The Westerville Central High School softball team used the long ball and a strong pitching performance by Emily Ruck to win its second consecutive Division I district title May 18 at Pickerington Central.

Kylie Collins and Danielle Ingram each homered and Ruck allowed four hits and three walks while striking out eight in the top-seeded Warhawks’ 12-0, five-inning win over 13th-seeded Upper Arlington.

The Warhawks improved to 26-2 and advanced to play Grove City in a regional semifinal May 22 at Ohio State. Gahanna plays Mount Vernon in the other regional semifinal May 22, with winners meeting in a regional final May 25 at Ohio State.

Last season, Central won its first district title before losing to Teays Valley 8-4 in a regional semifinal.

“I told the girls to be very proud because it’s a tough thing for any team to do, but also keep your eye on the big picture,” Warhawks coach Brian Wamsley said of winning back-to-back district titles. “I want them to want more and they do. We’d like to redeem ourselves (at regional). We don’t think we played our best game at OSU last year against a very tough Teays Valley team. We’re getting ready to play a very good Grove City team.”

Central jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against UA on RBI singles by Cami Compson and Ruck. The Warhawks added a run in the second before breaking the game open with six runs in the third, highlighted by Collins’ grand slam.

Ingram’s three-run home run in the fifth ended the game.

Sophie Leohner had two hits to lead UA, which finished 17-11.

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