Gillespie shuts down Lady Bobcats

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Lauren Gillespie was masterful in the circle, tossing a complete game two-hitter to lead Forrest to an 8-0 win over Giles County Monday night at Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets kept on rolling Monday night at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill as they posted their 12th win in a row via an 8-0 victory over Giles County to improve to 15-1 on the season and 3-0 in District 12-AA play.

It’s been a season of firsts for sure with the new district alignment and Monday was another in the first meeting between the two schools since 2006.

“We just go about business like we normally have,” Forrest coach Becky Cheatham said. “We are facing an unknown, but I am confident in our ability to get the job done because we have always played bigger schools and always have had a lot of success and we are not going to back down, so we are going to get fighting and keep working.”

Lauren Gillespie had a shutdown night in the circle for Forrest, giving up just two hits, while walking one and striking out five Lady Bobcats’ batters.

“Lauren had one of her better games of the year and I’m pleased with her effort and we will continue to work,” Cheatham said.

The Lady Rockets also turned in one of their most solid performances of the season at the plate, executing flawlessly with nine hits, but more importantly they moved runners into scoring position before knocking them in.

“They had a pretty good little left handed pitcher and it took us a while to get on her, but once we did, we did a good job,” Cheatham said. “We had some base running mistakes, but a couple of them probably were on me.”

Carson Warner had two hits and two RBIs in Forrest’s 8-0 win over the Lady Bobcats.

Jenna Blanton and Kennedy Gillespie had two hits apiece, while Carson Warner, Laura Mealer, Jasmine Runk, Anna Blanton, and Ally Blanton all had one base knock.

Lauren Gillespie set the tone early, striking out the side in the top of the first inning and faced just 10 hitters through the first three innings, while Giles County starting pitcher Anna Johnson also got off to a good start, holding Forrest scoreless until the bottom of the third inning.

Ally Blanton led off the third frame with a double off the center field fence and Zoe Long laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Blanton to third.

Ally Blanton slides across home plate with Forrest’s first run of the game.

Kaitlin Leverette followed with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 1-0 before Jenna Blanton was hit by a Johnson pitch to start a two-out rally.

Carson Warner drove in Blanton with a double to right/center field and after Mealer walked, Kennedy Gillespie roped a double to right field to make it a 3-0 ballgame.

Jenna Blanton lays down a perfect bunt for a base hit in the fourth inning.

Lauren Gillespie held firm in the circle in the top of the fourth inning and Forrest added three more runs in the bottom of the inning on just two hits, but were helped out by two Giles County fielding errors that let a run score on each miscue.

With a 6-0 lead, Gillespie set down the Lady Bobcats 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth inning and Forrest squandered a scoring opportunity in the home half of the frame as they wasted three straight hits in part to some good defense by the Pulaski squad.

Gillespie set down the side in order again in the top of the sixth inning and the Lady Rockets tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the stanza on fielder’s choice RBIs by Jenna Blanton and Carson Warner, making it an 8-0 contest.

Gillespie gave up a leadoff single to Faith Cross in the top of the seventh inning, but she was quickly erased on a tag and throw to first base for a double play by second baseman Kayla Gillespie.

Jasmine Runk had a solid defensive game at first base with a couple of nice grabs and she was part of two double plays turned by the Lady Rockets.

Lexi Barnicle drew the only base on balls off Lauren Gillespie in the contest with two outs before the game ended on a line drive to Jasmine Runk at first base.

It was a start of a busy week for the Lady Rockets, who travelled to Murfreesboro Central Magnet last night and host Nolensville on Thursday before the big rematch at Lewisburg on Friday.

“I told them after the game that we need to be making improvement every game as individuals and as a team and if we do that, we will be OK,” Cheatham said. “I’m really pleased with their effort, because we didn’t give up and we didn’t give in.”

Forrest shortstop Laura Mealer scoops up a ground ball and guns to first for the out.

Giles County 000 000 0-0 2 3

Forrest 003 302 X-8 9 1

Giles County: Faith Cross 1-for-2, Rachel Norwood 1-for-2.

BB: Lexi Barnicle.

HBP: Jaden Gardner.

ROE: Gardner.

SAC: Barnicle.

Fielding

E: Ashlyn Kimbrough 2, Cross.

LP: Anna Johnson.

Forrest: Jenna Blanton 2-for-4, Kennedy Gillespie 2-for-4, Carson Warner 1-for-4, Laura Mealer 1-for-2, Jasmine Runk 1-for-3, Anna Blanton 1-for-3, Ally Blanton 1-for-2.

RS: Kaitlin Leverette 2, Jenna Blanton 2, Carson Warner, Anna Blanton, Jenna Blanton, Kayla Gillespie.

BB: Mealer 2, Kayla Gillespie.

HBP: Jenna Blanton.

2B: Carson Warner, Kennedy Gillespie, Ally Blanton.

RBI: Carson Warner 2, Leverette, Jenna Blanton, Kennedy Gillespie.

SAC FLY: Leverette.

ROE: Leverette 2, Carson Warner.

FC: Jenna Blanton, Carson Warner.

SAC BUNT: Ally Blanton, Anna Blanton.

CS: Jenna Blanton.

Fielding

E: Laura Mealer.

DP: Runk 2, Mealer, Kayla Gillespie.

WP: Lauren Gillespie (7IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 5K)