Runk game-winner ends intra-county slugfest

Friday, April 5, 2013
FMS' Jasmine Runk (13) delivers the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, securing the 9-8 win for Forrest over LMS at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The LMS Tigerettes and FMS Lady Rockets met in Chapel Hill on Wednesday in a classic slugfest that ended in dramatic fashion on a Jasmine Runk game-winning, two-out base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure a 9-8 win for the home team.

"That was a slugfest," said FMS head coach Bunky Elmore. "We said before the game that whoever made the least errors would win the game and we made the least."

The two squads pulled out the heavy lumber as the yellow sphere flew all about the Field of Dreams as both teams combined for 27 total hits in the game.

Perfect day

Skylar Brandon was unstoppable for LMS, going a perfect 4-4 at the plate with three extra base knocks that drove in six Tigerette runners, including a towering two-run shot over the center-field fence in the third inning.

Leah Hollingsworth was also stroking the ball with four hits in five at-bats and scored three runs.

Runk led the Lady Rockets with three hits in four plate appearances, while Lainey Mays (two runs scored, RBI, base on balls, stolen base), Kyleah Hengesbach (two runs scored, sac bunt), Samantha King (two runs scored, base on balls, two RBIs), and Emma Stacey (two runs scored, RBI) all had two hits apiece in the game.

LMS first-sacker Taylor Walls went 2-4 for Lewisburg with two runs scored and an RBI, while Sydne Solomon (two runs scored), Laura Beth Brown, Halle Chapman, and Autumn Kelley all had one hit apiece for the Tigerettes in the contest.

First strike

Lewisburg struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning on a two-run double by Brandon.

Runk cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning with a two-out base hit that drove in Jordan Yelensky, who had singled with one out and went to second on Hengesbach's sac bunt.

Mays got out of a bases-loaded two-out jam in the top of the second before the Lady Rockets struck for four runs in the bottom of the inning as Forrest capitalized on three errors in the field by LMS.

Skylar Brandon (28) rounds third and gets some congratulations from LMS head coach Lee Perryman after Brandon drilled a two-run homer in the third inning. Brandon was magnificent in the contest, going 4-4 with six RBIs.

Brandon's two-run shot cut the FMS lead to 5-4 in the top of the third, but the Lady Rockets got RBI base hits by Stacey and King in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-4 lead.

Catching up

Hollingsworth led off the fourth with a base hit and was sacrificed to second by Blair Richards.

Samantha King struck out the next LMS batter before Solomon reached on an error that scored Hollingsworth.

Brandon came through again, drilling an RBI double to right field that made it a one-run game at 7-6.

LMS starter Halle Chapman held the Lady Rockets in check in the home half of the inning and neither squad scored in the fifth inning.

Back on top

In the top of the sixth, LMS went ahead for the second time in the game on RBI base hits by Solomon and Brandon.

King doubled home Hengesbach to tie the game at eight in the bottom of the sixth and it could have been a lot worse, but Chapman bore down and escaped further trouble, getting out of a bases-loaded, one-out mess on a nice play by Walls at first and an inning-ending grounder to Hollingsworth at short.

King returned to the circle for the seventh, and after a one-out double by Chapman, a grounder to first and a nice play by Brooke Paul on a pop-up to short right field ended the inning.

Win on the way

Mays led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to the right/center gap.

Yelensky drilled what looked like would be the game winner, but LMS left fielder Kathryn Donahue made a great play on the bullet.

Hengesbach sacrificed Mays to third, but was thrown out at second on the play, leaving Mays stranded at the hot corner.

LMS walked King intentionally, setting up the game winner by Runk, who drilled a shot over the right fielder's head to end the game.

"I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere," said Runk after the game. "It was an outside pitch, so I just waited on it and hit it. They are a tough team and it was a fun game."