RICHMOND - Buckeye Local is one step away from another title.
Led by Lauren Swiger, the Panthers made the most of their opportunities and toppled Edison, 9-1, in an Ohio Division II sectional semifinal Tuesday at Jefferson Lake State Park.
"It is a good day," Buckeye Local (15-11) coach Joe Soss said. "Any day is a good day when you win."
With the victory, the Panthers advanced to the sectional final at 5 p.m. Thursday opposite the winner of today's game between Steubenville and Indian Creek.
"Buckeye obviously showed they were ready to play," Edison (17-10) coach Spencer Bendle said. "They are a darn good ballclub.
"We had a couple of opportunities early where we stranded runners. We did not get the timely hits when we needed to."
Ivy Starcher recorded the victory for the Panthers. She struck out six and walked two while allowing one run on seven hits.
Offensively, Swiger did the most damage as the shortstop produced a two-run double and a three-run home run to lead the way. Also, Kierstyn Czuchran contributed a two-run single, Taryn Tonkovich tallied a single and an RBI and Kaylee DeCesare and Aliyah Marelli each collected a base hit.
Starcher not only received a good amount of support at the plate, but she also got plenty of it in the field as the Panthers' made multiple good plays in the field.
"Edison is a good team, and when you play a good team like that you have to play defense," Soos said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes. They play really good competition. You are always on needles and pins whenever you play them."
Mikayla Tice took the loss for the Wildcats. Tice struck out two and walked three in her five-plus innings of work inside the circle. Tice was replaced in the sixth by Zoe Westfall. Westfall issued one free pass while not picking up a strikeout.
The Wildcats' pitchers were hurt by the team's four errors. The Panthers finished the game with two.
Offensively, the Wildcats outhit the Panthers, but none of Edison's hits went for extra bases.