By D. Mark Mitchell

sports columnist

The OHS softball team improved to 10-10 after beating Woodland and Auburn last week.
The Lady Bulldogs pounded Woodland 14-0 behind strong pitching and 12 hits.  Senior pitcher Alexis Sydnor allowed one hit and struck out seven to earn the win in the circle. Offensively, Sydnor, Tamea O’Neal, Elizabeth Weygand and Tatum Jones led OHS with two hits apiece. Katie Young, Kelsey Lee and Jaylen Snipes added singles.
The Lady Dawgs beat rival Auburn, 4-0, behind Payton Powers.
The senior allowed one base runner and pitched a no-hitter. Katie Young led Opelika with three hits, two runs scored and she stole two bases for good measure. Jaylen Snipes and Alexis Sydnor each added two hits while TV Veasley singled and scored a run.
Coach Deese has her team playing at a high level. The team is now 10-10 after starting 1-6.
The Lady Dawgs can clinch the area regular season title with two wins over Benjamin Russell. It would be the first area championship in more than 10 years for our young ladies.
Opelika High baseball team, (20-11, area 4-0,) wrapped up the area championship after sweeping Russell County last week. The Dawgs beat the Warriors 5-2, 16-4 and 10-0 in their three-game series last week.
Mitch Myers earned the win in game one, allowing two hits while striking out 10. OHS scored 16 runs in the second inning of game two.
Bugg, Blake Yountz and Mitch Myers each hit home runs.
Chris Manley, Jesse Baker and Yountz added two hits apiece while JD Worth and Cullen Senn singled. Bugg earned the win.
The Bulldogs won third game, 5-2. Tyler Robertson picked up the win in his first game on the mound in three weeks after breaking his thumb. Kent Bugg homered and doubled.
The Dawgs will play Valley in a three-game series this week to wrap up the regular season.
By winning the area title Opelika earned the right to  host the first round of the 6A AHSAA state baseball playoffs beginning Friday, April 22, at 5 p.m.
Fans can follow Opelika baseball in the playoffs by listening on 97.7 Kicker-FM or WZMG 910-AM or online at
More details in next week’s column.
Opelika’s girls and boys tennis teams each swept Wetumpka, 9-0, last week.
Both teams lead their sections heading into the final matches of the regular season.
Sectional matches will begin next week in Alexander City.
Opelika girls and boys soccer teams played AHS last week at Duck Samford in the annual “Soccer For a Cure” matches.
The four teams raised money for the East Alabama Cancer Center, to be used to transport local people to and from the center.
The AHS teams swept the matches. The girls beat OHS 7-0 and the boys won 3-1.
Opelika hosts Central April 14 at 7 p.m. at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex at the Sportsplex.
As expected, Jake Bentley will move with his family to South Carolina this summer. The junior was expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in Alabama and the nation this fall.
Jake will take online classes this summer so he can graduate from high school in time to enroll at the University of South Carolina in the fall.
The Dawgs quarterback for the 2016 season will be John-David Worth, barring unforeseen developments. Worth, a junior, was the backup QB last season. Worth has been preparing to start ever since Bobby Bentley, Jake’s father, was hired at USC this past winter.
The Bulldogs will start spring practice at the end of the month. D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.