WINTERSVILLE - Early season dramatics were on display as the Indian Creek softball team hosted Buckeye 8 rival Edison Thursday. The teams exchanged leads three times, before the late inning heroics of Paige DeMattio gave Indian Creek an 11-10 victory. The win gives the Redskins an impressive 4-0 start to their season.
"With the way the girls played and a win like this, it really makes you look forward to the entirety of the season," Indian Creek head coach Angela Penner said. "Edison is one of our rivals, and our kids always play hard. It's a nice step in the right direction for our program."
The fireworks began much earlier in the game, but it's the end of the story which proved to be the most exciting.
A PERFECT FIVE — Indian Creek’s Paige DeMattio rips a double in her 5-for-5 effort at the plate during Thursday’s 11-10 win over Edison.
-- Mike Mathison
Indian Creek and Edison were tied, 10-10, as the Redskins came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a quick out, Ashley Starr came to the plate. Starr ripped a seeing eye single into the outfield. DeMattio followed.
DeMattio was already 4-for-4 at the plate as she again entered the batter's box. She finished 5-for-5. A long double reached the fence line in an outfield alley.
Starr didn't settle with merely pulling up at third base. She rounded the base. There was clearly going to be a play at the plate. Starr slid. The relay throw floated high. And the Indian Creek dugout erupted after DeMattio's walk-off double.
"We have a great nucleus of kids," Penner continued. "Our seniors, Ashley Shimko and Ashley Starr, have led us from Day 1. They've kept the team together in all aspects of the game. Our team has a good attitude toward the game. They show enthusiasm to pick each other up. They are just playing as team.
"I'm proud of them. I'm also proud of our coaches, because they work hard day in and day out for the kids. That's what it's all about."
The game began innocently enough. A pitching duel appeared to be brewing early as Edison was the only team able to mark a tally through the first two innings. Kylie Smith's double brought Casey DellaPenna past the plate. DellaPenna would make her presence again known an inning later.
Edison led 1-0 after two frames. Then the fireworks finally ignited.
With another run already in during the top of the third inning, two were on base when DellaPenna came to bat. She bombed a home run over the left field fence to give Edison the 5-0 advantage early in the contest.
The blast ended Ashley Starr's day on the mound, and she pulled herself in favor of a better option. That option was freshman Paige Geanangel. And Geanangel would have a tremendous effect on the game.
Indian Creek responded with two runs in the third and fourth innings. The Redskins finally pulled out all of the stops in the fifth inning while trailing 5-4.
"Indian Creek deserves a lot of credit," Edison coach Spencer Bendle said. "They were down 5-0 and with the cold weather they could have easily given in. They battled back and put the ball in play. They hit the ball hard and stuck with it."
Geanangel began with a leadoff home run to center field to tie the game, 5-5. Two batters later, Megan Markja stroked a line drive two-run home run over the right field fence. Starr and DeMattio each added RBI base hits in the inning, while Geanagnel had another RBI single before the inning came to a close.
Indian Creek regained the lead 10-5, but Edison didn't back down.
The Wildcats added two runs in the sixth inning courtesy of an Indian Creek error. Edison started its late run with a simple squib single from Trisha Trifinoff. An error followed allowing Kayla Prokopakis to reach base. Molly McCoy then hit a well-placed double down the left field line which scored both runners and Smith brought McCoy home with a triple. The inning ended on a failed suicide squeeze attempt. Edison tied the score 10-10 in the seventh and final frame.
In the end it all proved naught as Indian Creek displayed the resiliency to come back and capture victory.
"I said this the other day when we played John Marshall, we can't have the errors we had today," Bendle stressed. "We can't miss our location and put the ball where it needs to be as a pitching staff. If you give up 10 or 11 runs, you don't deserve to win a softball game. We have a lot of issues we need to correct. We've played two ball games and given up double digits in both. Until we start eliminating the errors, walks and miscues; we'll have these types of games.
"When you start a season, everyone has jitters. We do have veteran girls on this team. And we're making mistakes that aren't typical of Edison softball. Until we correct those things, we'll find ourselves in these types of games."
Both teams have double headers Saturday. Edison splits with John Glenn and Wheeling Park, while Indian Creek travels to Cambridge.
Indian Creek 11, Edison 10
Edison 014 002 3 - 10 8 5
Indian Creek 002 260 1 - 11 16 4
EDISON (1-1): Westfall (2K, 0BB), Tice (5, LP, 0K, 1BB) and Sheets; Kr.Prokopakis S; Trifinoff 2S, rbi; Ka.Prokopakis S; DellaPenna HR, 3rbi; McCoy D, 2rbi; Smith T, D, rbi.
INDIAN CREEK (4-0): Starr (3K, 2BB), Geanangel (4, WP, 6K, 2BB) and Orr. Mays 4S, rbi; Starr D, 2S, rbi; Demattio 2D, 3S, 3rbi; Geanangel HR, S, 2rbi; Monroe S; Markja HR, D, 2rbi.