Wheeling Park Softball Gets By Brooke, 6-4

WELLSBURG — Mistakes proved costly for the Brooke softball team against rival Wheeling Park.

Though the Patriots struggled coming up with timely hits, they were able to use their speed to their advantage to secure a 6-4 victory against the Bruins on Monday in the season opener for both teams.

“We had no scrimmages,” Brooke (0-1) coach Tricia Lamantia said. “Everyone was canceled. Rachel Kazmirski pitched a helluva game. That three-run home run she hit was amazing. We had some great hits. Courtney Elliott had a great hit, and Noelle Lamantia had a couple of hits. They kept us in the game.”

The game was tied at 3-3 after three innings, but the Patriots tallied a run in each of the next three innings to pull out the victory.

“I thought we played well,” Wheeling Park (1-0) coach Pat Durkin said. “I think we only had one error in the game. The big thing was we left 12 runners on base.

“We had the bases loaded a couple of times, and we were not able to come up with a hit.”

Makanzie Amend picked up a victory. She struck out nine while walking three.

“Mak was great,” Durkin said. “She hit her spots. Brooke has some real nice hitters at the top of their lineup, and she was able to hit her spots. The one girl did hit a ball deep over the fence in center field for a home run.”

Offensively, the Patriots tallied seven hits, six of which were singles. Individually, Kieran Johnson contributed two singles and an RBI, Catie Nesbitt collected a run-scoring single and Kat Donzella delivered a double to lead the way.

Kazmirski, a freshman, took the loss. She struck out seven, while walking eight.

Brooke totaled four hits, half of which went for extra bases. Kazmirski led the way with her three-run home run, Noelle Lamantia tallied two singles and an RBI and Elliott collected a double.

In the top of the first, Kelsey Chacalos singled to lead off the game, stole second base, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a wild pitch to put the Patriots out in front, 1-0.

In the second, Shea Wright walked with one out, and she ended up on third base after an error on a successful steal of second base. Wright scored on a fielders’ choice by Johnson to make the score 2-0. After a base hit by Ashley Linder, Nesbitt collected a run-scoring single scoring Johnson to increase Wheeling Park’s advantage to 3-0.

Brooke battled back in the bottom of the third.

Courtney Engle led off the inning by drawing a walk, and Jenna Cooper walked with one to put two runners on base for the Bruins. Next, Kazmirski hammered the ball over the fence for a three-run home run to knot the score at 3-3.

“They were the state runner-up last year, and we held our own against them” Coach Lamantia said. “That gives us confidence. They are a tough opponent, and we held our own against them.”

The Patriots were able to regain the lead in the fourth thanks to the speed of Chacalos.

With two outs, Wheeling Park’s center fielder drew a walk, and again she promptly stole second base. The throw to the base was low, and the ball was kicked into the outfield enabling Chacalos to come all the way around and score to give Wheeling Park the lead again at 4-3.

Wheeling Park added to its advantage in the fifth.

Amend reached on an error with one out, and three batters later, Johnson singled home a run to extend the Patriots’ advantage to 5-3. The run was scored by Madi Miller, who came in to her run for her team’s pitcher.

The Bruins got a run back in the bottom half of the inning.

With one out, Kazmirski reached on an error, and she was replaced on the bases by Carolann Julio, who moved up on a wild pitch. Next, Noelle Lamantia singled Julio home with her second single of the game to pull Brooke back to within one run at 5-4.

The Patriots produced a run in the sixth to regain their two-run lead, and once again it was Chacalos who singled handedly produced the run.

The speedster singled to start off the inning, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Laral Saunders. Then, Chacalos scored on another wild pitch to make the score 6-4.

“We are a fast team,” Durkin said. “We like to run. We have good speed. We got runners on base three times early on, and we stole each time. We want to move our runners over. We want to run, and running helps us to score runs.”