Lady Rockets win a comeback classic

Friday, May 23, 2008
Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham leads the cheers in the dugout in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Forrest Lady Rockets denied Friendship Christian revenge from a stinging elimination defeat in last year's Spring Fling, pulling off a dramatic 5-2 comeback victory Wednesday night to remain undefeated at the Blue Cross Spring Fling.

Forrest fell behind two-nothing as Friendship Christian scored single runs in the first on an RBI single by pitcher Hailey Rutledge and one in the third on an inside-the-park homer by Camille Cross.

The ladies from Chapel Hill tied the game at two apiece, mounting a fourth-inning rally started by Brianda Elmore, who beat out a leadoff infield single. Stinnett popped up to Friendship pitcher Hailey Rutledge for the first out, but Heather James was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.

Gaby Bussell singled to center to load the sacks. Following a Forrest strikeout, Amanda Daughrity walked after trying to call timeout on a 3-2 pitch to knot the game at two.

Stinnett allowed just two hits after the third inning, settling into a dominating rhythm for a second night in a row.

The Lady Commanders looked like they would be the ones to break the tie and advance to the winner's bracket, squandering a good chance in the bottom of the sixth. Rutledge knocked a leadoff single to center and advanced to third on an outfield error.

After Stinnett struck out Brooke Klinefelter for the first out, Friendship Christian coach Erica Powell tried to trick the Lady Rockets with a squeeze, but it backfired when Gaby Bussell alertly pounced on the ball and nailed Rutledge, trying to scurry back to third.

Freshman Chelsea Johnson reached on a bunt single to lead off the seventh inning and Haley Mathis followed with a beautiful slap hit ball over the head of the . . .Pick up a copy of today's edition, May 23, 2008, Tribune for full coverage and photos.