Creek Wood comeback ends Lady Rockets’ season

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Forrest coach Becky Cheatham congratulates Laura Mealer as she rounds third base on her solo home run in the fifth inning.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets (28-3) lost one game to a Divison I school in Tennessee all season, but it was a big one as the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks pulled off a 6-5 comeback win in the Region 6-AA Tournament opener Monday night at Chapel Hill to eliminate Forrest from the postseason.

“We got out hit and I think they were more determined at the plate than we were and I think that is what it boils down to in my opinion,” Forrest coach Becky Cheatham said. “Lauren (Gillespie) pitched a heck of a game, they just got on the pitches. The homerun that went to right field was two balls off the plate, so what are you going to do.”

The upsets continued at Camden as Giles County (17-13-1) knocked out the Lady Lions 5-2 to move on to the region title game Wednesday night at Creek Wood (35-14). Both region tournament championship game participants also earned a state sectional game berth on Friday night.

“Good for Giles County, at least someone in our district won,” Cheatham said.

The last time Forrest lost a first round region tournament elimination game was in 2011 when Houston County won 1-0 at Chapel Hill.

“Sometimes our heads get a little big and we feel like we can’t be beaten, but anybody can be beaten on any given night,” Cheatham said. “I tried to impress on them of how good they were, I had some information some friends had helped me with and we tried to pitch around those people and I’ll be darned, somebody else stepped up.”

Lady Rocket stalwart Jasmine Runk drives in her final run in a Forrest uniform on a sacrifice fly RBI in the third inning to give Chapel Hill a 4-0 lead over Creek Wood.

After two scoreless innings to start the game Monday night, the Lady Rockets came up with a big four-run third inning with Kayla Gillespie slashing a two-run double and Kaitlin Leverette drove one in with a double off the left field fence.

Creek Wood began to chip away at the Forrest lead with one run on a Lillie Boydston RBI single in the top of the fourth inning and the Lady Red Hawks made it a 4-3 contest on a two-run home run by Lillie Boydston in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Laura Mealer got one run back on a solo homer in the top of the fifth inning before Creek Wood tied the game on a two-run shot by Madison Woodard in the top of the sixth.

Kaitlin Leverette slams an RBI double in the third inning to give Forrest a 2-0 lead.

Creek Wood starting pitcher Bailey Griffith set down the Lady Rockets 1-2-3 in the home half of the inning and the Lady Red Hawks took the lead in the top half of the seventh when Douthit and Jase Jackson nailed back-to-back one out doubles to make it a 6-5 contest.

Griffith closed the door in the bottom of the seventh as the Lady Red Hawks moved on and Forrest did not, snapping a remarkable six-year in a row state tournament run for the Lady Rockets.

“When you look at that bunch, the positive things far out-way the negatives of losing tonight,” Cheatham said. “So we just have to bounce back, build and get better and realize we have to get the job done when the opportunity arises.”

Asked if she was coming back for another season Cheatham said, “I am, that’s the plan, unless they fire me. Never give in and never give up.”

Creek Wood 000 122 1-6 7 1

Forrest 004 010 0-5 6 0

Creek Wood: Lillie Boydston 3-for-3, Jase Jackson 1-for-4, Sam Morgan 1-for-3, Lillie Boydston 1-for-3, Madison Woodard 1-for-3.

RS: Douthit, Analeigh Coursey, Boydston, Woodard.

BB: Coursey, Morgan, Lennon Spicer.

2B: Douthit.

HR: Douthit, Woodard.

RBI: Douthit 2, Woodard 2, Jackson, Boydston.

SAC: Douthit.

FC: Boydston, Coursey.

Team LOB: 4

Fielding

E: Morgan.

WP: Bailey Griffith (7IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 5K, 5BB).

Forrest: Jenna Blanton 1-for-4, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-4, Carson Warner 1-for-4, Laura Mealer 1-for-1, Kaitlin Leverette 1-for-3, Anna Blanton 1-for-3.

RS: Mealer 2, Jenna Blanton, Zoe Long, Anna Blanton.

BB: Mealer 3, Jasmine Runk.

2B: Leverette, Kayla Gillespie.

HR: Mealer.

RBI: Kayla Gillespie 2, Mealer, Leverette, Runk.

SAC: Leverette.

ROE: Jenna Blanton.

SB: Runk 2, Mealer.

Team LOB: 6

LP: Lauren Gillespie (7IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 4K, 3BB).