Gordonsville ace stymies Forrest offense

Friday, May 23, 2014
Forrest's Lainey Mays (77) beats out an infield single in the second inning versus Gordonsville. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The high flying Forrest Lady Rockets' offensive machine came skidding to a halt Wednesday night as Gordonsville ace lefty Cori Jennings twirled a two-hit shutout, sending the Chapel Hill girls to the TSSAA Spring Fling Class-A loser's bracket.

Lainey Mays had both hits for the Lady Rockets, beating out an infield single in the second inning and lacing a double in the fourth.

Home run blast

Jennings, a UT Chattanooga signee, also belted a three-run homerun in the sixth to put the game on ice and send Forrest to the loser's bracket versus Columbia Academy, who outlasted CSAS 13-6 in a Wednesday morning loser's bracket contest.

Forrest (30-8) will take on a Columbia Academy (39-6) squad looking for revenge from a season ending 4-2 loss to the Lady Rockets last season in the state sectional round in Chapel Hill.

Gordonsville (30-10), runners-up last year to Richland, will meet Knoxville Grace (30-14) in the winner's bracket game with the victor coming out one win from the state championship.

Forrest has been here before, fighting their way out of the loser's bracket to claim their only state title in 2008.

Scoring chances

Forrest had some scoring opportunities versus Gordonsville with the first one coming in the opening inning as Jennings beaned Sara Jordan and Samantha King with two outs before the shifty lefty whiffed the final Lady Rocket hitter in the frame.

The Lady Tigers broke through in the top of the third inning, beginning with an RBI base hit by Taylor Tsai followed by a sloppy double error moments later by Forrest that allowed two more Gordonsville runners to score, making it a three-zip contest.

Jordan Yelensky (24) fields a grounder before gunning down a Gordonsville runner in the first inning.

Forrest had their final scoring chance in the bottom of the fourth inning when Mays socked a two-out double and Jordan Yelensky reached on an error, putting Lady Rockets on the corners, but once again Jennings slammed the door with an inning ending strikeout.

Tsai led off the fifth inning with a base hit and Shelby West followed with another single and after another Forrest error, Gordonsville led 5-0 and it could have been worse if not for an inning double play started on a put-out and throw from centerfield by Kiyoko Puca that nailed Briona Inman, trying to score from second base.

Jennings shines

Jennings set down Forrest 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth and in the top of the sixth, Jennings drilled a two-out, three-run homerun over the centerfield fence, putting the Lady Tigers up 8-0.

Forrest would not hit a ball out of the infield the remainder of game as Jennings finished as strong as she started to keep Gordonsville undefeated in the tournament.

Katie Warrick picked up the loss in the circle for Forrest, going four and one third innings before Jordan came on in relief.

Jennings went the distance in the circle for Gordonsville, hitting two Forrest batters and the well-seasoned lefty, who kept the Lady Rockets off balance the entire game, struck out seven Chapel Hill batters in the contest.