WHEELING - John Marshall sure seems to have Wheeling Park's number thus far this season.
In three games - all JM victories - the Monarchs have asserted their dominance in one way or another.
Friday night at Lisa's Field, they did it in the fourth inning when they scored six runs en route to a 8-5 victory in an OVAC 5A semifinal
Photo by TONY VIOLA
John Marshall shortstop Sissy George fires to first.
The No. 3 seed Monarchs (20-5) advanced to today's championship game where they will face Indian Creek for a chance to capture their third consecutive OVAC title.
Both teams traded early blows as it was tied 2-2 after three innings.
Then John Marshall went on a roll.
JM loaded the bases on a single, an error and a bunt to set the stage for Bailey Filben, who knocked in Megan Wise to make it 3-2.
Sissy George drove in Jazmine Keller and Abbi Namath before Jessica Kinnick doubled in George and advanced to third on a throwing error that scored Hannah Rogerson.
The No. 2-seeded Patriots (13-5) put on a rally in the seventh.
Ashleigh Sidon got things going as she brought in pinch runner Laral Saunders with a hit and Kat Donzella doubled in Kelsi Johnson before Keleigh Sidon scored her twin sister with a sacrifice fly.
''We battled back and forth,'' John Marshall coach Ed West said. ''We had the one good inning where we got up a little bit, but I knew the game wasn't over. I was never at the point where I thought we had this one in the bag until we got the last out. Believe me. They're a good-hitting team and they were hitting the ball solidly. We made some plays on defense. That's the bottom line. Our defense played well.''
The Patriots actually out hit the Monarchs, 12-10, but committed five errors, three of which came in the fourth.
Alyssa Blake earned a victory from the circle for the Monarchs, while Carly Greer took the loss for the Patriots.
''They've been hitting her a little bit,'' Park coach Dee Davis said. "If she keeps pitching to these batters, she'll start to learn their weaknesses. That's when she's at her best. We'll play them in regionals and then she'll be ready. That's how she is.''