Timely hitting and great pitching proved to be the difference as the Lady Cardinals captured a Division III East sectional title with a 5-1 softball win over Philo.
Arianna Ott's two-out, RBI single in the first inning gave Sandy Valley a lead it would never relinquish.
The hosts put the game away in the fourth inning with three more runs. Kayla Campbell had an RBI double, Alex Howell had an RBI triple, and Montana Boyer had an RBI single.
Makayla Loveless earned the win as she allowed one run on eight hits, striking out two.
Loveless helped her cause at the plate with two hits, including a triple. Ott finished with two singles and an RBI, and Mandi Williams drove in a run.
Sandy Valley (22-3), the third seed, was to face #2 Buckeye Trail in a district semifinal on May 16. The winner will battle either #7 Edison or #10 Coshocton in the district final on May 18.
Sandy Valley - 12
Tusky Valley - 5
Earlier in the week, Sandy Valley collected 17 hits as it opened sectional play with a 12-5 softball win over Tusky Valley.
The Lady Cardinals tallied seven runs in the second inning and were never threatened the rest of the way.
Loveless led the attack with a double, two singles and two RBIs.
Meg Otte was 3-for-4 with two triples and a double; Campbell had four singles and an RBI; Ott had three hits, including a double, and four RBIs; and Williams singled twice.
Ott earned the win on the mound, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. She struck out 10 and did not issue a walk.
Sandy Valley - 15
Hiland - 4
The Cardinals finished as the league runners-up with the win over the Lady Hawks.
Sandy Valley had 22 hits in the six-inning game, and were led by Otte as she collected three doubles, a single and three RBIs.
Loveless had four hits, including a double and a triple; Ott had two doubles, a single and two RBIs; and Williams had four hits and two RBIs.
Ott earned the win on the mound.
The Lady Cardinals close out league play with a 14-2 record.
Sandy Valley - 5
Claymont - 0
Loveless and Ott combined on a three-hit shutout during a non-league game against the Lady Mustangs.
Loveless pitched two innings, giving up just one hit; and Ott went the final five innings, allowing two hits, while striking out six.
Offensively, Izzy Hysong had two hits and an RBI;
Ott connected for a solo home run; and Campbell singled, doubled and drove in a run.