New Egypt's Emily Bausher is a tough pitcher to beat under the best of circumstances.
Give her a 9-0 lead in the first inning and the task becomes the softball version of Mission Impossible.
That was the situation for Gloucester in Monday's state semifinals at Rancocas Valley's athletic complex.
The Lions surrendered nine runs in the first inning and fell, 10-0, in a game that was shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.
"We never had an inning like that all year," Gloucester coach Dave Light said. New Egypt "came out with the sticks."
The Lehigh-bound Bausher pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts as Central Jersey champion New Egypt (24-3) advanced to face the winner of Tuesday's semifinal between Cedar Grove and Whippany Park in the state title game Saturday at Toms River.
"They're a great-hitting team," Bausher said of Gloucester. "I knew I had to keep it down and away from them."
Teresa Anderson and Amanda Boulden had singles for Gloucester (18-8), the South Jersey champion.
"She's an awesome pitcher," Gloucester senior outfielder Brittney Dolson said of Bausher. "She knows right where to put it."
Bausher lived on the outside corner. She had five strikeouts looking, and she retired 16 of the final 18 batters. Gloucester had just one runner reach second base.
"We settled down but we couldn't put any hits together," Light said.
Bausher has 19 shutouts and New Egypt has allowed just 16 runs. But half of them were scored by Gloucester in the Lions' 8-7 victory over the Warriors in the Rancocas Valley tournament April 9.
That game, plus a Gloucester victory over New Egypt in the state semifinals when Bausher was a sophomore pitcher in 2009, put her team in a "mind-set of revenge," Bausher said.
"Gloucester is always a target for us and we're a target for them," Bausher said. "After that game [April 9], I was hoping we would see them again."
Louisville-bound senior shortstop Kayla Soles drove in three runs with a pair of singles in the first inning. Gloucester was hurt in the inning by four walks and two errors.
Second baseman Erika Tucker was 3 for 3 and leftfielder Sam Beckett hit two doubles, including the game-ender in the bottom of the sixth for New Egypt.
Gloucester rallied from a sluggish start to the season to capture the Tri-County Classic title and won the program's 10th sectional title.
"Nobody expected us to get this far," Dolson said. "I wouldn't change this season for anything."
Gloucester 000 000 - 0 2 3
New Egypt 900 001 - 10 14 0
WP: Emily Bausher. LP: Sam Bryszewski.
2B: NE-Sam Beckett, 2. 3B: NE-Haley Anderson.