In Milton's case, it was a different ballgame. The Panther softball team not only lost 1-0 to local rival Jersey Shore, it was the first time a run even crossed home plate this season.
There's no worries for the team, a state finalist in AAA last season. Everything is OK, and the girls are still rolling along.
Last week, Milton won the annual Williamsport softball tournament -- defeating District 2's Delaware Valley in the championship.
But it was an impressive 9-0 victory over defending AA state champ Loyalsock that sent shock waves through the state.
Nicole Smith, a Lock Haven University recruit, was her normal self -- smashing a home run to center field in a 3-for-4 day at the plate, tossing a complete-game two-hitter and finishing with eight strikeouts.
"We knew it was an important game and it was kind of like a measuring stick of where we're at right now. We had been struggling the last couple games and this game really helped our confidence," Smith said to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. "If we keep hitting like this we're going to be hard to beat."
Milton didn't wait to score, pushing three runs across the dish on Loyalsock ace Porshia Wilson, and leading 5-0 after two innings.
"It's not so much even the hits, it's the approach," Milton coach Bill Keefer said. "We were getting good strikes to hit at the beginning of the year and then we lost it for about four games in a row where we were swinging at pitches in the dirt and swinging at pitches over their head. Some of them looked like they didn't even care if they were there or not, but tonight the focus was there again and we swung at good pitches. If we swing at good pitches we're pretty tough."
In the championship, Smith had three RBI and struck out six in the victory over Del Valley, 7-2. The senior standout also had an inside-the-park home run.
"We made three crucial errors to give runs in that game," Delaware Valley coach Angelo Matz said to the paper. "If we don't do that it's a lot closer game and anything can happen but when you make mistakes against a team like that it's hard to come back with what they have on the mound."
In the Jersey Shore game, it was a Rebecca Glenn single to plate teammate Caitlin Cromley in the second inning that gave Shore its game-winning run.
"Having a great practice was good. Going up against Smith, I'll tell you what, my arm is a little sore," Shore manager Jeremy Lazorka said. "I've been throwing batting practice at Arizona for the past three years, and I had to come here and fire it in there. She throws the ball hard, so my arm is definitely sore from throwing it as hard as I could to get these girls ready. Hopefully, it showed."
Baseball: Bald Eagle captures Giles championship
Entering the weekend's Pat Giles Tournament at Montoursville High School, you probably wouldn't have pointed to District 6's Bald Eagle Area as the favorite.
Central Mountain, 12-1 entering play, had beaten Bald Eagle twice in the regular season, 10-2 and 14-5. State College has had the Eagles' number in the past several seasons. Host Montoursville has one of the better pitching staffs in District 4.
When the dust settled, it was the underdog BEA that carried away the championship.
A.J. Robinson threw a gem in the semifinals, holding State College to seven hits and striking out 10 Little Lions in a lopsided, 8-2 victory. Toby Quick had two hits in the game, while Joe Pillot and Mark Kotzur each had home runs.
In the title tilt against Central Mountain, which beat Montoursville in the other semi, Robinson smashed a three-run homer to right field and the defense held on for a 3-2 victory.
Bald Eagle (9-7) and pitcher Miles Etters worked out of two late-game jams -- one that included bases loaded with no outs in the sixth inning.
Robinson was named as the tournament's most valuable player.
"I let on to this all along. This is an outstanding group of athletes, and a great group of ballplayers," BEA manager Jim Gardner said. "We are proven. It's just taking some time to get them in the right frame of mind and to come together. Here we are, at the right time of the season, to be doing this kind of stuff. This weekend was huge for us in so many ways. Beating two Quad-A schools will give us the extra seeding points, and Central Mountain has that .700 or better winning percentage is added points. It's what we needed. We have to keep getting better, and we can't regress. We have to keep getting better for the postseason."
Mountoursville sent State College to its third straight loss, beating the Little Lions in extra innings.
Williamsport baseball, tennis rolling
Williamsport baseball was struggling at the beginning of the season but never wavered.
The school's boys tennis team, on the other hand, has been steamrolling past the competition.
On the courts, the Lycoming County school captured its second straight District 2-4 title with a victory over Abington Heights in the final. Williamsport eliminated Wyoming Valley West in the semis.
Mateus Camasmie, Michael Tobiasz and Kenan Rajjoub were all winners in singles' play.
"This is one of the best tennis teams in Williamsport history," said coach Leroy Baer to the Sun-Gazette. "I'm proud of the guys. We had injuries to overcome. Overcoming obstactles of beating Montoursville and Danville, two of our toughest opponents in league play. To beat them convincely is a big win for these guys. It meant a lot."
The baseball team started the season at 2-6, but have turned the season around -- standing at 7-6.
Last week, the Millionaires rallied from three- and four-run deficits in victories over Altoona and DuBois.
Tom Fox is Sports Editor at The Lock Haven (Pa.) Express and covers Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania for MaxPreps. He can be reached at email@example.com.