Tigerettes send Forrest to third in standings
The LMS Tigerettes came to Chapel Hill with a purpose Wednesday night as they started strong and finished stronger in a 12-7 win that sent the Lady Rockets from a first place tie all the way to third place in the conference standings.
The tiebreaker was total runs scored throughout the season and Cornersville came out on top, while LMS is in second place.
"They did a great job of staying upbeat the entire game and we all thought we were going to pull it out," said FMS head coach Daniella Hooper. "I am pleased with their attitude throughout the game. They could've very easily given up after the first half inning, but they did not and I think that shows their maturity and that they have grown throughout the season."
The Tigerettes jumped on FMS starting pitcher Kayla Gillespie from the outset, scoring five runs in the first inning on just two hits.
Halle Chapman knocked in one with an RBI base hit to right field, while Gillespie walked four LMS batters in the frame, including a pair of bases-loaded RBI base on balls to Ali Hobbs and Hannah Sheppard.
Meanwhile, LMS starter Brooklyn Conger was masterful in the circle for the Tigerettes, holding the Lady Rockets at bay to pick up the win.
Chapman came to the circle in the sixth and slammed the door shut for LMS.
Lady Rockets score
The Lady Rockets got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, scoring an unearned run off of Conger to make it a 5-1 contest.
There was no scoring in the third inning as both hurlers settled in, but in the top of the fourth a leadoff double a by Leah Hollingsworth led to an unearned run for LMS, re-opening the five-run lead for the Tigerettes.
FMS wasted a leadoff single by Grace Thrasher in the home half of the inning before Gillespie set down LMS 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.
Forrest made their comeback in the bottom of the fifth as Madison Curtis and Micayla Feller drew back-to-back one-out walks and Emma Stacey followed with a bunt single to load the sacks.
Gillespie knocked in Curtis with a ground ball, Thrasher sent Feller to the plate with a sacrifice fly, and Stacey trotted home on a passed ball, making it a 6-4 contest.
Carson Warner made it a one-run game with an RBI single before Conger escaped any further damage with an inning-ending strikeout.
"I just had a feeling we were going to make it the entire game," said Hooper. "I have a lot of faith in my girls."
LMS would not allow a full FMS comeback as they re-emerged offensively in the top of the sixth, plating four runs with the big blows coming on RBI base knocks by Conger and Hannah Sheppard.
Brooke Paul singled to lead off the Forrest sixth, but was left stranded on the bases and in the top of the seventh, LMS delivered the knockout blow, scoring two runs on another Conger RBI, plus a Taylor Walls run-scoring triple.
The game was put in the books as FMS (14-2-1) went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
The Lady Rockets played E.A. Cox on Thursday and will open up tournament play on Friday.
"Coach (Bunky) Elmore and I talked about our game with EA Cox and that was now the most important game," said Hooper. "We will go into the weekend ready to work to win.
The tournament should be great. It will be a double elimination, so anything can happen."
Walls led the 13-hit LMS attack with a perfect 3-3 performance at the dish, including a base on balls, an RBI triple and three runs scored.
Hollingsworth (2-5, 2RS), Katherine Donahue (2-4) and Conger (2-4, BB, 2RS, RBI) all had two hits for the Tigerettes, while Sheppard (1-3, 2RS, 2RBIs, BB), Solomon (1-3, 2BB, RS, RBI, SB) and Chapman (1-4, RTBI) all had a single base knock.