Gibbs breaks Forrest win streak
After sweeping host Coffee County and Covington Friday night to get to the 30-win mark on the season, the illness ridden Forrest Lady Rockets dropped two games on Saturday at the Coffee County Classic in Manchester.
“The tournament should have helped us realize that we can be beaten when we don't play well,” Forrest coach Becky Cheatham said. “As I told the girls, I believe coaches and players were all disappointed, but if we use Saturday to motivate us going forward, then we should benefit from being there.”
“We had at least three players sick, but we can't make excuses, we simply didn't get the job done.”
Forrest opened up the tournament versus the host Lady Raiders at Terry Floyd Field on the campus of Coffee County High School and the game was well played and tight all the way.
A coin flip was won by Forrest and Coffee County batted first, scoring a first inning run on an RBI base hit by Haley Henshaw.
The Lady Rockets loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Ally Blanton made the Lady Raiders pay, stroking a two-out two-run single to center field to put Forrest up 2-1.
Chapel Hill added a pair of runs in the second inning on a sac fly RBI by Katlin Leverette and run scoring single by Zoe Long.
Coffee County struck back in the top of the third inning, making it a one-run game after a two-run single by Henshaw.
Both teams failed to score in their next at bat before Forrest tallied a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning via an RBI base hit by pitcher Samantha King.
King proceeded to set down the Lady Raiders in order in the top of the fifth and only allowed two more base runners the rest of the game to pick up the win the circle.
Forrest took on the Covington in the second game Friday night and jumped on the Lady Chargers early as Jasmine Runk hammered a her second grand slam homerun of the year in the bottom of the first inning.
Covington came up with three unearned runs off Forrest starting pitcher Lauren Gillespie in the top of the second inning to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Lady Rockets picked up their lefty hurler in the top of the third inning as they scored three times on RBI base hits by Carson Warner, Kennedy Gillespie and Lauren Gillespie to make it a 7-3 contest.
Covington went down 1-2-3 in the top of the third as Lauren Gillespie settled in and did not allow another run the remainder of the contest.
Gillespie gave up eight hits, struck out three and walked two in the contest.
An RBI single by Emma Stacey in the bottom of the fifth inning finished off the scoring in the Lady Rockets’ 30th win of the season.
Forrest (30-3) has won 30 games in a season five times with the most wins coming in 2002 when they put up a 38-5 mark and finished as state runner-up.
Every time the Lady Rockets have reached the 30-win mark, they have either won a state title or finished as runner-up, but this was the earliest they have reached that win total in school history.
In 2006-2007 Forrest finished 30-10 and finished in second place before going 37-7 in 2007-2008 and claiming the program’s first Class A state championship.
It would be seven years before the Lady Rockets eclipsed the 30-win mark again, going 35-5 in 2014-2015 and sweeping through the state tournament to capture the second state title.
Class 3A Gibbs (32-8-1) broke Forrest’s 18-game winning streak in an early morning game on Saturday as the Lady Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, including a game-winning squeeze play to claim the victory over the Lady Rockets (30-3).
“The coaches will have to accept responsibility for the Gibbs loss for not calling timeout and pointing out the 2-to-3 things which could happen and having the girls prepared for the squeeze which was executed perfectly,” Cheatham said.
In the final game of the tournament, Forrest squandered a 6-1 lead and lost to Class 3A Siegel 8-7.
“Siegel was a good team as well, and again we made some costly mistakes at critical times,” Cheatham said. “Having said all that, we did not play well enough to beat good teams (I told the girls that Forrest beat Forrest). We made some mistakes that we usually don't make.”
Forrest has already clinched the District 9A regular season title and has three league games remaining before the start of the district tournament at Eagleville this week.
I am very proud of the girls' work ethic, and the improvement that we have made as a team and if we continue to work and improve then we should be successful,” Cheatham said. “We are still very proud of their effort, attitude and accomplishments. They have chosen to represent Forrest softball and work hard to improve and maintain our successful tradition.”
Friday, April 28
Coffee County 102 000 0-3 7 1
Forrest 220 100 X-5 7 1
Forrest: Zoe Long 2-for-4, Carson Warner 2-for-3, Samantha King 1-for-2, Ally Blanton 1-for-2, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-3
2B: Kayla Gillespie
RBI: Ally Blanton 2, Long, King, Leverette
BB: Leverette, King
RS: Long 2, Jenna Blanton, Kayla Gillespie, Emma Stacey
HBP: Ally Blanton
SB: Long, Jenna Blanton
E: Ally Blanton
WP: Samantha King (7IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 4K, 2BB)
Friday, April 28
Covington 030 000-3 8 3
Forrest 430 010-8 12 2
Forrest: Zoe Long 3-for-4, Samantha King 2-for-4, Kennedy Gillespie 2-for-3, Carson Warner 1-for-4, Katlin Leverette 1-for-4, Jasmine Runk 1-for-3, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-2, Emma Stacey 1-for-3
2B: Kennedy Gillespie, Leverette
Grand slam: Runk
RBI: Runk 4, Warner, Stacey, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie
BB: Ally Blanton 2
RS: Long 2, Warner 2, Leverette, King, Runk, Jenna Blanton
SAC: Kayla Gillespie, Runk
ROE: Warner, Long, Kayla Gillespie
HBP: Ally Blanton
SB: Long 3
E: Lauren Gillespie 2
WP: Lauren Gillespie (6IP, 8H, 3R, 0ER, 3K, 2BB)
Saturday, April 29
Forrest 000 010 11-3 6 3
Gibbs 000 011 02-4 5 0
Forrest: Ally Blanton 2-for-3, Kennedy Gillespie 2-for-3, Katlin Leverette 1-for-4, Samantha King 1-for-2
2B: King, Gillespie
RBI: Kennedy Gillespie 2, Leverette
RS: Jenna Blanton 2, Anna Blanton
FC: Emma Stacey, Kayla Gillespie
E: Anna Blanton, Ally Blanton, Jasmine Runk
DP: Zoe Long, Ally Blanton
LP: Samantha King (7.1IP, 5H, 5R, 1ER, 2K, 1BB)
Saturday, April 29
Siegel 100 250-8 11 1
Forrest 303 001-7 6 4
Forrest: Zoe Long 1-for-3, Carson Warner 1-for-4, Jasmine Runk 1-for-2, Ally Blanton 1-for-2, Kennedy Gillespie 1-for-2, Emma Stacey 1-for-3
RBI: Warner 2, Runk 2, Ally Blanton, Kennedy Gillespie
BB: King 3, Leverette 2, Ally Blanton, Kennedy Gillespie
RS: Leverette 2, King 2, Warner, Runk, Stacey
SAC: Long, Runk
SB: Long, King, Runk, Jenna Blanton
E: Runk 2, Lauren Gillespie, Kayla Gillespie
DP: King, Kayla Gillespie
LP: Kayla Gillespie (0.1IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB), Lauren Gillespie (4.2IP, 8H, 6R, 2ER, 5K, 1BB), Ashley Milligan (1IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB)