Canfield South Range scored two early runs, then erupted in the fifth inning for a 7-1 Division III win at Firestone Stadium in Akron Thursday.
The Raiders, in making their first state-title game appearance, improved to 30-3 and will take on Wheelersburg, a 1-0 winner over Johnstown-Monroe in Thursday’s first semifinal game, at 1 p.m. for the state title.
The Lady Chargers finished the season 24-4 and had an 11-game winning streak stopped.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the results and how we played,’’ Edison coach Troy Keegan said. “But it was a good run. It’s a tough day because of the seniors.’’
The 2012 team fell to Bloom-Carroll 3-1 on May 31.
South Range wasted no time in scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning.
With two outs, Codi Taylor reached base on an infield hit. After stealing second, Madison Weaver singled through the right side, scoring Taylor with the first run.
In the top of the second inning, Mariah Medina singled with two outs. She advanced to second, but was called out for leaving the base early. Erica Reber had singled on the play.
The Raiders added a second run in the home half of the second inning.
Felecia Gaeta tripled to right with one out and scored on an error.
In the same inning, Edison catcher Hannah McGinley collided with third baseman Leah Krul on a foul ball and had to leave the game temporarily with a face injury.
Hannah Vitaz went behind plate until McGinley returned in the third inning.
The game stayed 2-0 in favor of South Range through the bottom of the fifth inning.
But South Range put the game away with five runs.
Morgan Czopur and Caragyn Yanek reached base on errors and scored on bunts. Taylor also touched home, Lydia Baird singled in a run and the fifth one of the inning was on a fielder’s choice.
“We practice squeezes all season,’’ Keegan said. “We didn’t execute and when you don’t execute, it kind of snowballs from there.’’
Raiders Jeff DeRose talked about the fifth inning.
“We got runners on and were able to move them up,’’ he said.”We squeezed successfully three times and they made a couple of mistakes. They’re a good hitting team.’’
The Lady Chargers finally tallied a run off Yanek in the top of seventh.
Hailey Stoll reached base on a fielder’s choice and scored on a pair of errors.
Yanek went all seven innings. She allowed one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts.
At one point, Yanek retired 13 straight batters.
“She was faster,’’ Stoll said. “We’re more used to movement rather than speed.’’
Erica Reber pitched her final game in an Edison uniform. She allowed seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
“They’re a pretty good hitting team,’’ Keegan said of South Range.
Taylor, Weaver and Gaeta led the Raiders with two hits each. Weaver and Baird also both recorded two RBI.
“We told them if you hit the ball, you’re going to do well,’’ DeRose said. “When we put runners on base, we made things happen.’’
Edison mustered just three hits off Vanek — singles from Hailey Stoll, Peyton Michel and Medina.
“I think she threw harder and hit her spots,’’ Keegan said. “I don’t think we were aggressive at the plate.’’
Reber, Peyton Michel, Tiggie Sanabria and Sierra Davis will depart from this season’s team.
“We have quality kids not only on the field, but the classroom as well,’’ Keegan said.”We have good juniors who will step up. This game is over. We’re forward to the future.’’