FMS Lady Rockets halt E.A. Cox 8-1

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets defeated E.A. Cox 8-1 in the title game to capture the Richland Tournament championship. Photos by Louis Scheuchenzuber

After posting a 3-0 record during pool play, the Forrest Middle School Lady Rockets captured the Richland tournament title by defeating the E.A. Cox Lady Cougars 8-1 in five innings on Saturday night in Pulaski.

"We came out excited and played very well," said FMS coach Daniella Hooper. "We had a couple of hard practices earlier in the week and it paid off today. We've been focusing on playing hard on every play."

Having defeated E.A. Cox 15-5 earlier in the season, Forrest once again teed off on Lady Cougar pitching and pounded out 10 hits overall against starting hurler Layla Bennett. E.A. Cox also committed two costly errors, which contributed to three of the Lady Rockets' eight runs.

Plate leaders

Jasmine Runk, Rickee Gayle Carter, and Micayla Feller each tallied two hits and a RBI to lead Forrest at the plate. Grace Thrasher (1 RBI), Madison Curtis (1 RBI), starting pitcher Kayla Gillespie, and Carson Warner added one hit apiece for the Lady Rockets as well.

Gillespie also went the distance in the circle and scattered five hits and three walks in five innings of work while registering five strikeouts en route to picking up the win.

Nastacia Easterling, Alise Maynard, Maddie Shelton, Kara Estes, and Makiyah Edwards all notched one hit for the Lady Cougars with Easterling driving in E.A. Cox's lone run of the game.

The Lady Cougars left a runner at second in the top of the first inning before Forrest pushed across five runs in the bottom half of the frame to seize a 5-0 lead.

Building a lead

Runk legged out an infield single prior to stealing second. After Thrasher drove in Runk with a RBI double to make it 1-0, Warner reached base on an infield single. Carter, Curtis, and Feller then delivered consecutive RBI singles to give Forrest a 4-0 advantage before Carter scored on a E.A. Cox throwing error.

Forrest's Jasmine Runk slides safely into second while stealing a base in the bottom of the first inning against E.A. Cox.

The Lady Cougars then stranded a runner at third in each of the next two innings, but plated a run in the top of the fourth to trim the deficit to 5-1. E.A. Cox loaded the bases with one out on a Edwards walk, an FMS error, and a Estes single before Easterling slapped a RBI single into right field to bring home Edwards.

Cox held back

Gillespie, however, managed to limit the damage by retiring the next two Lady Cougar batters on infield pop ups to keep the deficit at four.

The Lady Rockets mounted a immediate response and tallied three runs in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a Feller bunt single, a single by Gillespie, a Runk RBI single, and a Lady Cougar error to extend their lead to 8-1.

Gillespie then worked around a two-out single by Edwards in the top of the fifth inning before the game's time limit expired.