Lady Rockets come up big in Lynchburg

Friday, April 27, 2012
Jessica Harmon (3) slaps an RBI double, scoring Sara Jordan for a 1-0 Lady Rockets' lead in the decisive third inning. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

It was essentially one game for the District 9-A regular season title Tuesday night in Lynchburg as first place Forrest took on second place Moore County with the Lady Rockets coming out on top 4-1 behind a strong performance in the circle by Brooke Herron and one big inning on offense.

Herron did not give up a run until the bottom of the seventh, turning in a sparkling complete game effort, giving up just three hits, while striking out seven and walking one.

"Brooke had a great game and we executed behind her," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "I would rather be sitting where we are now, than out there in right field, getting chewed out."

Kiyoko Puca (14) drills a Kasey Harvey pitch into the right center field gap for an RBI double that scored Adrean Jordan in the Lady Rockets' four-run third inning Tuesday night in Lynchburg as Forrest took a stranglehold in the District 9-A standings with a 4-1 victory.

The Lady Rockets, who managed just five hits off Moore County eighth grader Kelsey Harvey in their only district loss this season in Chapel Hill came up with eight base knocks Tuesday with five coming in the big four-run third inning.

Forrest got two-on with two out in the top of the first off Harvey before a line drive out to first ended the early Lady Rockets' threat.

Herron gave up a one-out single to Emily Powell in the bottom of the inning, but a line out to Jessica Harmon in left followed by a pop-up to catcher Kaitlin Toombs sent the Raiderettes back out to the field.

A Savannah Brothers two-out base knock in the second inning was all Forrest could manage in the frame off Harvey, but Herron topped the effort by striking out the side in the home half of the inning.

Sweet sixteen birthday girl Sara Jordan led off the third inning with a double to left and Harmon traded places with her when she slapped an RBI double to left field, making it 1-0.

Adrean Jordan followed with an RBI base knock to center, scoring Harmon and Herron followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving the elder Jordan up to second base.

Harvey got a ground ball out back to the circle before Kiyoko Puca drilled the next Harvey pitch into the right center field gap to score Jordan, putting Forrest up 3-0.

Puca moved up to third on a passed ball and the two-out rally continued as Mandi Conley laced a single to left, scoring Puca for a four-zip Forrest lead.

"There were a lot of clutch hits and big two-out hits there," said Cheatham. "I really have to give them the credit there for not giving in and not giving up."

Herron had the Raiderettes off balance all night and set them down 1-2-3 in the third, fourth, and fifth innings until the a one-out Forrest error, followed by a base hit by Kelsey Camp in the bottom of the sixth created a comeback feel for Moore County.

It was not to be as Herron got out of the jam on a ground ball back to the circle, followed by a grounder to Adrean Jordan at first base.

Forrest went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, and in the bottom of the last inning, Raiderette backstop Katie Bowles walked with one out.

Harvey popped up to Courtney Hollandsworth at second base for the second out before Mariah Ward bashed an RBI double to center field, scoring courtesy runner Brittany Lowe.

In the March 29 loss to Moore County (11-7, 6-3), the Raiderettes scored five runs in the last inning to steal the win, but Herron would have none of it this time, striking out the final Raiderette swinging to end the game.