Forrest survives round one with three-run win
The Forrest Lady Rockets made it look a lot harder than it really was in the first round of the Blue Cross Spring Fling on Tuesday night, but they came away with a 4-1 win anyway over Friendship Christian.
Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham said after the contest, "Maybe the nerves are behind us and we will do better tomorrow, but we have to do a better job of getting all those runners in. It is important to stay in the winner's bracket."
Forrest banged out nine hits in the ballgame and the game stayed much closer than it should have as they stranded 11 runners on the base paths, beginning in the second inning when they could have busted the game wide open, scoring just one time out of a bases loaded, no out situation.
Adrean Jordan, who doubled leading off the frame, came home from third on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Adrienne Klinefelter to stake Forrest to a one run lead.
Klinefelter walked Korisa Warlick after the wild pitch and was replaced by Hunter Holland, who did a nice job escaping further damage by retiring three Lady Rockets in a row, ending the inning.
Shelby Stinnett kept the Lady Commanders from Wilson County at bay through three innings before Ciara Cook drove home Whitney Stofel with run number two for Forrest in the top of the fourth.
In the home half of the inning, Stinnett mowed down Friendship Christian 1-2-3.
Rachel Curtis, who went 2-3 in the ballgame, was hit by a pitch, leading off the Forrest fifth.
After an infield pop-out, Chelsea Johnson banged a ball back to the circle where Holland grabbed and threw to second, but nobody was home on the bag and Curtis scampered over to third.
Holland got a big strikeout for the second out before Warlick came up and subsequently drilled an RBI double to center, making it a 4-0 ballgame.
Warlick said about the big hit after the game, "I just said to myself relax and I can do this. I knew I was going to hit out to the green. It was very important getting this first win, it shows what we are made of and who we are."
Cheatham was also excited about Warlick's big hit, saying, "I have been waiting on her all year to do that and she has been building that confidence throughout the year. If we can just keep her healthy. We told her, no more injuries."
The Lady Commanders did not threaten in the home half of the 5th and Forrest left two runners out on the bases in the top of the sixth.
Stinnett got a weak fly ball to right for the first out in the home half of the sixth before back-to-back-to back singles by Leslie Burroughs, Kaity Woodall, and Amber Hunt produced a run for Friendship Christian.
Stinnett induced Amelia Patterson into an infield pop-up for the second out before Forrest left fielder Brooke Herron saved the day with a running shoestring catch for the final out of the inning.
Herron (2-4) also led off the seventh with a single, but three straight outs sent the ballgame to the bottom of the inning.
Stinnett came up with career win number twelve in state tournament competition on three straight ground ball outs, sending Forrest to round number two versus South Fulton, who hammered University School of Jackson 10-0 in their first round match-up.
Cheatham said about Stinnett's performance, "She pitched another outstanding game, what can I say. The kid has heart and when the going gets tough, she just gets tougher."
In other first round action, the defending Class-A champion Trinity Christian School Lady Lions went down in an eight inning 1-0 upset loss to Chattanooga Grace.
Golden Eagle hurler Lacye Walker had a big night in the circle for the win, giving up just three hits, striking out 9, walking one and driving in the go-ahead run in the 8th with a double.
Ellen Renfroe was the tough luck loser for TCA, hurling all 8 innings, striking out 12, walking none and surrendering three hits.
TCA's only other first round setback came in 2005 when they lost to eventual champion Goodpasture 4-0.
TCA will play Unaka at 10:00 a.m. this morning in a loser's bracket game.
The other loser bracket contest pits Friendship versus USJ.
Unaka's trip to the lower bracket came via an 8-2 loss to Region 5-A champion East Robertson.
Shawna McAdams and Walton Illges both went 3-4 in the contest and Kelsi Mason picked up the win in the circle for the Lady Indians.
South Fulton and Forrest have met only once and that meeting came in the state tournament in 2002 when the Lady Rockets eliminated the Red Devils in a 7-3 loser's bracket win.