Lady Rockets run-rule Independence

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Lauren Gillespie tossed a three-hit shutout over Independence Friday night at Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets entertained Independence Friday night at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill and made easy work of the Lady Eagles via a 10-0 five-inning, run-rule win.

“It was exciting and I enjoyed every minute of it once it got started and I thought they all did well and we are improving every game,” Forrest coach Becky Cheatham said. “The enthusiasm was there from the beginning and those are fun games for me and I think they feed off of that.”

Forrest has won six-of-seven games between the two schools since the Lady Eagles began playing a varsity schedule in 2012 and the next meeting is scheduled for April 13 at Independence.

Forrest catcher Ally Blanton comes up firing to first base in an attempt to pick off an Independence baserunner.

Lauren Gillespie was masterful in the circle for Forrest, tossing a complete game, three-hit shutout with one base on balls and three strikeouts.

“Lauren did well and I think she is getting better with each game,” Cheatham said. “We have five pitchers and I feel confident about all of them.”

“They are all getting some pitching time in practice and helping us get better as hitters and when we play a lot of games and in the tournaments like we do, everybody should stay happy.”

The Lady Rockets banged out 11 hits in the contest with Jenna Blanton leading the way with a perfect 3-for-3 (2RS, RBI, 2SB) performance at the plate and Carson Warner (2B, 2RS, RBI) and Anna Blanton (RS) had two hits apiece.

Kaitlin Leverette (RS, 2RBI, SB), Kennedy Gillespie (2RBIs), Jasmine Runk (RS, RBI), and Ally Blanton (RS) all had one base knock apiece in the contest.

Josie Bond, Jaelynn Chesson, and Katelyn Huckaby had the hits for Independence.

Lauren Gillespie issued her lone base on balls in the first inning with two outs to Chesson, but a fly ball to Anna Blanton in right field ended the inning.

Leverette led off the home half of the inning with a walk for Forrest before Jenna Blanton and Warner followed with base hits to load the bases.

Kennedy Gillespie knocked in Leverette with a sacrifice fly.

Runk drilled a hot shot off the Independence shortstop to score Jenna Blanton and a throwing error on the play allowed Warner to come around to score to make it 3-0.

Anna Blanton had two hits in three at bats, including this second inning base hit to left field.

The Lady Eagles went down 1-2-3 in the top of the second inning and Forrest manufactured another run in the bottom of the inning as Anna Blanton led off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second on a perfect bunt by Zoe Long.

One out later, Jenna Blanton drove in her sister Anna to put Forrest in front 4-0.

There was no scoring in the third inning and the Lady Eagles threatened in the top of the fourth with runners on first and third with no outs when Chesson and Huckaby banged back-to-back singles to start the stanza.

Makinlee Webb followed with a fly ball to Long in center field that she snared before gunning out Chesson trying to score on the tag play for a pretty double play.

Long also caught the next ball for the third out to squash the Independence scoring threat for good.

Forrest did not score in the home half of the fourth inning and Lauren Gillespie finished her five-inning stint in the circle when she set down the Lady Eagles in order in the top of the fifth.

Jenna Blanton, who went 3-for-3 in the game, slides safely into third base in the first inning.

Jenna Blanton led off the bottom of the fifth inning with an infield single and stole second base before Warner drilled an RBI double to the right field fence, making it 5-0.

Kennedy Gillespie singled to knock in Warner and Runk reached on an error before Ally Blanton banged a base hit to center field.

Kennedy Gillespie scored on a wild pitch with Karley Daughrity at the plate and Daughrity wound up walking to re-load the sacks.

After a 1-2 force out at home for the first out, Long was beaned to drive in Ally Blanton, making it an 8-0 contest.

Leverette stepped to the dish and laced a single to right field that scored both Daughrity and Anna Blanton to end the game.

Independence 000 00-0 3 5

Forrest 310 06X-10 11 0

Independence: Josie Bond 1-for-2, Jaelynn Chesson 1-for-1, Katelyn Huckaby 1-for-2.

BB: Chesson.


E: Lauren Pinckard, Huckaby, Makinlee Webb, Lexi Brewer, Ryan Prokop.

LP: Lauren Pinckard.

Forrest: Jenna Blanton 3-for-3, Carson Warner 2-for-3, Anna Blanton 2-for-3, Kaitlin Leverette 1-for-2, Kennedy Gillespie 1-for-2, Jasmine Runk 1-for-3, Ally Blanton 1-for-3.

RS: Jenna Blanton 2, Warner 2, Leverette, Kennedy Gillespie, Runk, Ally Blanton, Karley Daughrity, Anna Blanton.

2B: Warner.

RBI: Kennedy Gillespie 2, Katlin Leverette 2, Jenna Blanton, Carson Warner, Jasmine Runk, Zoe Long.

SAC: Long.

SF: Kennedy Gillespie.

ROE: Runk.

FC: Leverette, Anna Blanton.

HBP: Long.

SB: Jenna Blanton 2, Leverette.

Team LOB: 3


DP: Ally Blanton, Long.

WP: Lauren Gillespie (5IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 3K)