Forrest strikes first, one win from title
The Forrest Lady Rockets do not like being number two and they made a big stride towards being number one again when they beat Moore County 5-3 in Tuesday night's District 9-A Tournament winner's bracket final in Lynchburg.
"It was a very good game, I wish we could have played a little cleaner, but you know what, we had the willpower to get it done and that's what counts, we got the 'W'," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "I am pleased with their effort and I want them to come right back tomorrow with more determination and hold them down."
Forrest is now one win away from claiming the tournament title and a first-round Region 5-A Tournament home game next week.
Playing to potential
"You know what happens when you stir up a hornet's nest, they will be after you," said Cheatham. "You can't relax, because someone always has the target on your back, so you have to play up to your potential, if you want to be successful."
The Lady Rockets had just seven hits in the contest, but five went for extra bases, including a first inning two run shot by Samantha King and solo blast by Katie Warrick in the fifth.
Warrick, who went 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored, turned in a masterful complete game win in the circle for Forrest, tossing a five-hit, three strikeout, and one walk effort, while not allowing any earned runs.
Forrest got off to quick start, scoring three times in the first inning, beginning with a Jordan Yelensky leadoff single.
Big home run
A sac bunt by Piper Elmore moved Yelensky up before Warrick's RBI double and King followed with a two-run dinger over the left field fence.
Moore County came up with an unearned run in the bottom of the second when Mariah Ward doubled with one out and came home two batters later on a Forrest infield miscue.
The Raiderettes chipped away at the Forrest lead a little more in the bottom of the third inning when Emily Powell walked to lead off the inning, stole second and ended up on third base after another Forrest error.
Savannah Stevens followed with a perfect suicide squeeze bunt RBI, but Warrick got out of the jam with limited damage as the Lady Rockets' infield made up for a couple of errors when they turned a pretty 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
There was no scoring in the fourth and in the top of the fifth, Warrick led off with a moon shot over the center field fence, making it 4-2.
Warrick set down Moore County 1-2-3 in the home half of the inning, but in the bottom of the sixth, the Raiderettes threatened again.
Stevens reached on a Forrest error to lead off the comeback attempt before Warrick got the next out on a pop-up.
Moore County hurler Kasey Harvey banged a single to left field and her courtesy runner stole second base.
Stevens would go third on a long fly to right caught by Sara Jordan before the inning ended on a running catch next to the center field fence by Kiyoko Puca.
Yelensky doubled to lead off the top of the seventh and Elmore moved her to third before Warrick sent a long fly to center that Yelensky tagged up on and came home, making it a 5-2 contest.
A two-out triple by Emily Parks was turned into a run on a Forrest miscue before the game ended on a ground ball to Elmore at second base.
Yelensky (2-3, 2RS, BB, 2B) had two hits in the game for Forrest (26-7), while Jordan (1-3, 2B), King (1-4, RS, HR, 2RBIs), and Amanda Patterson (1-2, HBP) all had one hit apiece.
Stevens (1-4, RBI), Cierra Bateman (1-3), Harvey (1-3), Ward (1-3, RS), and Parks (1-3, RS) all hit one base knock each for Moore County (25-9).