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SOFTBALL: Whg. Park Wins Battle of Patriots

Washington has pitching trouble in 10-1 setback

April 14, 2012
By NICK BEDWAY For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Wheeling Park didn't spray the outfield at Lisa's Field with a ton of hits but they certainly had a lot of would-be hitters plunked during the opening game of Friday night's doubleheader against Eastern Panhandle visitor Washington at the sun-drenched J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex.

The battle of the Patriots saw the host team collect five hits while benefiting from three Washington errors, five walks and just as many hit batters on the way to a 10-1 victory in the mercy-rule shortened game.

''It wasn't pretty at all," Wheeling Park coach Dee Davis said. ''We had a couple of errors in the outfield when our girls let balls that should have been singles get past them.

''We're not playing as crisp as we did early but we'll take the win. Right now, we want to to get in a good groove getting ready for the OVAC playoffs.''

Carly Greer gave the Ohio County Patriots another solid pitching performance, tossing a four-hitter, walking just one and finishing up with three of her four strikeouts while mowing down Washington in the top of the fifth inning.

The only walk Greer issued ended up costing her an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Marissa Bailey, the No. 8 batter in Washington's lineup, got aboard with one out when Greer missed on four straight pitches. After Ashley Ferro struck out, Christina Collins laced a single into right field and Bailey circled the bases when the ball got past Allie Dailer for a two-base error.

Park's offense included triples by Ashleigh Sidon in the first inning and Dailer in the bottom of the second. Dailer also had a single, while Skylar Carrington doubled and Kayla Kimmins chipped in with a single. Dailer's two hits drove in three runs.

The Ohio County club picked up a couple of gift runs in the opening inning to take the lead to stay. Tucker started it with a walk and moved around to third after infield outs by Emily Puskarich and Dailer. Washington pitcher Chelsea Carey should have escaped without yielding a run but Amber Curry's boot of Kelsi Johnson's infield roller scored Tucker and extended the inning. Sidon then ripped a line drive into the gap in right field for her triple that put Park in front 2-0.

Kimmins' singled to open the bottom of the second. Carrington then took a pitch on the helmet and Keleigh Sidon walked. After Marissa Tucker lined into a 1-3 double play, Puskarich was also hit with a pitch to reload the bases. Kimmins scored on a wild pitch and Dailer made it a 5-0 game with her triple on a liner that landed just inside the right-field foul line.

The parade of walks, errors and hit batters continued during the bottom of the third as Wheeling Park scored five runs while managing only one hit, Dailer's infield single that knocked home a run. Ashleigh Sidon started the rally when she was hit by a pitch. The uprising also included two errors, a wild pitch, an RBI picked up by Puskarich when she was hit with the bases loaded. Ashleigh Sidon was also hit for the second time before the inning finally ended on an infield out.

''Our pitchers usually don't have control problems like that," Washington coach Denise Bridgeman said. ''Obviously those hit batters and walks set up big innings for Park."

After facing the Wheeling Park Patriots, the visitors from Charles Town stayed overnight to play another doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. today against Wheeling Central, also at the I-470 Complex.

The weekend trip to Ohio Valley provides a homecoming for Washington assistant coach Amanda Orkoskey. The former Wheeling Central softball standout, who was a four-year starter at Shepherd, is in her second year of teaching and coaching at the Eastern Panhandle School.

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