Lady Rockets start fast but falter late
The Forrest Lady Rockets got off to a fast start at the Franklin Sonic Invitational, beating Siegel, Hickman County, and Pope John Paul II before a pair of shutout losses to Ravenwood and Collierville ended their weekend at Fly Park.
In game one, Forrest ace Brooke Herron and Siegel number one hurler Danielle O'Donnell hooked up in a pitcher's duel and both escaped two-on, two-out jams in the first inning.
In the second inning, both squads had a runner on third with less than two outs, but could not plate a run.
Caroline Love reached on a leadoff error for the Stars in the top of third, but was erased when Lady Rocket backstop Caitlin Toombs gunned her down, trying to steal second.
Ciara Cook, who went 3-3 in the contest for Forrest, beat out an infield single with one out in the bottom of the inning and a Siegel error on an Adrean Jordan groundball put runners on the corners.
Herron came up and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt as Cook scored, Jordan went to third and Herron alertly took second on the play.
Courtney Hollandsworth made it a 2-0 ballgame, slashing an RBI single up the middle.
Baleigh Wade reached on a Lady Rockets' error with one out in the top of the fourth and a Stars' base hit made it first and third.
Siegel tried to squeeze the run home, but Herron fielded the bunt and threw to Toombs, who applied the tag on Wade for the out, but both runners advanced on the play, up to second and third.
The Lady Rockets allowed the runner from third to come home on a throw back to the pitcher that got away, making it 2-1.
Herron walked Rebekah Juergens before getting out of the mess with an inning ending strikeout.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the fourth, time ran out and the Lady Rockets took the victory.
In the Friday nightcap, the Lady Rockets had to go to extra innings to claim a 2-1 win over the Hickman County Lady Bulldogs.
Sara Jordan started in the circle for Forrest and allowed just a first inning run on an RBI single by Tiffany Smith.
It took a while for Forrest to get on the scoreboard as speedster Ciara Cook led off the top of the fourth with an infield single and stole second and third.
Adrean Jordan delivered an RBI base knock, but Lady Bulldog hurler Emily Williams got out of the inning and the game went to the bottom of the sixth where Taylor Warner reached on a Forrest error.
FHS head coach Becky Cheatham went to the circle and replaced Sara Jordan with Herron, who came in and mowed down the next two Hickman County batters on strikeouts to send the game to extra innings, which would be played under the international tiebreaker where the inning started with a runner on second and no outs.
Alli Bennett took second for Forrest and Hollandsworth moved her over to third on a ground ball.
Bennett would score on a passed ball and the game went to the bottom of the inning where Herron struck out the first two batters before walking Allie Clayborne, but the game ended on a Loren Hellman line drive to Mandi Conley at shortstop.
Herron returned to the circle for Saturday morning's opening game versus Pope John Paul II and got in some first inning trouble, but escaped the jam on a nice running catch in right field by Kiyoko Puca.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Adrean Jordan jacked her first home run of the season over the left field fence to put Forrest up 1-0.
The Lady Knights tied the game in the top of the second on an RBI double by Sara Page that scored Anna Buchanan, who had reached first on a Forrest error and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anna Duzane.
Pope John Paul II would tack on two more runs in the third on RBIs by Chelsea Fair and Megan Milhalak and the Lady Knights would continue to hold the two-run lead with one out in the last inning when they fell apart defensively.
Puca reached on an outfield drop to get things going, Savannah Brothers followed with a ground ball that was muffed, and the bases were jammed when Liz Daughrity hit a hot shot to third that was misplayed.
Jessica Harmon drove home Puca with an RBI hit to right and Brothers scooted home on passed ball to tie the game at 3-3.
Sara Jordan followed with a single to put Lady Rockets' on the corners and Daughrity came home with the winning run on another Lady Knights' passed ball.
The Lady Rockets took on Ravenwood in the next round and were completely stymied at the plate as Lady Raptor sophomore Raygan Greer tossed a no-hitter, allowing just a third inning walk to Toombs.
The only ball hit to the outfield by Forrest was with one out in the last inning when Puca lined what looked like was going to be a base hit to break up the no-no, but Ravenwood left fielder Lindsey Thurman made a shoestring catch to preserve the gem.
Jordan started for the Lady Rockets and went 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (two unearned) on four hits before freshman Baylee Dowers came on and gave up one unearned run on two hits, while striking out one in the 5-0 loss that sent the Lady Rockets to the Silver Bracket.
Forrest took on Collierville in an elimination game and the Lady Rockets' bats remained ice-cold with Herron managing the only two hits for FHS in the contest.
The only other Forrest runners were a base on balls to Puca in the second inning and in the third, Adrean Jordan was hit by a pitch.
The Lady Dragons managed just three hits off Herron and all three of their runs were unearned, coming in the fourth inning as the Lady Rockets committed four errors in the frame before going down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to end their weekend.
Herron struck out three and walked one in the tough-luck loss.
Forrest (14-6, 6-1) travels to Eagleville on Monday before a senior night match-up with archrival Cascade at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill on Thursday.