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Brooke softball ends season by a run

WELLSBURG — Lauren Fox won the battle, and the Wheeling Park softball team won the war.

In a matchup of No. 1s, Fox launched an offering from Brooke’s Maleaha Misch over the fence in left field for a home run in the top of the fourth inning to account for the game’s lone run, as the No. 4 seed Patriots defeated the No. 3 seed Bruins, 1-0, in an elimination game in the Class AAA Region 1 Section 1 tournament Wednesday evening at Brooke.

It was a banner day for Fox. Earlier in the day, she signed to play softball at West Liberty. 

“It was nice to see Lauren hit that home run,” Wheeling Park (8-21) head coach Pat Durkin said. “Earlier, she signed to play at West Liberty, and then she hit the home run to celebrate.”

Brooke’s inability to come up with a timely hit doomed the Bruins in their season-ending loss.

“Our girls battled,” Brooke (16-8) head coach Jim DiCarlo said. “They played hard. Wheeling Park made some unbelievable defensive plays. I’m so proud of them.”

With the win, Wheeling Park will play top-seeded Morgantown today in an elimination game on the road. John Marshall, the No. 2 seed, defeated Morgantown, 5-1, in the semifinals Wednesday on the road to advance to the sectional final Friday.

Brooke collected four hits, but the Bruins left several runners on base — many of which were stranded in scoring position. 

The hosts stranded a runner at second in the first, left runners at first and second in the fourth and left a runner at third in each the fifth and the sixth. They got a runner on to lead off the seventh, but she did not advance from there. 

“We just could not get the timely hit, and they got the one big hit,” DiCarlo said. “Maleaha pitched a super game. We stranded a lot of runners in scoring position. We did not get a lot of lead-off batters on base. We battled.

“Wheeling Park is a good team. They made some great plays. The first baseman scooped the ball in the dirt, and if the ball in the seventh gets by their center fielder we probably win the game. We hit the ball hard like we needed to. Our kids battled. They are resilient. They hung in there. They did not let Wheeling Park pull away. We gave ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Makenna Kelly collected the win for the Patriots. She allowed four hits, while striking out two and walking two.

Misch gave up one run on five hits, while striking out seven without walking a batter. 

“There were nice defensive plays made on both sides,” Durkin said. “When we played them earlier in the year in the innings we gave up runs, we made some mental mistakes. It helps when you have no errors. Their girl pitched well.”

Izzy Miller tallied a double for Wheeling Park, while Makiyah Strothers, Kyla Tharp and Faith Randolph all produced a single.

“I think the level of competition went up late in the year,” DiCarlo said. “We just could not get the timely hit today. We hit the ball right at people. We couldn’t come up with the timely hit.”

Angelina Lippoli tallied a double for Brooke, while Lexi Foresha, Felicity Eli and Emilee Knorr all recorded a single. 

“We lost a one-run game (Tuesday), and (Wednesday) we won a one-run game,” Durkin said. 

The Bruins dressed three seniors (Lizzie Foresha, Misch and Eli) for the game.

“It was not a bad year,” DiCarlo said. “The kids battled all year. Maleaha was the only one coming into the year with varsity experience. I am proud of the girls. I am proud of their efforts.”

The Mohigans defeated the Patriots, 8-7, Tuesday at home, while the Monarchs shut out the Bruins, 12-0, at home.

Wheeling Park 1, Brooke 0

Park 0-0-0 1-0-0 0 — 1 5 0

Brooke 0-0-0 0-0-0 0 — 0 4 0

WHEELING PARK (8-21): Kelly (WP, CG, 0R, 4H, 2K, 2BB) and Kozlowski. Fox HR, RBI; Strothers S; Tharp S; Miller D; Randolph S.

BROOKE (16-8): Misch (LP, CG, 1R, 5H, 7K, 0BB) and Brown. Lippoli D; Le. Foresha S; Eli S; Knorr S.

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