Forrest wins 2, awaits showdown
After belting MTCS 15-0 in three innings in Thursday's District 9-A Tournament opener in Chapel Hill, the Forrest Lady Rockets came back with a tough 3-0 second-round win over a pesky Huntland squad Saturday in Lynchburg.
"We have got to do better, we weren't pleased with our hitting at all, but give that little pitcher (Huntland's Tara Cates) credit, she did a good job, keeping us off balance," said Cheatham. "But, we shot ourselves in the foot a few times, when we should have been breaking things open, so we have got to do better Tuesday if we expect to advance."
As was expected, Forrest and regular season champs Moore County, who beat Eagleville 5-0 on Saturday met in Tuesday night's winner bracket contest, won by Forrest 5-3.
"Hopefully, we will be in a little better position after today, getting some people in position of where they are supposed to be and we can move on and get the job done," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham.
Forrest's first-round win over the Lady Cougars was highlighted by a no-hitter in the circle by Katie Warrick, a five RBI night by Samantha King, and a two-run dinger by Sara Jordan.
Warrick, who also had a big night at the plate with three RBIs, walked Kayla Pickard to begin the contest and then retired the next nine Lady Cougars in order with seven of the outs coming via strikeouts.
The Lady Rockets scored six runs in the first inning and nine in the second as they banged 10 hits in two at bats.
Piper Elmore (2-2, 2RS, RBI, SB, HBP), King (2-3, 2RS, 5RBIs, 2B), and Lainey Mays (2-2, 2RS, RBI, SB) all had two hits versus MTCS, while Warrick (1-2, 3RBIs, BB, 2B), Jordan (1-3, 2RS, HR, 2RBIs), Liz Daughrity (1-2, RS, RBI), and Savannah Brothers (1-2, RBI) all had one hit apiece.
On Saturday, Jordan and Warrick combined for the shutout over the Lady Hornets as Jordan (4IP, 3H, BB, 3Ks) picked up the win, tossing the first four innings before Warrick (3IP, H, BB, 3Ks) finished the job with three innings of one-hit ball.
"Both of our pitchers did very good today," said Cheatham. "And I was glad to get both of them some throwing time today, so they both can come back strong on Tuesday."
Forrest picked up the only run they would need in the bottom of the first inning when Warrick banged a two-out single and advanced to third on a Huntland error before scoring on a Jordan RBI base knock to right field.
Huntland threatened in the top of the second as Callie Perkins led off the inning with a single and one out later, Tanesia Corn stroked a base hit to center.
Both runners moved up on stolen bases before Jordan got the next Huntland batter on a strikeout, but Cierra Nickerson walked to load the bases with two outs.
Forrest escaped any damage when Daughrity scooped up a ground ball and stepped on the bag at first for the final out.
The Lady Rockets made it a 2-0 ballgame in the bottom of the second as Mays led off with a base hit and was sacrificed to second by Elmore before Amanda Patterson laced an RBI double into the left/center gap.
Elmore would come up with a couple of big defensive plays over the next two innings as the score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth when Jordan Yelensky legged out an infield single to lead off the stanza.
Elmore moved Yelensky to second on another sacrifice bunt and Warrick answered the call, belting a double to deep left, making it a three-zip contest.
Three ground ball outs to Mays at shortstop in the top of the sixth kept the shutout intact and after Forrest failed to score in the bottom the inning, Huntland mounted a threat in the top of the seventh when Corn reached on a Forrest miscue to lead off the frame.
Morgan Hensley followed with a base hit to right field, but both runners were erased on a wild 4-3-5-6 double play as both Huntland players were caught in between the bases and tagged out.
Warrick whiffed the final Huntland batter to end the game.
Forrest (25-7) had eight hits in the contest as Warrick (2-3, RS, RBI, 2B) had a pair of hits, while Elmore (1-2, RS, 2 sac bunts), Yelensky (1-3, RS), Jordan (1-3, RBI), Mays (1-3, RS), Brothers (1-1, sac bunt, BB), and Patterson (1-2, RBI, 2B) all had one hit apiece.