NEW OXFORD >> Heading into the fifth inning, Greencastle-Antrim's softball team trailed by three runs.

But the Blue Devils rallied to take the lead and held on for an 8-6 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg in the quarterfinals of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs Thursday afternoon.

The victory pushes the No. 6 Devils (15-7) into the semifinals, where they will take on Twin Valley (20-5 and the No. 2 seed) on Tuesday at Messiah College at 4:30 p.m.

"The girls were getting a little down when it got to the fifth inning and we were still behind," G-A coach Mark DeCarli said. "I had to try to pick them up. I told them that they're as good as any team in this tournament and that they're capable of winning the whole thing if they play the way they can. They took that to heart."

Greencastle trailed 5-2 after four innings before cobbling together a four-run rally that pushed the Devils in front. Morgan Wagaman led off the inning with a walk. An error put a pair of runners on for Ally Brown, who singled to centerfield to chase home Wagaman. Katie Gelsinger followed with an RBI double just inside first base and down the rightfield line. An RBI single from Liz Ward tied it before Erin Bontrager put the Blue Devils ahead with a sac fly.

"It's my job to try to get everyone going," Ward said. "I was screaming and yelling trying to get the girls pumped up."

Ward started a two-run uprising in the seventh with a one-out single. She eventually came around on a throwing error and the Devils added one more run when Alison Shockey singled home Brooke Zeger.

It turns out, Greencastle needed those runs, as the Pioneers (20-4) didn't go quietly in the bottom of the seventh.

Hannah Garber started the seventh with a flare double down the leftfield line and she came around to score on Katelyn High's double to the gap in right-center. Jordan Weaver then singled to bring the tying run to the plate, but the rally ended there when Brown recorded a strikeout and a pop out to finish the game.

Brown went the distance on 100 pitches, 61 of which were strikes. The sophomore hurler allowed three earned runs and nine hits with one strikeout and three walks.

G-A jumped on Weaver, L-S's pitcher, in the top of the first when she struggled to find the strike zone and issued three free passes in the frame. Brown doubled home a run and Ward singled one in for a 2-0 lead.

That lead didn't last though.

L-S answered with two runs in its half of the first, then scored two more in the second to take a 4-2 lead.

Weaver tossed a complete game for the Pioneers and allowed seven earned runs and nine hits with eight strikeouts and six walks. She threw 85 of her 148 pitches for strikes.

"We had a scouting report on their pitcher and we knew that we needed to be patient and make her throw strikes. We were told that she can get flustered when she's not throwing strikes," DeCarli said. "When we were patient, we hit the ball well."

After needing 40 pitches to get through the first inning, Weaver settled down and retired nine of the next 10 hitters she faced before running into trouble again in the fifth.

Ward paced G-A's nine-hit offense with three hits and drove in two runs. Brown aided her own cause with two hits and two RBI.

Greencastle 8 Lampeter-Strasburg 6


W — Ally Brown (15-7); L — Jordan Weaver.

2B — (GA) Brown, Katie Gelsinger, (LS) Brianna Garber, Hannah Garber, Katelyn High, J.Weaver; 3B — (LS) B.Garber; SB — (GA) Morgan Wagaman, Ali Sherman, Liz Ward, (LS) Caroline Braungard 2, B.Garber.

LOB — GA 8, LS 8; T — 1:43.

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