Stingy Stinnett shuts out Viqueens in District 9A opener

Friday, May 8, 2009
Two time All-State hurler Shelby Stinnett gave up a lead-off single to Community before retiring 14 out of the next Viqueen batters in a one-hit, 9 strikeout, 10-0 shut-out performance

It has been a long wait for the post-season to return for the defending Class A state champion Forrest Lady Rocket softball team.

After a long, wet, and sometimes inconsistent regular season, Forrest was back in championship form Tuesday in Chapel Hill in their district opener versus Community, sending the Viqueens to the loser's bracket with a five inning run rule 10-0 shut-win.

Two-time All-State junior hurler Shelby Stinnett gave up a leadoff single to Community's Courtney Vassar before retiring 14 out of the next 15 purple and yellow clad Viqueen hitters for the victory in the circle.

Stinnett also went 2-2 from the plate with a squeeze bunt game winning RBI, driving in the Haley Mathis with the Lady Rockets' initial tally in the first inning.

Forrest would go on to score in every inning of the game with the big inning coming in the third when the Lady Rockets pushed across seven runs to go ahead 9-0.

Rachel Curtis, who went 2-3 with 3 ribbies in the ballgame, drove home the clinching tenth run with a long solo homer over the center field fence in the bottom of the 4th inning.

In the top of the 5th, Stinnett finished off the Viqueens in style, striking out the side in order, advancing her squad to the winner's bracket.

"It was a great way to get started back to state," said Stinnett after the game. "My mind wasn't right before the game so I just tried to get back in the groove and after the first hitter I just settled down."

Stinnett was probably one of the few players or fans in the mid-state that did not mind the long weather delays this week, getting some great rehab during the downtime to nurse some injuries.

"There is no pain in my arm or in my ankle," said Stinnett.

That could spell trouble for upcoming opponents of the Lady Rockets as the fire balling righty looked like her old self versus Community, hitting her spots with the fastball and fooling the batters with her knee-breaking change-up en-route to the one hit, one walk, and 9 strikeout performance.

"You can't do much better than what Shelby did tonight, except, get that first hitter out," a smiling Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham said after the contest.

The Lady Rockets banged out 9 hits in the game with catcher Caitlyn Rotchford going 2-2, Mathis was 1-2 with an RBI, run scored, and 2 stolen bases, Heather James went 1-3, Amanda Daughrity was 1-2 with a stolen base and a run scored (also made a great running catch to save a double in the third inning), Courtney Hollandsworth also drove in and scored a run, and Ciara Cook and Chelsea Johnson combined for 3 runs scored and a stolen base as courtesy runners.

Forrest will not be back in action until Saturday when the District 9A Tournament resumes at Forrest.

Wednesday's games were rained out and other end of year school activities on Thursday and Friday pushed the remainder of the tournament to the weekend.

If the tournament cannot be completed on Saturday, the first and second place teams from the regular season district standings will advance to the region tournament.

Forrest (12-0) was first and Cascade (9-3) second in league play during the year.