Central Ohio Huddle: Darby upsets state-ranked Upper Arlington; MSL schools name new coaches

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Central Ohio Huddle

Despite finishing a limited regular-season schedule due to the weather at below .500, the defending state champion Danville softball team has heated up in tournament time, advancing to a Central District Division IV championship game with a 5-2 win over Millersport. That’s just one of Central Ohio’s top stories from this past week. Others are…


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Baseball and softball continued their march in the tournament as opening rounds and district semifinal play has given way to district championships.

Pickerington Central High School will be the place to be for diehard softball fans today as three Division I district championship games will be played at 5 p.m. at the softball complex. Matchups include defending regional champion Grove City against Teays Valley, Gahanna playing Pickerington Central and Dublin Coffman taking on Hilliard Darby.

Gahanna and Pickerington Central will also play today in a district final baseball game at Dublin Coffman at 5 p.m.

Track and field joins the tournament crowd this week with district meets at Dublin Coffman – divided into three sub-districts – Groveport – divided into two sub-districts – and Gahanna – with two boys sub-districts and one district for the girls.

News also continued to come out of South-western City School District as the board of education again reaffirmed that pay-to-participate will not be an option for the district, which includes Grove City, Central Crossing, Westland and Franklin Heights at the high school level. After a levy failed earlier this month, the board took the first step to put another levy on the ballot for August to try and save as much as possible of a projected $8 million in cuts the district had to start undertaking, including eliminating sports, after the defeat at the ballot box.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Cullen Ashley, Berne Union, Boys Track: Ashley was co-MSL meet MVP with teammate Luke Tate thanks to a strong performance in field events. Ashley helped the Rockets to the Mid-State League Cardinal Division title by placing first in the discus in 132-2 and second in the shot put. In 46-8.5 feet.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Amanda-Clearcreek girls track: The Aces upset favorites Canal Winchester and Circleville to win the Mid-State League Buckeye Division championship at Hamilton Township.

Amanda-Clearcreek edged Canal Winchester 132.5-128, led by senior Aimee Hall participating in second day competition wins in the 400m run, 4x2m relay and the 4x4m relay which allowed the Aces to clinch the title.

The Aces got off to a good start in the first day of competition, which included a strong 1-2 finish in the pole vault by Kori Tatman (11-4) and Shelby Smith (9-6).

NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS

New Mid-State coaches: Two Mid-State League Buckeye Division schools decided on coaches for their basketball programs. Luke McConnell was selected as the girls basketball coach for Circleville, and Scott Matchett was picked to be the boys basketball coach for Fairfield Union.

Watkins upset:
The Watkins Memorial girls track team used the combination of senior Gabby Calderone and freshman Mara White, which combined to win three titles, to shock New Albany and take the Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division title 151-144.5

Devils heating up:
Despite finishing a limited regular-season schedule due to the weather at below .500, the defending state champion Danville softball team had heated up in tournament time, advancing to a Central District Division IV championship game with a 5-2 win over Millersport.

Kayleigh Conner drove in two runs for the Devils (9-11), scored another and was solid on the defensive end.

Haymaker leads upset: 
Cheyenne Haymaker knocked in three runs on a home run in the top of the ninth inning, sending Hilliard Darby past No. 6 state-ranked Upper Arlington 4-0 in a Central District Division I semifinal softball game.

Upper Arlington (26-2) was held to just two hits by Darby hurler Kellie Roudabush.

More power:
The Pickerington Central baseball team hit two taters to upend Grove City 7-2 in a Central District Division I baseball game. Blaine Burgess had a two-run shot for the Tigers (19-8) and Bryan Rudolph added a solo blast.

Piling up strikeouts:
With a lot of good postseason outings to select, three performances stood out in baseball and softball across the Central District. Defending regional champion Grove City advanced to a district title game in softball, thanks in part to Paige Myers – undefeated on the mount this season at 19-0 – fanning 14 batters in a 2-0 win over Olentangy Liberty. Myers and the Greyhounds will face Teays Valley in a rematch of a district finals game last season. TV hurler Alex Taylor struckout nine batters and threw a three-hit shutout against Bishop Watterson.

On the baseball front, Canal Winchester, a state runner-up a season ago, turned to Drew Rosch for an 11-strikeout performance while allowing only two hits to advance past Buckeye Valley in a Division II district semifinal game.

Cashing in late:
The Licking Valley baseball team scored six runs with two outs in a 10-4 verdict over Hebron Lakewood. Drew Ryan had two hits and three RBIs for the Panthers, which advance to a district title game.

Helping your own cause:
Dublin Coffman pitcher Madison Hedderly limited Thomas Worthington to three runs in a 5-3 district softball semifinal win, but provided herself some support with a solo blast to help a deciding a two-run sixth inning rally break a tie.

ON TAP

Teays Valley vs. Grove City Division I Central District championship game, today at 5 p.m. at Pickerington Central High School: Grove City edged Teays Valley 2-1 in a district finals game last year en route to a Division I Final Four appearance.

Berne Union vs. Danville softball Division IV Central District championship game, today at 5 p.m. at Pickerington Central High School: The Rockets advanced to the title game with a 4-2 win over Newark Catholic, but must be good in the field against the defending state champions.

Division I Central District track and field, Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. at Dublin Coffman High School: Watch for Reynoldsburg to have a strong showing in the field. The Raiders won both boys and girls championships at the Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division meet.

Division II Southeast District track and field, Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. at Washington Court House High School: The depth of the Circleville girls track team has helped the squad to several meet titles this season. The squad will be tested against Southeast District rivals.

Division I Central District tennis championship, Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Davidson High School: The best of the district will battle for top spots.

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