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Misch, Bruins shut down Patriots

HURLING — Brooke’s Maleaha Misch pitches against Wheeling Park on Monday. -- Kyle Lutz

WHEELING — During Monday’s softball game against Wheeling Park, Brooke had a handful of opportunities in the early going to plate some runs.

However, after the Bruins couldn’t sport one after three straight innings of stranding a runner on third, they finally broke through.

Alexa Foresha crushed a home run in the fourth, while Emilee Knorr supplied an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI single, as Brooke defeated Wheeling Park, 2-0, at the I-470 Fields.

“We didn’t get timely hits until Emily Knorr got that base hit to give us that insurance run,” Brooke coach Jim DiCarlo said. “Alexa’s (home run) put us in the lead. It was a nice hit. I was happy that inning — we had a line drive to third. A left fielder made a diving catch, and the second baseman made every play. (Wheeling Park’s) defense was great. I was really happy with the way our kids hit the ball.”

The Bruins’ resiliency wasn’t bad at all, either. In the bottom of the fourth inning, it looked like the Patriots would tie the game or even take the lead.

Their first two batters reached safely thanks to a pair of errors. Lauren Fox then loaded the bases on a successful bunt attempt.

However, behind the stellar pitching of Maleaha Misch, the Bruins got out of the inning unscathed. She forced a pop up to the shortstop, followed by a strikeout and then ended the inning with a flyout to right field.

Misch also struck out three straight Patriots in the second inning, stranding Kyla Tharp at third after she led the inning getting to base safely after an error.

Misch finished with eight strikeouts compared to no walks.

“I thought Maleaha pitched lights out,” DiCarlo said. “I got to give Park credit. They made unbelievable defensive plays on us. They are super defensively. Our kids had really good focus, really good enthusiasm. I’m just really proud of our kids for battling.

“I thought all four of her pitches were working. She was hitting spots tremendously. We still have to sure it up. We kind of gave them the bases loaded by not playing good defense. I think that was the turning point of the game. If they get a couple of runs there, it could have been a different thing. We just hung tough in that situation.”

Wheeling Park started the seventh inning off on a positive note. Makenna Kelly led off with a single but was forced out at second.

Makiyah Strothers then tallied a single to put two runners on with one out. In the end, though, Wheeling Park couldn’t get the timely hit it needed, as Misch was able to get a pop out and fly out to end the game.

“We need to make hits. We just talked about that,” Wheeling Park coach Pat Durkin said. “I think we lost the game Saturday afternoon because we didn’t hit when we had to. We had bases loaded and no outs that night, and we had bases loaded and no outs (Monday). We have to put the ball in play. The other inning we had three strikeouts. We’re not hitting the ball right now. We’re fielding well, we’re just not hitting.”

Foresha also had a single to go with her home run to be the only player to tally a multi-hit game.

Emily Ashton fired five strikeouts for Wheeling Park.

Brooke 2, Wheeling Park 0

Brooke 0-0-0 1-0-0 1 — 2 6 3

Park 0-0-0 0-0-0 0 — 0 6 0

BROOKE: Misch wp (8K, 0BB) and Brown. Knorr S, rbi; Forsha S, HR, rbi.

WHEELING PARK: Ashton lp (5K, 2BB) and Stewart.

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