VIENNA - Wheeling Park pitcher Carly Greer won't call herself a leader.
She'll leave that up to the rest of the team.
''You can't really call yourself a leader, but I hope that everyone else on the team sees me as a leader,'' the junior said. ''Even if you're not the best player on the team, you can still be a leader. Team leadership is a huge part of winning games.''
Batting .373 and being the team's ace is a big part, too.
Greer has done both this year as she helped guide the Patriots past reigning state champion and powerhouse John Marshall in the Region One title game to earn a berth in the state tournament, where the Patriots are three victories away from owning the Class AAA crown.
''We just told ourselves we have nothing to loose and everything to gain,'' she said of the regional championship game. ''And if it's going to be our last game, then we might as well play our hearts out. I think that's exactly what we did.''
Park shocked the Monarchs, and the rest of the West Virginia prep softball community, by a 5-3 final score on JM's own diamond.
''We didn't have any errors,'' she noted. ''We just went into that game thinking we have absolutely nothing to lose. I think that's what really helped us.''
Greer has kept that same mindset.
In the Patriots' 8-3 thrashing of Ripley in the second round of the state tournament, Greer went to the plate four times and reached all four of those times with a double, two singles and a walk.
''I just kept my eye on the ball, just like I was telling myself to do,'' she said after the game. ''It's more like sticking with the basics instead of trying to do something your not used to do doing. I just put the bat on the ball, I guess.''
She also drove in four runs and came on in relief of Skylar Carrington in the fifth to record the save and also sat down four batters for good measure.
''It's a lot harder because you're not as warmed up,'' she said about relief pitching. ''You're not as mentally into the game as you are if you've been pitching the whole time. It is a lot harder, but I enjoy it. I like helping my teammates out.''
Davis Gets Her Wish
Since Wheeling Park is in the loser's bracket of the state tournament, the Patriots had to play the waiting game to see whom they would face today.
''If Jefferson could knock (Hurricane) off, then that'd be nice,'' Davis said after her team eliminated Ripley from the tournament.
''I think they're the top dog right now.''
Ask and you shall receive.
Park will now get its rematch with Hurricane at 9:30 this morning.
''They know us, and we know them now,'' Davis said. ''They hit the ball and we didn't. We only had two hits that game and still lost by one. A couple errors cost us.''
According to Greer, nerves played a part in the 2-1 loss as well.
''I think the nerves were getting to us a little bit,'' she said. ''Both teams were nervous. There were errors on both sides. Both teams had a lot of nervous, so I think (today) will be a completely different story.''
Magruder Not Sure Which Arm to Use
Wheeling Central coach Rick Magruder knew the answer right away when asked which ace he would use in his team's duel with Moorefield today.
''Either Madison (Basinger) or Sarah (Henry),'' Magruder joked.
But, on a serious note, he really isn't sure who will be the one in the circle.
''It's a tough one it's going to be a tough decision,'' he said. ''We'll see how it goes. Maybe Madison so we can save Sarah, but we'll have to see. It's going to be a tough decision, but I'm comfortable with both of them.''
His team is also comfortable as well now in playing in the state tournament.
''I think maybe in the beginning (they were nervous),'' he said. ''I don't think later (they were). Sydney (Bennington) was a little nervous and Sarah, well she's just nervous all the time, but I think the rest of them were fine.''