Nevaeh Clark

Galion's Nevaeh Clark connects for a three-run home run in the first inning of Thursday's Division III district championship game against Bucyrus at Lexington High School.

MANSFIELD — Galion and Hillsdale have traveled this path before.

The Tigers and Falcons survived last week’s district softball tournaments to advance to regional play this week.

Galion will take on Sherwood Fairview in the Division III Findlay regional semifinals at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Findlay High School. Hillsdale will meet Bristol at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Division IV Akron regional semifinals at Firestone Stadium.

Both Galion and Hillsdale reached the regional tournament last year. The Tigers fell to eventual Division III state runner-up Cardington in the regional semifinals, while the Falcons won the regional crown en route to its seventh state championship.

Galion punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a resounding 14-3 win over Bucyrus in the Lexington district final. Navaeh Clark and Kate Schieber each belted a pair of home runs in the win.

“Last year’s experience should help us a lot this year,” Clark said. “Last year we didn’t play with energy. This year we need to pick each other up on and off the field.”

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Like Galion, Fairview reached Findlay regional last year. The Apaches fell to Pemberville Eastwood in the regional semis.

“It’s hard to repeat (as district champ),” Galion coach Doug Hunt said. “It’s tough to win two in a row, for sure.”

Hillsdale defended its district title with a 3-2 win over Mogadore, the top seed in the Copley district tournament. The Falcons earned a rematch with Bristol, who they beat 6-0 in last year’s regional semifinals. Bristol advanced with a 4-3 win over Vienna Mathews in last week’s Warren district final.

I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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