WELLSBURG - A good pitcher can carry a softball team a long way.
Indian Creek ace Paige Geanangel delivered another strong showing in the circle and at the plate against Brooke on Wednesday evening.
The junior led the Redskins to a 5-1 victory on the road in the first game of a Bruins' doubleheader.
RAPID FIRE — Brooke High catcher Isabella Preston throws back to pitcher Kaylee Kuchinski in the fifth inning of the Bruins’ game against Indian Creek on Wednesday. The Redskins won 5-1.
On the mound, Geanangel recorded seven strikeouts, while allowing only one run on three hits en route to recording the victory. Offensively, she ended up with three hits - two singles and a double - and two RBIs.
"Paige pitched a great game, and she had three hits," Indian Creek head coach Angela Penner said.
The Redskins (6-1) plated one run in the top of the first and two more in the second to build a 3-0 lead. It is tough coming back from an early deficit, especially against a quality pitcher like Geanangel.
"That is a true statement," Brooke head coach Mike Wagner said. "She is a good pitcher. We got down a few runs early, and we were not able to dig ourselves out of the hole.
"We couldn't get the clutch hit we needed to plate some runs."
The Redskins added to their lead with a run in the sixth making it 4-0 before the Bruins got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning.
Trailing by three runs, the Bruins had runners on second and third with one out, but Geanangel was able to pitch herself out of harm's way by getting the next two batters on a pop up to first and on a groundout back to the mound.
"We were only able to drive in the one run," Wagner said. "We were not able to string some hits together. We have to get better at that."
Indian Creek collected an insurance run in the seventh.
"It was a very good day for us," Penner said. "It was a total team effort. We hit the ball well, we had good pitching and we made some nice plays defensively against some nice hitters."
Offensively, the Redskins collected nine hits. Individually, Abby Orr recorded a pair of singles, Cheyanne Allen and Marissa DeFallo each finished with a run-scoring single and Alexis Monroe and Bethany Davis singled.
"We played a quality game," Penner said. "We hit the ball well, and we played well defensively. I am proud of the girls. We haven't been able to get outside a lot because of the weather, so it was nice to be able to play on a field."
The Bruins used two pitchers in the game. Senior Kaylee Kuchinski took the loss for the Bruins. Kuchinski struck out six while not issuing a walk in her six innings of work inside the circle. Fellow senior Kristen Reardon came on in relief in the seventh. She walked one while not fanning a batter in her one inning of work.
"I thought both pitchers pitched good games," Wagner said.
Offensively, Kuchinski helped her own cause with a run-scoring single, while Sabrinna Duffy and Kelly Schambach each contributed a base hit.
Brooke played host to John Marshall in the nightcap of the twinbill, falling 6-5. The Bruins are now 6-7 on the year.
"We have lost so many close games," Wagner said. "We haven't had a couple of things go our way."
"It is frustrating losing close games, but the girls are keeping their heads up. They are good players, and if they stay focused good things will happen. We just have to play like we know how to play."
Indian Creek will play at home against Edison today, while Brooke will go on the road and play at Wheeling Park.
Indian Creek 5, Brooke 1
Indian Creek 120 001 1 - 5 9 1
Brooke 000 001 0 - 1 3 1
INDIAN CREEK: Geanangel (WP, 7K, 2BB) and Orr; Geanangel 2S, D, 2RBI; Orr 2S; DeFallo S, RBI; Monroe S; Davis S; Allen S.
BROOKE : Kuchinski (LP, 6IP, 6K, 0BB), Reardon (1IP, 0K, 1BB) and Preston; Kuchinski S, RBI; Duffy S; Schambach S.
John Marshall 6, Brooke 5
John Marshall 010 103 1 6 7 2
Brooke 400 100 0 5 9 2
JOHN MARSHALL: Blake (0K, 1BB), Kinnick (4, WP 2K, 0BB) and Nameth. George D, T; Rogerson S, T 3RBI; Gellner S; Blake S, RBI; Kaylor S.
BROOKE: Castelucci (LP 5K, 0BB) and Preston. Preston S, D, 2RBI; Simala 2S, 2RBI; Geary 2S; Duffy 2S; Shambaugh S.