The Grove City High School softball team earned its first Division I district championship since 2014 with a 6-1 win over Dublin Coffman on May 17 at Pickerington Central.
The 12th-seeded Greyhounds improved to 21-8 and advanced to play Upper Arlington or Westerville Central in a regional semifinal May 22 at Ohio State, while the 19th-seeded Shamrocks finished 15-15.
“It’s very nice to get back (to a regional semifinal),” Grove City coach Ted Williams said. “It’s getting these kids to believe a little bit. It’s a very solid group. We’re not outstanding in anything, but as a team, they do a nice job.”
The Greyhounds, which finished as state runners-up in 2014, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning behind an RBI double by Kendall Weber and RBI singles by Abby Tschiggfrie and Lauren Walls and added three runs in the second on a three-run double by Sydney Sharron to push their lead to 6-0.
“That made things much nicer,” Williams said of the quick start. “Sydney’s hit to go up six in the second inning was huge. A little bit of the pressure was off us. It was on (Coffman) to hit the ball and that took the bunt away from them.”
The Shamrocks scored their only run on a home run by Rylee Anspach in the fourth.
Grove City pitcher Mylie Torres went the distance, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out six.
Coffman was making its first district final appearance since 2009, when it lost to Hilliard Darby 10-2.
Gahanna 4, Watterson 0
Led by pitcher Lauren Ringhiser, the ninth-seeded Lions won their seventh consecutive district title, shutting out the 15th-seeded Eagles in a Division I district final May 17 at Pickerington Central.
Gahanna improved to 17-9 and advanced to play Mount Vernon or Teays Valley in a regional semifinal May 22 at Ohio State, while Watterson finished 17-10.
In the top of the second inning, Ringhiser gave up consecutive singles to the Eagles’ Nicole Funge and Maddie McCleary before Rachel Reuter reached on an error to load the bases with no outs.
Ringhiser answered by striking out the next three batters and cruised over the final five innings, finishing with a four-hitter.
Watterson’s Amy Emswiler led off the seventh with a walk, but Ringhiser got Anna Emswiler to bounce into a double play to thwart the potential scoring threat.
“I was using my dropball a lot, and once I got ahead, I was throwing my changeup,” Ringhiser said. “Coming into the game, I was a little nervous because I really haven’t been doing that well, but I feel like this was one of my best games and my team was backing me up.”
In the bottom of the fourth, Ringhiser led off with a single, Sam Lindsey doubled to deep center and Alaina Marcum smashed a two-run triple to deep right. Marcum then scored on an error to make it 3-0.
Molly Troutman homered to lead off the fifth to complete the scoring.
Watterson was making its first district final appearance since 2013.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision III
West Jefferson 6, Ready 1
The fifth-seeded Silver Knights fell to the seventh-seeded Roughriders in a Division III district final May 17 at Pickerington Central. The contest effectively served as a rubber match between the programs after they split two regular-season matchups.
Ready finished 18-7 while West Jefferson improved to 19-5 and advanced to a regional semifinal May 22 at Wright State.
“We weren’t able to string enough hits together and they made some defensive plays,” Knights assistant coach Chris Goff said. “Every time we had a runner on, it seemed like they made a play.”
West Jefferson scored three runs in the third inning, including a two-run home run by Brooke Roberts.
Sarah Ranke led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run to center field for Ready, but the Roughriders answered with two runs in the top of the fourth to make it 5-1.
Kiley Gallagher led off the fifth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cece Phillips, but Ranke lined into a double play to end the Knights’ scoring threat.
Ready also lost in a district final last season after reaching a regional final in 2017.