When Greenwood began its run to the school's first appearance in the PIAA Class A softball semifinals, the accomplishments made up to that point were overshadowed.
In the Tri-Valley League the Wildcats posted an 8-4 record and were tied for the league lead with Upper Dauphin in runs allowed. Those accomplishments are a big reason four players were selected to the first-team Tri-Valley League all-star squad.
A pair of seniors, Salene Shaffer and A.J. Seigel, along with junior Jess Heichel and freshman Amy Heggenstaller, led the Wildcats all the way to the state final four. And now they are TVL all-stars.
One of the biggest reasons Greenwood was able to get as far as it did was because of junior hurler Heichel.
In TVL action, Heichel was second in the league in wins (7) and ERA (1.46). She pitched 67 innings and collected 34 strikeouts. Heichel also led the league in WHIP, which is the ratio of walks to hits per innings pitched with a 0.88 mark.
"Jess was maybe the surprise of the season and she really came on and ended up with a great record," Greenwood coach Troy Gantt said. "She just did a great job for us all season long."
Heichel held Northwest without any hits through the first five innings of the PIAA Class A first round matchup. She gave up just five hits and one run in a 13-1 win.
"Without her pitching as well as she did we wouldn't have ended up where we did," Gantt said.
Shaffer was third in the league with a blistering .486 batting average. The senior scored 16 runs to go along with a league-best .592 on-base percentage.
"I think first and foremost was her leadership for this team," Gantt said. "Defensively at third base she was as good as anybody."
Batting first in the order is always a tall task. But Shaffer's slap hit ability and her outstanding speed gave opponents fits all season.
Seigel, the Greenwood center fielder, started the season as the Wildcat leadoff hitter. Later in the season Gantt moved her to a more productive role in the No. 3 hole in the lineup. He wasn't disappointed.
The senior hit .429 in TVL action with a third-best 18 hits. Her, along with Shaffer, led the league in runs scored with 16 while playing a masterful center field.
"This season A.J. was strong at the plate," Gantt said. "She was a senior leader. Defensively in center field she got better and stronger and stronger as the season went on."
As a freshman prodigy, Heggenstaller was right at the top of the TVL in almost every category. The first-year varsity player was third in the league with 18 hits and was way out in front with 19 RBIs.
"We couldn't have asked for anything more from her," the Greenwood coach said. "She was batting real well and she was always willing to do whatever we asked and worked hard."
East Juniata was also represented on the Tri-Valley League all-star team with a pair of first-team players.
Battery mates Ashlyn Erhard and Lauren Maguire, a pair of juniors, did fantastic controlling opposing hitters during a 5-7 mark in the TVL.
Erhard was third in league action with 47 strikeouts. Her ERA was 4.29 in 76 and a third innings of work. Her WHIP was 1.60 and she was third in the league with five wins.
"She really stepped up as a leader on the team," East Juniata coach Joe Schilling said. "She pitched pretty much every inning this year. I couldn't ask for her to step up more in her junior year."
Maguire, who did not have a huge season offensively for the Tigers, did most of her work behind the plate. Schilling said she may be the best catcher in the TVL.
"She stepped up and played some infield when we needed her to," Schilling said. "She's an all-around great softball player. She thought she had one of her down years but she still excelled."
Four East Juniata players were tabbed as honorable mentions. Leah Jones, Taylor Marker, Autumn Dressler and Lisa Benner got the nod. For Greenwood, catcher Katie Osborne was also an honorable mention.