D3 Softball: North Union-Champion State Preview

Senior Haylee Gardiner threw 15 strikeouts in a complete game effort to help Champion defeat Elyria Catholic, 4-0 Saturday.

2015 OHSAA Softball Division III State Semifinals
Thursday, June 4 at 12:30 pm at Firestone Stadium in Akron
North Union (27-4) vs. Champion (28-4)

Road to the Final Four
North Union
Regional Finals: North Union 5 Williamsburg 0
Regional Semis: North Union 3 Badin 2
District Finals: North Union 5 Liberty Union 0
District Semis: North Union 4 Northridge 3
Sectional Finals: North Union 10 Utica 0 (6)

Regional Finals: Champion 4 Elyria Catholic 0
Regional Semis: Champion 6 Waynedale 5 (8)
District Finals: Champion 10 Kirtland 0 (5)
District Semis: Champion 6 LaBrae 2
Sectional Finals: Champion 9 Brookfield 0

Wildcats’ path to Final Four
Head Coach: Dawn Draper
…North Union is making their first ever back-to-back state semifinal appearance having played in this game last year. The girls from Richwood have finished second in the state three times (2000, 1998, 1984)…The Wildcats are led by their senior catcher Emily Clark, who committed to play for Oho State next Spring. Clark’s sister, Avery, is a freshman outfielder who leads the team in RBIs while the team also has another freshman Abby Davis – who is the ‘Cats top base stealer. Coach Draper is making her third trip to the Final Four during her 16-year tenture as North Union’s leader.

Golden Flashes’ path to Final Four
Head Coach: Cheryl Weaver
…Champion has won five state tournaments (2012, 2011, 1994, 1980, 1978)…The Golden Flashes currently hold 17-game win streak as they haven’t lost since April 29 (to Canfield, 9-5)…In their Regional Final, Haylee Gardiner struck out 14 and allowed 3 hits as the Flashes got by Elyria Catholic 4-0. Megan Turner had two extra base hits (2B, HR) as she compiled three hits for the game and drove in two runs…The freshman Turner has amassed a hit-streak of 13 games, during that time, she has had 26 hits in 45 at bats (.578 average) with 4 homers.

Winner to play against either Bloom-Carroll or Wheelersburg in the Division II State Championship game on Saturday (June 6) at 10 am from Firestone Stadium

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