WHEELING - The OVAC Class 5A semifinal, which pitted Wheeling Park against Indian Creek, seemed like it would become a pitching duel between the Redskins' Paige Geanangel and the Patriots' Carly Greer.
Park coach Dee Davis, however, had a change of plans.
''I was going to start (Greer) pitching, but I decided to go with Skylar (Carrington),'' Davis said. ''Either one of them could have pitched. I'm still satisfied with the outcome.''
As well she should be, as Carrington had a solid performance in the circle to go with a two-run homer by Greer that gave Park (17-2) a 4-3 victory against the Redskins at Lisa's Field.
''(Indian Creek) didn't really tee off on Skylar,'' Davis noted. ''They had a couple of hard hits, but no consecutive ones that could hurt us. I thought she did a nice job.''
The game went scoreless for the first three innings before Creek (11-3) got its first run off a Geanangel sacrafice fly that drove in Marissa DeFallo.
The Patriots answered back in the fourth as Greer, who started the inning with a leadoff double, crossed home plate after a hit from Kelly Albers. Park got its first lead two batters later as Ashleigh Sidon's fielder's choice gave time for Morgan Karnell to give the Patriots a 2-1 advantage.
After Carrington walked DeFallo to start the fifth, the Park pitcher couldn't field a bunt by Brey Mays and then couldn't get the throw to first, which bought time for DeFallo to score and for Mays to make it around to third.
The next batter, Megan Markja, hit a sac fly into right field as Mays made it 3-2 Redskins.
Kristin Slater reached on a Creek error to start the bottom of the inning for Park before Greer smacked the eventual game-winner over the left-field fence.
''We needed that,'' Davis pointed out. ''We needed someone to spark us and that was good that she did that. The last about six or seven games, she's been hitting the ball well.''
After Park went in order in the sixth, the Redskins had one last chance to try to get the better of the Carrington. The sophomore, however, was cooler than ever.
Carrington ended the inning striking out two to pick up a victory.
''I think she pitched a good game,'' Redskins coach Angie Penner said. ''We thought we had a chance because we had the top of our order coming up (in the seventh), but, like I said, give their pitcher a lot of credit. She held us off and we couldn't hit the ball when we needed to.''
The victory gives Park a rematch with rival John Marshall for the OVAC 5A title.
''The whole thing is in their heads,'' Davis said of the Patriots. ''You've got to hit (Amy) Rotriga. If you can hit Rotriga, you can win the game. She strikes out 20-some a game, so that's the whole thing. Hopefully her arm will be sore because she had to pitch nine innings then she had to pitch a tough game (Tuesday against Morgantown).
''I'd like to play this game (today), that would give her less time off.''
Wheeling Park 4, Indian Creek 3
Indian Creek 001 020 0 - 3 5 1
Wheeling Park 000 220 x - 4 7 1
INDIAN CREEK: Geanangel (LP, 7K, 2BB) and Orr. Mays rbi; Markja rbi; Geanagel S, rbi; Monroe D.
WHEELING PARK: Carrington (WP, 4K, 2BB) and A. Sidon. A. Sidon rbi; Greer HR, D, 2 rbi; Albers 2S, rbi.