Forrest blasts Viqueens
The defending District 9-A champion Forrest Lady Rockets opened the new season in style Wednesday night at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill, crushing the Community Viqueens 15-4 in a five-inning run-rule win.
"I was proud of the fact that everybody got to play today," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "I thought we hit the ball well and there have been days we struggled with pitching, so I was glad to see everyone get the bat on the ball."
Forrest banged out 18 hits in the contest with Sara Jordan leading the way with a perfect 3-3 night at the dish, while Kiyoko Puca, Liz Daughrity (two RBIs), Katie Warrick (RBI), Mandi Conley (three RBIs), and freshman Amanda Patterson (two RBIs) all had two hits apiece in the offensive onslaught.
Jessica Harmon (RBI), Margaret Bryan (RBI), Kaitlyn Toombs, and Stacey Nokes (RBI) all chipped in with one hit apiece.
Jordan, who rotated innings in the circle with Warrick, picked up the win for Forrest in three innings of four-hit ball, while allowing four runs (one earned) and struck out four and walked one Viqueen batter.
Warrick did not allow a hit in her two innings of work in the circle, while whiffing five Viqueens and walking zero.
Beating the chill
"It's not easy pitching in this cold weather," said Cheatham. "I thought they both did a good job."
Community threatened in the top of the first as Sara Pierce led off the game with a base hit to left field and proceeded to catch Forrest off guard by stealing second and third base.
Caroline Pena tried to squeeze Pierce home, but was unsuccessful and was called out when she bunted the third strike foul.
Davie Barnes reached on an error, but Pierce stayed put at third on an alert play by Jordan.
Remarkably, Kerrigan Joslyn tried to squeeze Pierce home and was also called out on a foul ball third strike, trying to bunt.
After a walk to Heather Tapp loaded the sacks full of Viqueens, Jordan struck out Aliyah Seagroves to end the inning.
Lack of intensity
"I don't like the lack of intensity to begin the ballgame," said Cheatham. "I will take responsibility for that, I think we took them too lightly, and we will have to fix that."
Puca led off the home half of the first inning with a bunt single and stood on second base after the ball got away.
Harmon slapped the next pitch up the gut and Puca scored easily from second.
A passed ball sent Harmon to third and Warrick followed with a base hit, scoring Harmon.
Savannah Brothers singled to left and Piper Elmore came in to run for the Forrest catcher.
Load of potential
Jordan followed with another hit to left, loading the sacks.
Mandi Conley came up and hit a hard ground ball to short that scored Elmore and Warrick came home when the throw on an attempted double play went awry.
Daughrity lined a laser to center for a base hit and Toombs reached on an error to reload the bases full of Lady Rockets.
Kelsey Darnell followed with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 5-0 and Puca came up for the second time in the inning and beat out an infield roller before Community starter Nicki Davis finally got out of the inning on a grounder back to the circle.
"That took the wind right out of their sails," said Cheatham. "I was confident we could do that, but still, I don't like the lack of intensity to begin the ballgame."
Warrick came to the circle in the top of the second and struck out the side in order, including the last two on nasty change-ups.
Ahead for good
Forrest put the game away with another five-spot in the second inning, beginning with a perfect squeeze bunt RBI by Conley and some heavy damage done by Daughrity, who laced a two-run double.
Community scored two runs in the top of third with second run crossing the dish on an RBI base hit by Tapp.
Conley and Nokes had RBI base knocks in a three-run third inning for Forrest, who took a 13-2 lead.
Warrick pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the the top of the fifth, including two more strikeouts.
A Patterson two-run single in the bottom of the fourth made it a 15-2 ballgame.
Joslyn drove home two runs on a double in the top of the fifth before the game ended on ground ball to Conley at shortstop.
"I am pleased with the overall effort, we got out of the game with no injuries and we will build on this tomorrow," said Cheatham.