WHEELING - A pair of seniors helped Buckeye Local advance to its first Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A softball championship game Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Panthers (15-6) used Sydney Omaits' bases-clearing double with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Edison, 3-0, on Ben's Field at the J.B. Chambers Complex in Wheeling.
That was all the support that Angela Primovic needed as she shut down the hard-hitting Wildcats (12-8) on a mere three singles.
With the victory, Buckeye Local advances to Saturday's OVAC 4A championship encounter with Meadowbrook, which defeated Harrison Central, 3-2, in Tuesday's second semifinal.
"Ang is real efficient," said first-year Buckeye Local head coach Joe Soos. "She's been that way all year. She stymies the hitters, and when she's on, they can't touch her. It's been that way all year.
"She only gave them three runs up there, but we made a couple of errors that allowed them to score. Tonight, she was on her game. She's a real gamer."
The game's lone runs came when Karlee Leonard and Kierstyn Czuchran led off the sixth with back-to-back singles. Tori Nest's grounder to the right side of the infield advanced both runners and pinch-hitter Lauren Swiger walked to load the bases.
With two outs, Omaits drilled a 1-0 offering from Edison's Zoe Westfall to the gap in right-center as her three teammates circled the bases.
"Unbelievable," Soos said. "Two monster hits for a senior who has had a rough go of it this year. She's been steady in the field and came through with the bat today. I couldn't be more happier for her."
Both teams had several opportunities to score runs throughout the first five and a half frames, but a baserunning miscue in the first inning halted the Wildcats' first threat.
With a runner at second and one out, Trisha Trifonoff lifted a shallow fly ball to left field that Aliyah Marelli made a nice running catch of. She then tossed to Taryn Tonkovich at second to double up the runner and end the inning.
That wasn't the only web gem behind Primovic, as second baseman Tonkovich turned in a pair of defensive sparklers. She leaped high in the air to snag a drive off the bat of Cassie Judy to end the Edison fifth. She also grabbed another liner and made an over-the-shoulder running catch of another popup.
"Taryn made a couple of spectacular plays and Aliyah made a pair of great running catches," Soos allowed. "We played pretty well defensively."
The Wildcats got two runners to third base, but that was it. Caitlin Brenstuhl got there with one out in the third and Kristin Prokopakis reached there in the sixth, also with one out. However, neither got any further as Primovic knuckled down.
"We are really happy with that," Soos said of reaching the title tilt. "It's been a couple of years since Buckeye (Local) has been over here. I didn't want the girls to just be happy with being here. We wanted to make sure that we got to Saturday, and it took everyone to do it."
Czuchran led the Panthers' eight-hit attack with a trio of singles. In addition to her game-winning double, Omaits singled. Nest had a pair of one-base raps.
"Buckeye Local deserved to win this ballgame," said veteran Edison head coach Spencer Bendle. "They outplayed us in every phase of the game."
Buckeye Local 3, Edison 0
Edison 000 000 0 - 0 3 4
Buckeye Local 000 003 x - 3 8 2
EDISON (12-8): Westfall (LP, 4K, 1BB) and Sheets; Kr. Prokopakis S; Ka. Prokopakis S; Brenstuhl S.
BUCKEYE LOCAL (15-6): Primovic (WP, 3K, 1BB) and Nest; Czuchran 3S; Nest 2S; Omaits S, D, 3rbi