Lady Rocket win honors former teammate

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Senior Kelsie Darnell lays down a perfect squeeze bunt for an RBI in Forrest's win over the Lady Eagles. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The defending Class A state champion Forrest Lady Rockets wore specially made uniforms with a cancer ribbon to honor former teammate Briar Mays on Sunday at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill and in typical Forrest fashion, shutout Eagleville 6-0.

"We are happy to be able to honor her for what she did for Forrest softball and we are praying for her every day that she is winning her battle and I think she is," said Forrest coach Becky Cheatham. "I just can't say enough good things about her."

Cancer fight

Mays, who is at Roane State Community College on a softball scholarship is battling cancer.

"She is in that battle now and I feel confident she is going to win it, she is a strong healthy girl and I'm sure she will never give in, so we will just to continue to pray for her that things will be fine," Cheatham said.

The former Lady Rocket left fielder and all-state player on the last year's title winning squad has been undergoing chemotherapy and is expected to make a full recovery.

Tougher game

Forrest was coming off five games in two days at the Lincoln County Border and unlike last week's 11-1 run-rule win over the Lady Eagles, the Lady Rockets had a tough task in defeating their nearby district rival.

"I thought Eagleville was much improved," Cheatham said. "We just weren't on it with the bats today like we should have been and I think part of that may have been some mental and physical fatigue."

Samantha King was brilliant in the circle for Forrest, who will be in action from Tuesday thru Saturday this week as they prepare for the District 9A Tournament at Eagleville next weekend.

With just seven hits in the contest, Forrest chipped away slowly on offense, while junior Samantha King was the queen in the Sunday circle.

King went the distance in the complete game shutout, giving up two hits, while striking out five, walking zero and hitting one Eagleville batter in the contest.

On the other side, Eagleville hurler Bailey Alexander also did a nice job in the circle, pitching a solid game versus the potent Lady Rockets.

Top hitter

Senior Amanda Patterson had two hits for the Lady Rockets, who beat Eagleville 6-0 Sunday at Chapel Hill.

Senior Amanda Patterson led the Forrest offense with two hits, an RBI, a run scored and a pretty sacrifice bunt in the first inning that set up the Lady Rockets' first score of the game.

Emma Stacey led off the frame with a base on balls, went to second on the Patterson sacrifice and scored two passed balls later.

King ruled the next two innings, setting down the Lady Eagles 1-2-3 both times and the Lady Rockets made it 2-0 when Patterson singled and scored after a pair of Eagleville errors.

With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, King surrendered her first hit when Hannah Brown laced a double down the left field line.

Abbi Harris followed with a fly out to Jasmine Runk in center field and from there, King retired seven batters in row.

Ahead for good

Forrest put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four times in the inning as Madison Curtis, Kelsie Darnell and Patterson all had one RBI in the frame.

King gave up a leadoff single to Cassidy Burks in the top of the seventh inning before setting down the next three batters to end the game.

Forrest went 2-3 at the Border Battle, but was the furthest advancing Class A team in the tournament with their three losses coming to Clarksville NE (3-2) and to Alabama stalwarts Hazel Green (3-1) and Buckhorn (3-1).

The Lady Rockets beat Coffee County 4-2 and took down West Point, AL 2-1.

"Hopefully we will pick up where we left off last year when we left the Border Battle and finished undefeated," Cheatham said. "I guess we will see what happens."

Eighth-grade pinch runner Zoe Long is all business, standing on the bag after stealing second base in the fourth inning.

After a single day off on Monday, Forrest (19-7, 8-1) played Huntland on senior night Tuesday and tonight, with the District 9A title on the line, the Lady Rockets travel to Lynchburg for a 4:30 p.m. battle with the Moore County Raiderettes (17-8, 8-0).

Eagleville 000 000 0- 0 2 2

Forrest 101 004 X-6 7 0

Eagleville: Cassidy Burks 1-for-3, Hannah Brown 1-for-3

2B: Brown

Forrest: Amanda Patterson 2-for-3, Samantha King 1-for-4, Jasmine Runk 1-for-2, Kelsie Darnell 1-for-2, Madison Curtis 1-for-2, Ally Blanton 1-for-1

RBI: Patterson 1, Darnell 1, Curtis 1

RS: Emma Stacey, Patterson, Jordan Yelensky, Darnell, Curtis, Ally Blanton

SAC: Patterson, Jasmine Runk

WP: Samantha King (7IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K)

LP: Bailey Alexander (6IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K)