E.O. Coffman edges FMS Lady Rockets

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Forrest starting hurler Lauren Gillespie delivers a pitch to home plate in the bottom of the first inning against E.O. Coffman. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

E.O. Coffman (2-0) spoiled Donald Jean's debut as Forrest Middle School's new softball coach when they defeated the Lady Rockets 3-2 in five innings at Summertown.

Forrest held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning, but the Lady Panthers pushed across three runs over the next two frames to seize a 3-2 advantage before holding the Lady Rockets scoreless the rest of the way to hold on for the win.

Rusty beginning

With inclement weather forcing the first two weeks of their season to be cancelled, the Lady Rockets looked rusty at the plate and mustered just one hit against three E.O. Coffman pitchers. Sydney Hill singled to account for Forrest's lone hit of the contest.

"I was pleased with our defense. I just wish we would have hit a little better. We scored two runs early and didn't score again the rest of the game," said Jean.

Reliever Claire Woods picked up the victory for the Lady Panthers and allowed only one walk in two scoreless innings of work. Addy Land then replaced Woods in the circle and earned the save by recording two strikeouts over two perfect innings. Lady Panther starting pitcher Gracie Judkins had to settle for the no decision and yielded two runs on one hit and a walk in one inning.

Solid start

FMS starting hurler Lauren Gillespie turned in a solid outing in the circle, but suffered the loss after giving up three runs in three innings of work on six hits and a walk to go along with two strikeouts. Kayla Gillespie then came on in relief and struck out one batter over one perfect inning.

Rose, Land, Woods, Emma Rochelle, Tori Thrasher, and M.C. Brown notched one hit apiece for E.O. Coffman with Rose, Land, and Woods each driving in one run.

The Lady Rockets got off to a promising start and plated two runs in the top of the first inning to grab an early 2-0 lead.

Forrest catcher Ally Blanton catches a pop up by E.O. Coffman's Jenna Brazier in the bottom of the first inning.

Anna Blanton was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Ally Blanton drew a walk. After Anna Blanton and Josie Bond both moved of 60 feet on a Kayla Gillespie sacrifice bunt, Blanton scored on the play thanks to a Lady Panther throwing error. Kennedy Gillespie then drove in Bond with a RBI groundout for the second run of the frame.

Coffman takes over

E.O. Coffman left a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the first, but crossed home plate twice in the second inning to knot the score at 2-2. Thrasher started the rally for the Lady Panthers by singling with two outs and stealing second. Land then plated Thrasher with a RBI bloop double to cut the deficit to 2-1 before coming home on a RBI single by Woods.

In the bottom of the third, E.O. Coffman pulled ahead 3-2 when Brown scored on a RBI double by Rose after leading off the frame with a bloop single and stealing second.

That proved to be all the offense the Lady Panthers would need, as Forrest failed to reach base over the next two innings before the game's time limit expired.