Lady Rockets still alive after home loss
The Forrest Lady Rockets came into Wednesday night's Region 5-A title game riding a 12-game winning streak with another win versus Moore County securing one more home game in the state sectional round, but the Raiderettes spoiled the fun by breaking Forrest's winning streak with a 7-2 victory at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill.
"We shot ourselves in the foot in more ways than one," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "They came here with an intent to whip our butts and guess what, they did."
But, if there was ever a time to lose one this late in the year, this was the one, as the contest was not an elimination game.
Forrest (26-7) will travel to Summertown (27-9) for a 7 p.m. Friday night sectional contest, taking on a Lady Eagles' squad that probably would have preferred anyone but the Lady Rockets.
The winner advances to the Blue Cross Spring Fling next week in Murfreesboro.
Since 2002, Forrest has eliminated Summertown from the post-season all five times they have played, including 2010 when Forrest lost to East Robertson in Chapel Hill in the region final before beating the Lady Eagles 4-3 in Lawrence County to qualify for the Spring Fling.
"We are going to see what we are made out of," said Cheatham. "I told the girls, we have done that before. We've advanced to the state tournament out of the loser's bracket on the road in 2010, so it's up to us if we show up to play. It can be done."
Moore County (20-10), who beat the Lady Rockets for the second time this season in Chapel Hill, will host Region 6-A runners-up Collinwood (23-11), 6-1 losers at Summertown Wednesday night.
Forrest scored first as Sara Jordan led off the bottom of the first with a base on balls and was sacrificed to second by Courtney Hollandsworth.
Adrean Jordan followed with a single to center and went to second on a throw home.
Sara Jordan came home on a Moore County error on a ground ball by Forrest starting pitcher Brooke Herron.
Spencer Walls came in to run for Herron and stole second base, making it second and third, but Forrest squandered a big inning as Moore County hurler Kasey Harvey notched a strikeout and a grounder to third to escape without any further damage.
Moore County came back in the top of the second, going ahead 2-1 on a two-out, two-run double by Raiderette senior first baseman Sarah Raby and Forrest did not score in the bottom of the frame.
In the top of the third, Moore County backstop Katie Bowles belted a three-run homer, putting the Lady Rockets in a deep 5-1 hole.
Harvey set down Forrest 1-2-3 in the home half of the inning and Sara Jordan replaced Herron in the circle for Forrest to begin the fourth inning and held the Raiderettes in check.
In the top of the fifth, Sierra Bateman belted a lead-off double and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Camp before trotting home on a wild pitch to make it 6-1.
In the home half of the stanza, Jessica Harmon reached on a one-out base hit for the Lady Rockets and Sara Jordan followed with a single and Walls came in to run for Jordan.
Hollandsworth stepped up, lashing a single to center and Cheatham waved Harmon home, but Harmon was gunned down on a perfect throw by Kelsey Camp in center field to Bowles, who tagged out Harmon before gunning down Walls at third for a rally-ending double play.
"We couldn't get any intensity going all night," said Cheatham. "And the one time we did, I blew it by trying to make too much out of what little we had going."
Raby came through with another RBI double in the sixth, making it 7-1.
Forrest tried to rally in the home half of the inning as Adrean Jordan singled to right before being forced out at second on a bang-bang play on a Kiyoko Puca grounder with one out.
Savannah Brothers followed with a single to put runners on the corners before Ciara Cook drove in Puca on an RBI base knock to center, but Harvey got out of the jam on a nice play at short by Kyleigh Camp for the third out.
Moore County did not score in the top of the seventh and Harvey retired the Lady Rockets in order to end the game and secure the Region 5-A title for Moore County.
Forrest only had eight hits in the ballgame off Harvey with Adrean Jordan going 2-3, while Sara Jordan, Hollandsworth, Puca, Brothers, Cook, and Harmon all had one base hit apiece.
Bateman put up a 3-4 performance for Moore County at the dish, Raby finished with the two big doubles in three at bats, while Kelsey Camp, Emily Powell, Bowles (three-run home run), and Harvey all had one base hit apiece for the Raiderettes.