms and individual sessions when we were allowed to have them,” Trout said. “I think we knocked most of the rust off.” 

It’s also up to Kilbourne’s six seniors to lead and push their teammates, and Trout said they’re “doing a great job of keeping everyone motivated.” 

Ogden and Beals will anchor the middle of the infield at second base and shortstop, respectively. Junior Sutton Evans will play first and sophomore Sara Dale is at third. 

Sophomore Yvonne Wang starts behind the plate and will catch most of her pitches from senior Kendall Timms. Sophomore Meena Lee is the backup pitcher. 

On top of making sure the Wolves’ small roster will have the stamina to play multiple games a week for several weeks, Trout said it will be important that Timms and Lee aren’t lost to injury. 

“With the few number of pitchers that we have, keeping Kendall and Meena healthy is of ultimate importance,” he said. “We concentrate very highly on that.” 

Janosy will start in left field, with sophomore Brynley Rung in center and senior Lauryn Price in right.

Senior Jamison Davis will serve as a utility player. 

“We’re hitting the cover off the ball,” Trout said. “We work hard at offense in our practices and in our scrimmages. We came out of the gate hitting over .400 in our first scrimmage as a team, which was fantastic.” 

INSIDE THE WOLVES

•Coach: David Trout, first season

•Next game: April 8 vs. Dublin Scioto 

•Key athletes: Morgan Beals, Sara Dale, Claire Ogden, Brynley Rung and Yvonne Wang

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve