Lady Rockets finish with unblemished 9-A record
"Forrest, family, forever."
That is the mantra the Forrest Lady Rockets have adopted for the season.
The Lady Rockets, who had clinched the district title in Unionville on Monday, played for the 'F' in Forrest Tuesday night in Lynchburg.
Forrest wanted to beat Moore County and finish undefeated in the regular-season standings for the first time since 2011. It got the job done as Katie Warrick belted a pair of home runs to lead the Lady Rockets to a 4-1 win.
"That's awesome. We haven't done that in the past few years, so I'm really excited because I think we have big things in store for us this year," Warrick said about the undefeated mark.
Warrick slammed her 48th and 49th career home runs, while Lainey Mays turned in a stellar performance in the circle for Forrest.
"I was nervous because I wasn't sure if they were going to pitch to me, but I waited," said Warrick.
"On that first one, it was a 3-1 count, and she missed ,and on the second one, it was a 2-2 count and (I) was just looking for my pitch. They were pitching me out, so I hit there."
Mays went the distance for the complete game victory, giving up no earned runs on four hits, striking out seven and walking none.
"It feels great and I'm glad my team was there to back me up," said Mays.
"I was very nervous because when I pitched here as an eighth-grader, they scored a lot on me, but I feel like I have gotten better coming off my surgery and just wanted to get the job done."
Warrick sent an early message that Forrest was there to win when she belted a two-run homer that just cleared the left-field fence in the first inning.
Mays faced just 14 batters over the first four innings as Forrest squandered a bases-loaded, two-out opportunity in the top of the third inning.
With two down in the top of the fifth inning, Warrick drilled a laser over the fence in right-center field, making it 3-0 and putting Warrick within one dinger of her personal goal of 50 career home runs at Forrest.
Mays gave up a one-out base hit to center field by Emily Parks in the bottom of the inning, but retired the next two Raiderettes to squelch the threat.
Mays led off the top of the sixth with a base hit and went to second on a passed ball.
Kiyoko Puca dropped a single to left field, and Kelsie Darnell moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt before Mays scooted home on a passed ball, making it 4-0.
Moore County pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-1, but the burning memory of Moore County's comeback win last season in Lynchburg was erased when Forrest catcher Savannah Brothers gunned down Haley Pomarico, who was trying to steal second base with two outs.
Parks singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but the game ended on a comebacker to Mays in the circle, clinching the undefeated league record.
Forrest (25-5, 12-0) has not lost to a Class A team this season.
After a first-round bye in Friday's opening round of the District 9-A Tournament, the Lady Rockets will open up on Saturday afternoon in the second round at Community.
"I feel like we have the potential to do really good in the district tournament," said Warrick. "We want Moore County; that's who we want in the championship.
"We have beat them twice this year, and we want to play the best to get the best out of us."
Forrest 200 010 1--4 8 3
Moore County 000 001 0---1 4 1
Forrest: Savannah Brothers 2-for-4, Katie Warrick 2-for-3, Kiyoko Puca 2-for-3, Briar Mays 1-for-4, Lainey Mays 1-for-4.
Moore County: Kate Bowles 2-for-4, Emily Parks 2-for-4.
WP: Lainey Mays
LP: Emily Parks