Lady Rockets extend 9-A win steak to 52 games

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Forrest Lady Rockets have dominated District 9A opponents for almost four years, compiling a 52-game winning streak versus their league rivals, dating back to April 26, 2005.

Friday night in Chapel Hill, the rejuvenated Cascade Lady Champions came to town and gave the Lady Rockets a scare before succumbing 6-0.

Lady Champ junior hurler Leigha Carter was magnificent, tossing four innings of no-hit ball before her counterpart in the circle, Shelby Stinnett broke up the no-no with a double to center with one out in the fifth.

One batter later, Forrest third sacker Rachel Curtis came up with her second consecutive game winning hit, lashing a two-out single to center field that easily scored courtesy runner Chelsea Johnson.

"We can count on her (Curtis) in those crucial situations," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham after the game.

Cheatham smiled and added, "She goes up their making the pitcher sorry she has a bat in her hand."

After the Curtis come-through, Stinnett slammed the door shut on the girls from Wartrace, giving up no hits the rest of the game while whiffing 5 out of the next 9 hitter en-route to the complete game win

Forrest added three runs in the top of sixth, started by a one-out hit by Summer Waggoner. After a 6-3 fielder's choice moved Waggoner to second, Haley Mathis slapped a line drive through the right side, putting runners on first and third.

Mathis stole second and then strolled home behind Waggoner when Brianda Elmore gouged Carter with a long two-run double into the right center field gap for a 3-0 Forrest lead.

Stinnett added another insurance with her second hit of the game, this time a two-out RBI single to left field that scored Ciara "Precious" Cook, who had come in to run for Elmore.

Stinnett was overpowering in the sixth, retiring three straight Lady Champions on weak ground balls, sending the contest to the 7th.

Curtis doubled to left with one out and Amanda Daughrity followed with a fence rattling double to the left field corner for run number six.

Cascade had a ray of light in the last inning as leadoff hitter Sara Edwards reached on an infield miscue.

Stinnett reared back, getting both Torey Hornberger and Laura Jett on swinging third strikes, putting Cascade down to their last out.

Another Forrest infield error put runners on first and third before Stinnett sawed off Tyler Buck for a slow grounder back to Stinnett, who flipped to Waggoner at first base, ending the game.

Stinnett finished the game with 10 strikeouts and 1 walk, while allowing just two Cascade singles.

The Lady Rockets improved to 10-2 overall and 5-0 in district play while the Lady Champs moved to 3-3. The loss to Forrest was Cascade's first district tilt of the season.

Another tough week looms ahead for Cheatham and the Lady Rockets as they take on MTCS Monday at home before travelling to Lincoln County Thursday for games versus Class AAA opponents Shelbyville at 5pm followed by Riverdale (17-3) in the opening round of the Battle Border Battle at Lincoln County High School.

Forrest moves over to the City Park in Fayetteville on Friday, continuing pool play games versus Hazel Green, Ala. and Warren County before bracket play ends the tourney on Saturday.

All three Marshall County softball teams will be competing in the Border Battle as Cornersville and MCHS both take the yellow bus ride to Fayetteville on Friday.

The undefeated Lady Dawgs take on Riverdale and Columbia Central at Lincoln County High School while the Tigerettes face Sparkman and Summertown at the City Park in Good Friday match-ups, beginning at 3pm.