King doubles down on Moore County gamble

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Samantha King (center) is mobbed by her Forrest teammates after belting the first of her two home runs Tuesday as the Lady Rockets run-ruled Moore County 15-3 in the District 9-A Tournament in Unionville. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest's Samantha King watched in the on-deck circle as Moore County intentionally walked Katie Warrick four times in Tuesday night's District 9-A Tournament winners' bracket final at Community.

Then the Raiderettes watched as King blasted a pair of long home runs and drove in six runs in the Lady Rockets' 15-3 run-rule win that put Forrest one win away from the district title, while earning the Chapel Hill girls a berth in the Region 5-A Tournament.

"It feels amazing. I was so excited," said King. "All I am thinking is I am going to make them pay."

Forrest banged out 16 hits in the contest, while Moore County only managed seven hits off Warrick, who picked up the complete-game win in the circle for the Lady Rockets.

Kiyoko Puca (center), who scored from second base on a passed ball in the first inning is all smiles as Savannah Brothers (12) and Briar Mays (right) congratulate her.

"I expected it to be a lot closer than what it was, but I know when we hit we are difficult to handle," said Forrest coach Becky Cheatham. "If we can hit and play defense, we should be OK."

Moore County's Kate Bowles slammed a first-inning home run for Moore County. However, Forrest answered quickly as Briar Mays and Kiyoko Puca beat out a pair of infield singles in the bottom of the first with Warrick being intentionally walked.

King drilled a two-run double and Lainey Mays followed with a bunt single before Savannah Brothers singled up the middle, making it a 3-0 game.

"I just love it when we can get the dashers on base and the smashers do their job. They did that tonight," said Cheatham.

Warrick worked her way out of a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the second, and once again Forrest sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning.

Lainey Mays lays down a perfect bunt for one of her four hits in the ballgame.

The Lady Rockets busted the game wide open, scoring five runs as King belted a two-run homer and Jordan Yelensky knocked in two more with a single up the middle.

"We were able to execute what we did in practice, and it was amazing to see them jump on them and execute what we asked them do to do," said Cheatham. "You can't ask for more than that."

Moore County came up with a run in the top of third, making it 8-2 before Forrest scored seven times in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Yelensky drilled an RBI double off the fence in left field, Briar Mays lined a two-run triple, Puca got Mays home with a squeeze bunt and King belted another two-run homer, her 11th of the season.

Bowles had an RBI double in the top of the fifth, but it was not nearly enough as Forrest won easily.

Moore County 101 01 -- 3 7 3

Forrest 350 7x ---- 15 16 3

Moore County: Kasey Harvey 2-for-3, Kate Bowles 2-for-3, Mariah Ward 1-for-3, Daisy Pierce 1-for-2, Lindsay Eslick.

Forrest: Briar Mays 4-for-4, Lainey Mays 4-for-4, Samantha King 3-for-4, Jordan Yelensky 2-for-4, Kiyoko Puca 1-for-1, Savannah Brothers 1-for-3, Amanda Patterson 1-for-2.

WP: Katie Warrick

LP: Kasey Harvey