By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
HALIFAX -- As soon as Greenwood second baseman Bree Pagen fielded Autumn Walker's grounder and flipped it to first base, the entire Wildcats team began screaming and smiling as they engulfed pitcher Brooke Louden near the first-base line.
It may have taken them three games to do it, but the Wildcats finally defeated Upper Dauphin in 2013 -- and this time it was with everything on the line.
"We've lost to them before and it's good to come back and know that we can win because we knew that we could win in those (regular-season) games," Louden said. "I don't think we played the way that we should in (those early games). I think we just came out and did what we're supposed to do (Thursday)."
That consisted of shutting down a potent Upper Dauphin offense (the Trojans had just three hits) en route to a 4-2 District 3 Class A semifinal victory at Halifax H.S. on Thursday afternoon.
Upper Dauphin (11-10) started the game with a monster triple to deep right-center field by Amber Bingaman, the reigning Tri-Valley League MVP, and looked as the Trojans were wasting no time answering Greenwood's (7-11) first-inning score.
However, the next three batters all grounded out. Bingaman's leadoff triple in the first was the only hit the Trojans had until she had a shallow single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In each of the first two innings Upper Dauphin wasted a leadoff runner, and then had 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth.
"We hit the ball hard, but it's just one of those days we hit it right at somebody and they made plays. They made plays and we didn't," Upper Dauphin coach Chad Everhart said.
Greenwood scored in the top of the first inning off a Louden grounder with one out. The Wildcats added two more runs in the third inning after Katie Osborne (two singles) and Amy Heggenstaller reached with a single and error, respectively. Both scored shortly after on wild pitches.