The Grove City High School softball team moved a step closer toward the Division I state championship with a 7-2 win over Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal May 29 at Ohio State.

The Grove City High School softball team moved a step closer toward the Division I state championship with a 7-2 win over Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal May 29 at Ohio State.

The Greyhounds improved to 27-4 and will play Gahanna or two-time defending state champion North Canton Hoover in a regional final June 1 at Ohio State. The Lions play Hoover in the other regional semifinal May 30.

Central finished 21-9.

"We get to play another day," said Grove City coach Ted Williams said. "This is just another step to where we want to be. Saturday's game will be the next step. Hopefully we get to take that."

Last season, the Greyhounds lost to Hoover 3-1 in a regional semifinal 3-1.

Grove City, which defeated Central 16-3 in five innings April 15 and 15-5 in five innings May 1 during the regular season in OCC-Ohio Division contests, scored all seven of its runs with two outs.

The Greyhounds opened a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, getting a two-run single by second baseman Haylea Garner and an RBI single by shortstop Destini Ewing.

"I was nervous at first. We were all pretty nervous," Greyhounds third baseman Rachel Ash said. "We knew they weren't going to take it easy on us. As soon as we got those four runs with two outs, it was like relief. We loosened up, started cheering more, being ourselves and started playing our game."

Central cut its deficit to 4-2 in the top of the fourth with an RBI triple by shortstop Allie Luther and a sacrifice fly by pitcher Hannah Gilkey, but the Greyhounds answered in the bottom of the inning, getting a two-run single by Ash to take a 6-2 lead.

Grove City closed the scoring in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by first baseman Kara Warren.

Emma Cornell pitched a complete game for the Greyhounds, allowing four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. Gilkey allowed seven hits and four walks and had three strikeouts in six innings.

Central committed four errors and Grove City had none.

Leadoff hitter and center fielder Molly Riggs had two infield singles for the Tigers.

The regional champion plays Austintown-Fitch, Medina, Mentor or Solon in a state semifinal June 6 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.