Forrest blasts off launch pad, scorch Lady Bucs

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Forrest Lady Rockets were not going to repeat last year's first-round Spring Fling dud as they came back from a 2-0 first inning hole with a dozen unanswered runs en-route to a 12-3 opening round shellacking over University High from Johnson City on Tuesday in Murfreesboro.

"We got off to a shaky start there defensively," said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "But once they got their legs under them they got the bats rolling and when we do what we do, we will be successful."

Stronger foe

Kelsie Darnell (22) slides safely in to third in a cloud of dust in the sixth inning. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest's next opponent will present a much tougher task as the Lady Rockets (31-7) take on Gordonsville (29-10), who also had a big offensive outburst in their 8-0 first round win over Huntingdon.

"We need to win tomorrow night and bad," said Cheatham. "I was glad we got some more people into the ballgame today and they were able to contribute, I thought we were cheated on a couple of calls there, but I guess that goes with it."

It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Forrest did not score in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Buccaneers did in the home half of the frame as Barrett Wherry, Taylor Treadway, and Mollee Cohee all singled in the frame and combined with a Forrest error, the East Tennessee girls led 2-0 after the first at bat for both squads.

Forrest blasts off

The Lady Rockets head out on defense in the third inning Tuesday night versus University High from Johnson City.

Lainey Mays doubled to lead off the top of the second and after two groundball outs, the Forrest shortstop was standing on the third base bag, but not for long as Savannah Brothers fought off a two-strike pitch, serving the ball to right field for an RBI single.

Katie Warrick (55) did it again, picking up the win in the circle for Forrest, while belting a two-run homer in the second inning as the Lady Rockets stomped University High from Johnson City 12-3 in the first round of the TSSAA Class-A Spring Fling in Murfreesboro Tuesday night.

Katie Warrick followed with an absolute blast, pummeling the yellow sphere high into the sky and out of the ballpark against a 20 MPH breeze, putting the Lady Rockets up for good at 3-2.

A Piper Elmore base on balls, followed by a Sara Jordan base hit, a Samantha two-run double, and a Liz Daughrity run-scoring single made it a 6-2 ballgame and the air was out of the Lady Bucs' balloon.

Run explosion

Warrick, who picked up the complete game win in the circle for Forrest, set down the Lady Bucs 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second before the Lady Rockets took advantage of a couple of base hits by Amanda Patterson, Sara Jordan, and Daughrity, plus two crucial errors by University High that turned into four more runs and a big 10-2 lead for Chapel Hill.

Warrick remained tough in the circle for Forrest, not allowing any more runs in the third or fourth innings, but the lady Rockets added one more in the top of the fifth when Kelsie Darnell came up with a one-out bunt single before going to third moments later on a Lady Bucs' error.

Darnell would score standing up when King drilled a double in to the right field gap, making it 11-2.

Johnson City would not score again in the home half of the frame and in the top of the sixth, Forrest posted another unearned run to go up by 10 tens runs, making a run-rule a possibility with three more outs on defense.

Final score

Sara Jordan (11) fields a ground ball in right field and gets ready to come up throwing for the Lady Rockets.

The Lady Bucs responded with a single run on an RBI base knock by hurler Tanner Horton, making it 12-3 and that was the way the game ended after one more inning of scoreless play.

Warrick gave up one earned on five hits, while walking one and striking out three University High batters.

Forrest banged out 14 hits in the contest, with Jordan leading the way via a 3-5 performance.

Warrick (2-5, RS, HR, 3RBIs), King (2-4, RS, two doubles, BB, 3RBIs), and Daughrity (2-4, RBI, BB) all had two hits in the game, while Darnell (1-1, 2RS), Mays (1-4, 2B, RS), Jordan Yelensky (1-4, RS), Patterson (1-4, RS), and Brothers (1-2, RS, RBI, BB) all managed one base knock in the opener.