By JIM ELLIOTT
WHEELING - Carly Greer's short sacrifice fly in back of shortstop scored Kristin Slater with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Wheeling Park escaped with a 1-0 victory against Morgantown in the first game of a twinbill Saturday afternoon at Lisa's Field.
Morgantown’s Heather Mellie dives back to first to avoid a double play as Wheeling Park first baseman Marissa Tucker awaits a throw during the 6th inning of their game Saturday.
Morgantown rebounded to win the second game, 5-3.
''Get them on, get them over, and get them in,'' said Wheeling Park assistant coach Donnie Newland, who took over the reins of the team with head coach Dee Davis sitting out the games via suspension after being tossed a day earlier against Cambridge.
The two teams combined for five hits in 47 plate appearances and had only four players get into scoring position in the opener.
That it ended on a sac fly a few feet in the grass beyond shortstop probably should have been a surprise to no one.
Through the first six innings, Wheeling Park (11-2) had two hits, popped out nine times, and grounded out five times against Mohigans starter - and tough-luck losing pitcher - Tara Hanson. Hanson struck out four and didn't issue a walk.
On the other end, Patriots lefty Skylar Carrington was a tad better, as she surrendered two hits and struck out six. She induced six flyouts and seven groundouts, counting a 6-3 double play in the sixth.
''She did a great job, threw a lot of strikes,'' Newland said.
Morgantown's best chance to score came in the second when No. 8 hitter Heidi Hormell singled to lead off the inning, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball, but she was stranded after a strikeout and an unassisted putout at first.
''We're not being aggressive enough at the plate,'' Morgantown coach Lorri Lipscomb said.
''We're getting behind in the count, then we're chasing bad pitches,'' Lipscomb said. ''That's something that we've got to clean up, maybe jump out early. Just have smarter at-bats.''
It stayed that way - short, crisp innings - until the bottom of the seventh when Slater hit a one-out single up the middle. Kayleigh Sidon followed with a sacrifice bunt where no play was made. Slater moved to third on an error when a throw from the outfield was off the mark then came around to score on Greer's pop-up.
There was no hesitancy on the part of Newland to send Slater in that spot.
''Absolutely not, she's quick,'' Newland said. ''(The shortstop is) running back to catch the ball, she's got to turn and fire. It has to be a perfect throw. I had no hesitancy at all there.''
Given the same chance, Lipscomb would have done the same thing.
''Bottom of the seventh,'' she said, ''I'm going for the win.''
Greer also doubled for the Patriots.
The Mohigans' other hit was a sixth-inning single by No. 9 hitter Heather Mellie, just ahead of the double play.
Wheeling Park 3
Kelsie Johnson singled and doubled, and Slater and Kayleigh Sidon each had two hits, but it wasn't enough as Wheeling Park lost Game 2.
Hanson tripled for the Mohigans and winning pitcher Devin Perdue had two singles.