WHEELING - Indian Creek coach Angela Penner knew her hitters had a big inning in them, she just wasn't sure when it would come during Tuesday night's OVAC Class 5A semifinal against Wheeling Park.
The answer was the fourth.
The Redskins sent 10 batters to the plate, hit three home runs, and scored seven in the frame on their way to an 8-4 victory against the Patriots.
PHOTO BY JIM ELLIOTT
Indian Creek starting pitcher Ashley Starr rocks and delivers Tuesday against Wheeling Park. Taylor Geanangel is in the background.
They'll meet John Marshall and its 27-game winning streak in Saturday's final.
''I kept thinking it was a matter of time before we would hit the ball,'' Penner said. ''It was looking glim the first inning.''
Wheeling Park did nearly all of its damage in the first inning behind an RBI triple from Allie Dailer, an RBI groundout by Kelsi Johnson and a Little League home run by Ashleigh Sidon on a ball that was misplayed in the outfield.
Creek got one back in the third on an RBI double by Ashley Simko ahead of the avalanche in the fourth. It was the Redskins' first hit off Park starter Carly Greer.
In the fourth, Abby Orr drove in the first three runs when she sent a screamer to the wall in center and the fielder fell down while giving chase. Orr had touched them all before the ball made its way back into the infield.
Later in the inning, Shimko and winning pitcher Ashley Starr did it the easier way. Shimko, who pegged the wall with her double in the third, went over it for a two-run homer this time. Starr followed with a line drive home run that chased Greer in favor of lefty Skylar Carrington.
''Those guys hit the ball,'' Wheeling Park coach Dee Davis said. ''Even the couple of errors we had, they were hard line drives out there. They earned it. They hit the ball and we didn't, that's it. We hit a couple shots but they had more shots than we did.''
Of Indian Creek's seven hits, four were for extra bases. Park had three extra-base hits.
''We were hitting the ball too, but we weren't consistent with it,'' Davis said. ''They were. They pound the ball. They deserved to win.''
The Patriots added a run in the seventh when Kristin Slater doubled and scored on a base hit by Marissa Tucker.