EVERETT - Just past the midway point of the season, the Everett softball team was sitting at 3-9 and looking up at the monumental task of qualifying for the District 5 playoffs.
Since then, the Lady Warriors rattled off six wins and jumped all the way to the No. 2 seed.
Thursday afternoon, they kept riding that wave of momentum right into the district final.
Everett batted around its order in one inning three times, and five players had two hits apiece as the Lady Warriors doubled up third-seeded Windber, 16-8, in the District 5 Class AA semifinals for their seventh consecutive victory.
"If you would have told me six weeks ago that we would have been in this situation, I would have said, 'No way,' " Everett coach Junior Bennett admitted. "But these girls really turned it around and really started to hit the ball."
Everett, which is 8-1 in its last nine games, advances to play top-seeded Chestnut Ridge in next week's title game.
The Lady Lions knocked off fourth-seeded Bedford, 5-0, in Thursday's other semifinal.
Everett and Ridge split a pair of regular-season meetings, each winning on the opponent's home field.
"I'm glad we are [here], I'm glad for the girls and I really think that we've got a good shot at this," Bennett said. "We just have to keep playing ball."
Every time Windber found a way to score, Everett was right there to answer the call.
The Lady Warriors led 1-0 through two innings before the Lady Ramblers got on the board in the top of the third.
Everett responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Windber chipped away with three runs in the fourth, but the Warriors bounced back and exploded for six runs in its half.
And although the Ramblers were able to get within four through their half of the sixth inning (12-8), Everett plated four runs in the bottom of the frame to keep its distance.
"We made the runs, but give Everett all the credit in the world," Windber coach Cory Pavlosky said. "They found a way to manufacture runs when they needed to."
The Lady Warriors (10-9) shared the wealth offensively, despite having an "off" day in the field, committing five errors.
"[Defensively] that was a rough game for us today," Bennett said. "Usually we're better than that."
Sarina Laidig was 2-for-4, Logan Brallier was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs and Josie Clark was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Jessica Wilt was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Nicole Schurg was 0-for-1, but drew three walks and scored each time, and Rachel Clark drove in three runs and scored twice.
Aarika Price also had a big day from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-3 - including a bunt single - with a walk, RBI and three runs.
"She's a freshman and has really played well for us all year long," Bennett said of Price. "She plays her spot at shortstop really well. You'll hear a lot about her in the next few years, I can tell you that.
"This whole team is pretty young. They're just starting to hit the ball well, that's all I can say. Everything just seems like it's coming together and we're peaking when we should be."
WINDBER (8): Null cf 512, Kormanik p 510, Zankey c 300, Sheehan cr 010, Schreyer 3b 311, Penatzer ss 422, Tomlinson lf 301, Hartman 1b 300, Moore 2b 423, Wentz rf 401. Totals 34-8-10.
EVERETT (16): Price ss 332, Laidig 1b 412, R. Clark cf 321, Wilt 3b 522, Brallier c 224, J. Clark p 412, Brown 2b 010, Peterson rf 401, Painter pr 010, Schurg lf 130. Totals 28-16-12.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Windber001 322 0 - 8 10 3
Everett105 604 X - 16 12 5
E-Null, Kormanik, Schreyer, Price, Clark, Brown, Peterson 2. LOB-Windber 9, Everett 6. 2B-Wilt, J. Clark 2, Peterson. RBI-Null, Kormanik, Penatzer, Moore 2, Wentz, Price, Laidig 2, R. Clark 3, Wilt 2, Brallier 2, J. Clark 3, Peterson 2. SAC-Zankey, Tomlinson, Price, Laidig, Brown. SB-Price, Laidig, Brallier, Brown. CS-Brallier.
Windber-Kormanik (L), 6 IP, 12 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 9 BB, 6 SO.
Everett-J. Clark (W), 7 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
HBP-by Clark (Schreyer). WP-Kormanik, Clark 2. PB-Zankey 2.
Records: Windber (9-12); Everett (10-9).