The Gahanna Lincoln High School softball team left no doubt heading into the regional tournament about its capabilities of winning a pitcher's duel.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School softball team left no doubt heading into the regional tournament about its capabilities of winning a pitcher's duel.

To advance to a Division I regional semifinal last Wednesday against Dresden Tri-Valley, the Lions needed eight innings to get by Groveport 2-1 on May 18 in a district semifinal at Pickerington Central. It then took them 11 innings to beat Upper Arlington 1-0 on May 20 in a district championship game at Central.

Gahanna senior pitcher Kim Lennox helped her team to victories over the Cruisers' Emma Johnson and the Bears' Audrey Plant, who each finished the season with an ERA below 1.00.

The second-seeded Lions opened the postseason by beating Westland 5-0 on May 12 before beating the ninth- and fifth-seeded teams. They have won four district titles in coach Jim Campolo's nine seasons. Gahanna won a district title in 2008 despite entering the tournament with 11 losses and then was a district runner-up last season.

"It doesn't matter how many times you win it, it's always exciting to have the opportunity to go to Ohio State and play and know that you're one of the final four in this area," Campolo said.

Tri-Valley entered the regional semifinal despite being just the 17th seed in the Central District. The Scotties opened the district tournament by beating Franklin Heights 7-0 on May 10, fourth-seeded Central Crossing 5-4 on May 13 and Hilliard Darby 10-5 on May 18 to reach a district final.

Tri-Valley defeated third-seeded Pickerington Central 2-1 in eight innings in a district final May 20 after winning a Division II district title last year. Lyndsey Kight went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Courtney Kerwood allowed five hits for the victory as the Scotties improved to 22-6. Kayley Bevard drove in the winning run.

Gahanna was 24-5 after beating UA and was hoping to add a non-league game before playing Tri-Valley.

The winner last Wednesday will play for the regional championship at noon Saturday at Ohio State against Brunswick or Grove City.

Gahanna lost to the Grove City 5-0 on April 14 and 7-2 on April 29.

Grove City improved to 25-4 with a 1-0 win over Hilliard Davidson in a district final May 20 at Pickerington Central. Pitcher Paige Myers, who like senior Kayla Ledbetter has signed with Miami University, allowed just three hits and struck out 10 to help the Greyhounds win their third district title in four seasons.

The Greyhounds scored their only run in the third when Lindsay Lykins doubled, advanced to third on a sacrifice and scored on a passed ball.

Grove City was the No. 1-ranked team in the state poll on May 5. Brunswick was tied for third and Gahanna was seventh.

Brunswick beat Medina Highland 5-1 in a district final May 20 at Barberton to set up its matchup with Grove City at 5 p.m. today at Ohio State. McKenna Galloway hit a two-out, fifth-inning grand slam to lead her team to victory as the Blue Devils improved to 21-5.

Galloway also had the winning hit in a 2-1 win over Wadsworth on May 19 in a district semifinal.

Galloway is Brunswick's No. 1 pitcher as well. She held Highland to five hits.

The regional champion plays in a state semifinal at 5:30 p.m. June 3 in Akron's Firestone Stadium against Clayton Northmont, Mason, West Chester Lakota West, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, Fairfield, Lebanon, Cincinnati Glen Este or Liberty Township Lakota East. Lebanon was second in the state poll and Northmont was sixth.

The Lions lost to Lebanon 5-4 in a 2008 regional semifinal.

"This means everything to us," Lennox said. "We wanted to go to state as seniors this year and (the win over UA) was obviously really hard."