CLINTON -- For about four innings, it looked like the Greencastle softball team just might do it. They had the No. 2 team in the state's attention and the game looked like it could go either way.
But ultimately, the Mustangs made the game their own, scoring four runs in the fifth inning on their way to a 6-1 win.
In the end, though, there was no questioning that Greencastle (14-9) came ready to give Edgewood all they had Wednesday night.
"I thought we played great ball the first three or four innings. That's all I could ask for. I said, 'Let's throw everything out there and see what happens,'" GHS coach Dave Keller said.
Greencastle opened the game by quickly jumping on Mustang pitcher Audrey Ernst. Hannah Spencer sent a single to center field. After a Spencer stolen base, Cassie Alspaugh also singled to center.
Mallory Miller came up next, driving in Spencer on a sacrifice groundout.
After one, the Tiger Cubs led 1-0.
The Mustangs did not strike back until the third, when Kierstin Thummel tied it up on a two-out RBI double.
After escaping a jam in the fourth, GHS pitcher Miller got in real trouble in the fifth. Consecutive errors gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. And then with two on, cleanup hitter sent a shot over the center field fence to give her team a 5-1 lead.
"That's a good team," Keller said of the Mustangs. "We'd have to play almost perfect ball (to win). For four innings, I think we did. We had a couple of mistakes and a couple of base runners we could have gotten in and didn't. They took advantage of their at bats."
Following the homer, Miller was pulled as pitcher. She had allowed five runs on seven hits in four-and-two-thirds to take the loss.
For Greencastle's part, they could not get their bats going after the first. After opening the game with consecutive hits, they managed just one more on the night, a third inning blooper by Spencer.
The only real scoring opportunity for the rest of the game came in the fourth. Although Ernst struck out the first two batters of the inning, both reach on errors following dropped third strikes.
The pitcher escaped unscathed, though, finishing with a rare four-strikeout inning. She finished the night with 12 strikeouts, while allowing one run on three hits.
Greencastle reliever Briana Baker basically righted the ship, allowing one run and two hits in two-and-two-thirds.
But the damage was done and the Tiger Cubs simply could not find the offense.
Edgewood brought the game to its final margin by scoring on two more GHS errors in the sixth.
There was no complaint from Keller afterward, though. His team exceeded expectations all year and Wednesday was no exception.
"I'm awful proud of our girls. They have come a long way," Keller said.
He made special note of his girls who finished their careers Wednesday. Seniors Sam Sillery, Becca Seahorn, Sarah Land and Sam Rising, as well as junior Hannah Spencer played their last game in the purple and grey Wednesday.
"Where have they come from since they were freshman? They were 14-9, won county and gave a heck of an effort against the No. 2 team in the state. That's all I could ask," Keller said.
Approaching next year, Keller knows his team has some big shoes to fill, in one of the best shortstops around as well as the starting outfield for most of year.
But GHS returns good pitching, an experienced catcher and most of its infield.
Most of all, the Tiger Cubs now have confidence, something the program has lacked for a while.
"Things are positive and we did what we wanted to do with the program. We got it to where we come to every ballgame expecting to win. They expected to win tonight," Keller said.
"Greencastle softball's back," he concluded.
At South Vermillion
IHSAA Girls' Softball Sectional
Edgewood 001 041 0 -- 6 9 2
Greencastle 100 000 0 -- 1 3 5
Ernst and Eakins; Miller, Baker (5) and Alspaugh.
WP -- Ernst.
LP -- Miller.
2B -- Thummel.
HR -- Beasley,
Next game -- Edgewood takes on Owen Valley at 8 p.m. today at South Vermillion. Greencastle finishes the season 14-9.