Forrest pounds Cascade, one win from title
The Cascade Lady Champions took an early 3-0 lead at Forrest Tuesday night in a District 9-A winner's bracket match-up, but the Lady Rockets chipped away at the lead before exploding for 10 runs in the fourth inning to run-rule the Wartrace girls 14-4 in five innings.
"I really didn't expect that, so I am very, very excited for that to happen" said FHS head coach Becky Cheatham after the game. "I expected a very close game."
With the win, Forrest has clinched a Region 5-A Tournament berth and is the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament in Chapel Hill, needing just one win to keep their stranglehold on the league title.
"They knew they had to get it done when you make a few errors," said Cheatham. "You have to do something to make up for that and they did, they didn't give in and they started to hit the ball and I am happy with the way they executed after some early errors."
Cascade will play Moore County tonight at 5 p.m. in the loser's bracket final with the victor turning right around to play the hometown Lady Rockets on their Field of Dreams.
Cascade were the aggressors early, threatening in the first inning before taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the second as Courtnie Carter and Alyssa Hoover led off the frame with back-to-back base hits to put runners on second and third.
One batter later, Katelyn Edde executed a safety squeeze to score Carter and after a ground ball out to second, the Lady Rockets committed two errors in a row, allowing Hoover and Edde to score.
Kiyoko Puca led off the bottom of the inning with a base on balls and was sacrificed over to second base by Savannah Brothers.
Ciara Cook laced a triple down the right field line to score Puca and Kaitlin Toombs followed with an RBI base knock to cut the Cascade lead to 3-2.
The Lady Champs threatened again as Cari Brown and Courtnie Carter got base hits to lead off the third inning.
Lady Rocket ace Brooke Herron bowed up and retired the next three Cascade batters on a strikeout, a grounder to third, and a line drive out to Adrean Jordan at first base.
Courtney Hollandsworth led off the home half of the inning with a walk, and one out later Herron doubled to right, driving in Hollandsworth to tie the game at 3-3.
Puca lined out to second for out number two as Spencer Walls came in to courtesy run for Herron.
Walls would cross home plate with the go-ahead run as Cascade starter Summer Carter lost the strike zone, walking Brothers, Cook, and Toombs in succession to make it 4-3, entering the fateful fourth inning.
Heather Hart drew a one-out walk in the fourth and Kelsey Parker followed with a sharp single to left.
Herron struck out the next Cascade batter, but Brown came up and drilled a single to center that was scooped up by Cook, who fired a perfect shot home to Brothers, who blocked the dish and tagged out Hart for out number three.
The Forrest crowd went nuts and the Lady Rockets took the defensive fuel to the plate, sending 14 batters to the dish in the big, ten-run frame.
Adrean Jordan drove in half the runs in the inning with a two-run double and three-run shot over the right field fence.
Puca, Brothers, Cook, and Hollandsworth also had RBI base knocks in the inning as Cascade was now down to just three outs.
Courtnie Carter busted a homerun to lead off the comeback attempt, making it 14-4 before Herron struck out two, bookending a Jennifer Moulder double.
The game ended on a fly ball to Jessica Harmon in left, putting Forrest (24-6) in the driver's seat, and sending Cascade reeling into their match-up with Moore County.
Cascade has beaten Moore County two out of the three times they have played this season, including a 5-4 win Saturday.
Herron (22-3) gave up two earned runs in the circle versus Cascade Tuesday, scattering 10 hits, while striking out seven and walking one and did heavy damage at the plate, going 3-3 with an RBI.
Adrean Jordan finished her monster game with a 2-3 day with 5 RBIs, two runs scored and a base on balls.
Toombs (1-2) drove home two runs, scored once, and walked one time.
Cook went 2-2 with two ribbies, a walk; two runs scored and swiped two bases, while Puca was 1-3 with an RBI, a base on balls, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Sara Jordan was a surprise starter in the game and walked twice and scored once.
Hollandsworth (1-3) scored three times, walked once and drove home a Lady Rocket teammate and Brothers rounded out the offense with an RBI, a base on balls and a pretty sacrifice bunt.