The Grove City High School softball team won its first Division I regional title since 2010, defeating Gahanna 4-0 on May 31 at Ohio State.
The Greyhounds improved to 25-6 and will play Elyria in a state semifinal Thursday, June 5, at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
The winner plays Lebanon or North Canton Hoover in the state final Saturday, June 7, in Akron.
Hoover, the three-time defending state champion, eliminated the Greyhounds the past two seasons in regional play.
Gahanna finished the season 27-3.
The game was the third meeting between Grove City and Gahanna, with the Greyhounds winning the first game 13-1 in five innings April 16 and the Lions winning the second game 8-4 on May 5.
“We know each other,” Grove City coach Ted Williams said. “They’re both strong programs in the Central district. They’re very well coached. The kids are very pleased beating a quality team.”
Grove City pitcher Emma Cornell was in control throughout the third game, as she allowed three hits, struck out nine and walked none.
The Greyhounds scored the only run they would need in the first on Jordan Kennaw’s RBI single.
Grove City added three runs in the fifth as Rachael Ash and Destini Ewing each had RBI doubles and Kennaw added her second RBI single.
The Lions’ best scoring chance came in the sixth when Alyson Shaw singled and Becca Gavin reached on an infield error, however, Grove City centerfielder Katlyn Gleich ran down Brittany Oldaker’s drive to deep left-centerfield to end the inning.
Ash and Lynsey Long each singled and doubled and Kennaw singled twice to lead Grove City.
Gavin, an Ohio State signee, led the Lions with two singles.
Gahanna pitcher Alex Jander allowed 10 hits, struck out five and walked one.
“Today they outplayed us, they deserved to win,” Gahanna coach Jim Campolo said. “We just didn’t play to our potential and when you’re playing someone as good as them obviously three hits isn’t going to get it done.”