WHEELING - Wheeling Park did it the hard way.
After dropping their opener 8-6 on Tuesday, the Patriots battled back to win two Wednesday to claim the West Virginia Class AAA, Region One, Section One softball championship at Lisa's Field at the I-470 Complex.
Park won the first game, 3-2, to force a deciding third game. The Patriots used four straight errors and three hits to plate six runs and win the nightcap, 7-0.
Photo by Dave Morrison/Wheeling Park’s Kat Donzella hits a pitch during the West Virginia Class AAA,?Region One, Section One softball championship Wednesday at Lisa’s Field at the I-470 Complex in Wheeling.
"I think losing the first game woke us up," Wheeling Park coach Dee Davis said after the championship game victory.
"It was a total team effort. We hit the ball. We played good defense and we got two outstanding pitching performances (from Skyler Carrington and Carly Greer)."
They also made a strategic move that paid off.
For the first time this season Davis swapped the positions of Kelsi Johnson and Kat Donzella, placing Johnson at shortstop and Donzella to third base.
"We worked with them (on an adjacent field) right before the game and I think it paid off," Davis said. "Both played well, and I thought our defense was outstanding."
Neither made an error in either game.
Donzella, a freshman, sparkled in Game 1, ripping a two-out double to the gap in right-center field to plate two runs, which gave the Patriots a lead. In the top of the sixth, with the score tied at 2-2, she scored on a strange play that turned out to be the game-winner.
After Donzella had a one-out double, her second of the game, Keleigh Sidon was hit by a pitch. Sarah Long then singled, but Sidon caught Donzella at third. The relay back to third was thrown away and Donzella scored just ahead of the throw to the plate.
In the second game, Park sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six times in the fourth to take command of the title.
Colleen Tracy, Carrington and Morgan Karnell all reached on errors and eventually scored.
The big one came when a throw was made to first but nobody was covering the bag allowing Cara Freshwater, a courtesy runner for Tracy, and Karnell to score.
Wheeling Park (16-5), the Class AAA state runnerup last year, will face the Parkersburg/Parkersburg South winner in the Region I semifinals Thursday, May 15.
Martins Ferry 7
BELLAIRE - Shaye DeLeonardis struck out six and Brooklyn Monroe single, doubled and homered to drive in four as Martins Ferry (14-5) beat Bellaire (13-8) in the Duane Powell Memorial Scholarship Game.
Tyrah King doubled in two for the Purple Riders and Mercedez McLeod singled three times and plated a run, while Katie Sutherland doubled.
Mackenzie Conroy doubled in a run for the Big Reds. Elisha Gillespie also had a two-base hit.
Steubenville Catholic 5
St. John 1
BELLAIRE - Alex McComb struck out seven and scattered six hits to lead Steubenville Catholic (16-3) in a showdown victory against St. John (13-4).
Micca Mirabella led the Crusaders offense as she singled twice, walked twice, stole six bases and scored three runs. Maddy Gulan doubled in a run and Gabbi Capaldi drove in a pair of runs. Ash Daley provided a run-scoring double.
Kate Lovinski doubled in the lone Fighting Irish run.
Cambridge 3, Edison 1
RICHMOND - Lindsey Nunamker went the distance and also singled in a run as Cambridge (14-7) edged past Edison (7-13).
Hallie Stocker added a run-scoring single for the Bobcats.
Cassidy Jarvis hit a solo homer in the sixth for the Wildcats, but Nunamaker struck her out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
BEALLSVILLE - Caitlyn Kroll singled twice, doubled, tripled and plated a pair of runs as Bridgeport (14-6) routed Beallsville.
Sarah Bowers had three hots and four RBI for the Bulldogs and Brianna Cross, Kelli Mattern and Faith Pritt drove in one each.
Shania Phillips led the Blue Devils with a pair of singles.
Magnolia 4, Paden City 3
NEW MARTINSVILLE - Derek Blain singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to give the Blue Eagles the victory.
Zach Willhoite went the distance and earned the victory, striking out 11 with four walks.
Jake Starkey had a double, a single and a RBI for Magnolia (12-6, three wins in a row) , Blain and Brandon Mason had two singles and Chase Miller singled in a run.
Devon Price had a double and two RBI and Zach Heasley doubled for Paden City (9-12).
Brooke 4, Oak Glen 0
WASHINGTON, Pa. - Hearh Hildreth held Oak Glen to a pair of singles (with five strikeouts and a walk) as Brooke picked up the victory at Consol Energy Field.
Catcher Chad Harper had a big night, with a pair of triples and two singles. Nick Ossman had two singles, a double and two RBI and Fargo Lambardi had two singles and knocked in two runs.
Alec Swiger and Alex Shuman had the two hits for Oak Glen. Shuman went the distance for the Golden Bears, striking out seven and walking four.
The loss snapped a six-game victory streak for Oak Glen (11-10).
Brooke (16-7) will play Weir in a makeup game Friday. It will be Senior Night.
Steub. Catholic 4
BELLAIRE - Tyler Ramsay belted a pair of homers - a leadoff shot in the second and a grand slam in the third - to finish with five RBI as Bellaire (13-6) scored a victory against Steubenville Catholic.
Tyler West also hit a solo homer for the Big Reds, in support of winning pitcher Nathan Steele, who went the distance and struck out one.
Brenton Collabella, Aleks Porreca and Johnny Dicarlantonio all doubled for the Crusaders. Chris Murphy had a pair of singles.
Barnesville 4, River 3
HANNIBAL - Logan Schultz singled in a run and Auston Hannahs singled twice to help Barnesville get the best of River (4-11).
Nathan Clark earned a victory in relief, entering in the third for the Shamrocks and striking out four.
Ben Riley and Cole Isaly plated a run each for the Pilots, while Eric Dierkes had a pair of singles. Isaly whiffed 11 in a losing effort.
Monroe Central 15
Buckeye Trail 4
OLD WASHINGTON - Peter Frontz had three hits and four RBI to lead a 17-hit attack as Monroe Central (12-8) took out Buckeye Trail.
Tanner Burkhart (two singles, double) and Seth Alleman (single) added two RBI apiece for the Seminoles, while Devin Jackson and Bryan Duffy combined for five hits and two RBI.
Edison 6, Carrollton 5
RICHMOND - Clay Woodward struck out six and walked two as Edison beat Carrollton. Woodward also singled, doubled and drove in three runs.
Matt Johnson relieved in the sixth inning and walked one.
Josh Pasek and Bryce Piatt each hit two singles, while Pasek had an RBI.