Unfortunately there's no simple built in automatic way to apply processing to a section of audio. The simplest thing is to use the bounce in place feature. It's a few steps, and not really that cumbersome. But ideally a dedicated function for this type of thing would be a great addition.
In terms of pitch shifting in the Sample Editor,you need to use the Time Pitch machine that is found under the "Factory" menu. Set the transposition value to 100 cents for a full semitone.