Gillespie no-hitter highlights Forrest sweep at Southern Warrior Classic

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Forrest senior lefty Lauren Gillespie is all smiles as she poses with her ball after tossing a no-hitter versus Wilson High School from Alabama in the opening game of the Southern Warrior Classic in Murfreesboro on Friday.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest’s Lauren Gillespie set the tone from the start of the Southern Warrior Classic as the senior ace lefty tossed a no-hitter over Wilson High School from Alabama in Friday afternoon’s opener at Barfield Park in Murfreesboro.

The Lady Rockets won 5-0 for the first of three straight wins over Alabama schools and they finished up the tournament with a triumph over Bloomington Central Catholic from Illinois.

Gillespie picked up three of the wins in the circle, while the return of Ashley Milligan boosted the depth of the Forrest pitching staff with the sophomore righty picking up one win and two saves in the tournament.

The Forrest offense gave the pitching staff plenty of support, averaging 11 hits and just over eight runs per game as Chapel Hill remained unbeaten on the season at 10-0.

The Wilson Lady Warriors managed one baserunner via a Forrest error over the first two innings before the Lady Rockets came up with two runs with two outs in the top of the third inning.

Jenna Blanton lays down a perfect bunt to get things started in the third inning versus Wilson High School.

Jenna Blanton beat out an infield single and stole second base with two down and her sister Anna knocked her home and took second base on the throw home.

Kaitlin Leverette made it a 2-0 contest when she drilled an RBI single to center field and Gillespie set down Wilson 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame.

Forrest added a run in top of the fourth when Karley Daughrity led off with a double and Zoe Long followed with a bunt single before Kennedy Gillespie drove in Daughrity with a fielder’s choice RBI.

There was no scoring in the fifth inning, but in the top of the sixth, Forrest added a pair of runs with two outs as Kennedy Gillespie drilled a single to center field and Addison Bunty came on to run for Gillespie.

Addison Bunty beats the throw home to make it a 4-0 contest in the sixth inning versus Wilson High School on Friday.

Bunty scored on an Ally Blanton single to make it 4-0 and Sayrna Kurtz came in to run for the Forrest catcher and she came around to touch home plate on an RBI double by Kayla Gillespie.

Wilson managed one baserunner in the bottom of the inning on a hit by pitch and one in the final inning on a Forrest error before Gillespie closed out the no-no with a strikeout.

“We knew they were a really good team and we knew we had to do our best against a really good team,” Gillespie said. “I knew my team would have my back if I pitched good.”

Ashley Milligan came up big for the Lady Rockets over the weekend with one win and a pair of saves in the circle.

Milligan started in the circle for Forrest in game two versus West Limestone and she gave up a leadoff double, followed by two fielding errors to load the bases with no outs.

Milligan reared back to strikeout two out of the next three West Limestone batters to escape unscathed.

Forrest picked up a small ball run in the bottom of the first inning as Jenna Blanton reached on a leadoff error and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anna Blanton before scoring on an RBI single by Leverette.

East Limestone tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning on a fielder’s choice RBI, but the Forrest offense picked up their pitcher when they added a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame.

Anna Blanton drove in one and Daughrity knocked home the third run with a double.

Milligan allowed a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth inning before setting down three in a row and in the bottom of the stanza, the Lady Rockets broke the game open as they sent 13 batters to the plate and scored seven times.

Milligan finished off the Lady Wildcats in the final inning to claim the 10-1 win.

Forrest picked up where they left off on Saturday as they took on Plainview Alabama and came away with a 7-1 win as Lauren Gillespie and Milligan combined in another stellar effort in the circle.

Gillespie tossed four scoreless innings of two-hit ball to pick up the win, while Milligan came on and gave up one run on two hits to earn the save.

The Lady Rockets’ offense was in tune early, scoring two runs in the first, one run in the second, three more in the third, and a single marker in the fourth inning.

Addison Bunty beats the throw home to make it a 4-0 contest in the sixth inning versus Wilson High School on Friday.

Leverette and Ally Blanton led the way at the dish for Forrest as they both slammed home runs in the game with Leverette driving in three runs on her dinger.

Jenna Blanton, Leverette, and Laura Mealer all had a pair of hits versus the Lady Bears with Zoe Long, Kaydee Todd, Ally Blanton, and Kayla Gillespie all coming up with one base knock apiece.

Forrest’s final game of the tournament was against the Saints from Bloomington, Illinois and the Lady Rockets beat the Catholic school girls 10-1 to finish the Southern Warrior Classic with an unbeaten record for the second season in a row.

The Gillespie/Milligan combo in the circle worked again as Gillespie gave up two earned runs on three hits over three innings before Milligan came on in the fourth inning and slammed the door, tossing two scoreless innings of no-hit ball.

The Forrest defense sputtered a little behind their pitchers to start the game as they committed four errors to let the Saints stay in the contest.

What they gave up on defense, they made up at the plate and on the base paths, banging out 13 hits and swiping seven bases in the game with Jenna Blanton running wild with four stolen bases, two runs scored, and two base hits.

Forrest third baseman Karley Daughrity is down and ready to make a defensive play for the Lady Rockets at the Southern Warrior Classic.

Daughrity stole two bases and went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Mealer put up a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the plate with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

Kennedy Gillespie matched Mealer’s 3-for-3 effort, scoring twice and swiping one bag.

Leverette capped off a huge tournament at the plate with two more hits, one RBI, and scored twice, while Long (RBI, RS) and Kayla Gillespie (RBI) had one base knock apiece.

Friday, March 22

Forrest 002 102 0-5 8 4

Wilson High School, AL 000 000 0-0 0 4

Forrest: Karley Daughrity 2-for-3, Jenna Blanton 1-for-4, Anna Blanton 1-for-4, Kaitlin Leverette 1-for-4, Kennedy Gillespie 1-for-3, Ally Blanton 1-for-3, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-4.

RS: Jenna Blanton, Anna Blanton, Daughrity, Addison Bunty, Sayrna Kurtz.

2B: Daughrity, Kayla Gillespie.

RBI: Ally Blanton, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie, Leverette.

SAC: Daughrity.

ROE: Jenna Blanton, Leverette, Mealer.

FC: Kayla Gillespie, Zoe Long.

HBP: Long.

SB: Jenna Blanton 2, Bunty, Long, Mealer.

Team LOB: 8


E: Mealer 2, Daughrity, Kayla Gillespie.

WP: Lauren Gillespie (7IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 8K, 1BB).

Wilson High School

BB: Jenna Webb.

ROE: Heather Irons, M. Carter, Karlee Liverett.

FC: Irons, Ashton Wilson.

HBP: Sidney Bevis.

SB: Victoria Walker.

Team LOB: 5


E: Taylor Brown, Irons, Santana Vickery, Carter.

LP: Johnna Staggs.

West Limestone, AL 001 00X X-1 2 4

Forrest 102 70X X-10 13 2

West Limestone: Raegan Clem 2-for-2.

BB: Clem, Savannah McConnell.

RS: Clem.

2B: Clem 2.

RBI: Allison Perry.

SAC: Bella Birdsong.

ROE: Birdsong, Perry.

FC: McConnell.

HBP: Chloe Hopkins.


Team LOB: 4


E: Clem 2, Birdsong, McConnell.

LP: Hopkins.

Forrest: Jenna Blanton 3-for-4, Kaitlin Leverette 3-for-3, Anna Blanton 1-for-2, Laura Mealer 1-for-3, Karley Daughrity 1-for-2, Kennedy Gillespie 1-for-2, Ally Blanton 1-for-3, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-2, Kaydee Todd 1-for-1.

BB: Daughrity, Kennedy Gillespie.

RS: Jenna Blanton 3, Anna Blanton, Leverette, Mealer, Daughrity, Addison Bunty, Todd, Sayrna Kurtz.

2B: Jenna Blanton, Leverette.

RBI: Leverette 2, Anna Blanton, Jenna Blanton, Daughrity, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie.

SAC: Anna Blanton.

ROE: Ally Blanton, Anna Blanton, Mealer.

SB: Jenna Blanton, Bunty, Kurtz, Mealer.

Team LOB: 6


E: Kayla Gillespie, Ashley Milligan.

DP: Kayla Gillespie, Milligan.

WP: Ashley Milligan (5IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 6K, 2BB).

Saturday, March 23

Plainview, AL 000 001 0-1 4 1

Forrest 213 100 X-7 10 2

Plainview: Mia Tidmore 2-for-3, Katie Puckett 1-for-3, Jacey Crowell 1-for-3.

BB: Crimson Wells.

RS: Puckett.

HR: Puckett.

RBI: Puckett.

ROE: Tobi Trotter 2.

FC: Tessa Word.

SB: Trotter.


Team LOB: 7


E: Kenzi Traylor.

LP: Lily Boswell.

Forrest: Jenna Blanton 2-for-3, Kaitlin Leverette 2-for-2, Laura Mealer 2-for-3, Zoe Long 1-for-2, Kaydee Todd 1-for-1, Ally Blanton 1-for-2, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-2.

RS: Leverette 2, Jenna Blanton, Karley Daughrity, Long, Ally Blanton.

2B: Mealer.

HR: Ally Blanton, Leverette.

RBI: Leverette 3, Ally Blanton, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie.

SAC: Kiersten Blalock.

SF: Kennedy Gillespie, Leverette.

ROE: Daughrity.

SB: Mealer 2, Jenna Blanton, Long.


Team LOB: 4


E: Lauren Gillespie, Katelyn Helmick.

WP: Lauren Gillespie (4IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 6K, 1BB).

Save: Ashley Milligan (3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1K, 0BB).

Forrest 124 13X X-11 13 4

Bloomington Central Catholic, IL 203 00X X-5 3 3

Forrest: Laura Mealer 3-for-3, Kennedy Gillespie 3-for-3, Jenna Blanton 2-for-3, Kaitlin Leverette 2-for-4, Karley Daughrity 1-for-3, Zoe Long 1-for-4, Kayla Gillespie 1-for-3.

BB: Jenna Blanton, Anna Blanton, Ally Blanton, Laura Mealer.

RS: Jenna Blanton 2, Leverette 2, Mealer 2, Kennedy Gillespie 2, Anna Blanton, Daughrity, Long.

2B: Mealer 2, Leverette.

RBI: Mealer 3, Daughrity 2, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie, Leverette, Long.

SAC: Karley Daughrity

ROE: Jenna Blanton.

SB: Jenna Blanton 4, Daughrity 2, Kennedy Gillespie.

Team LOB: 7


E: Jenna Blanton 2, Daughrity, Mealer.

DP: Jenna Blanton, Daughrity, Kayla Gillespie.

WP: Lauren Gillespie (3IP, 3H, 5R, 2ER, 3K, 5BB).

Save: Ashley Milligan (2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 1BB).

Bloomington: Harley Schade 1-for-3, Bailey Coffman 1-for-3, Diane Tomczak.

BB: Kayla Stenger 2, Scout Paul 2, Tomczak, Valerie Feldker.

RS: Schade 2, Charlie Sartoris, Courtney Olson.

RBI: Kayla Stenger, Feldker, Tomczak.

ROE: Sartoris 2, Stenger, Schade.

FC: Olsen.

GIDP: Coffman.

SB: Sartoris, Schade.

Team LOB: 6


E: Sartoris, Paul, Tomczak.

LP: Harley Schade.