Stinnett earns first home win in 9-1 triumph over Brentwood

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Kaitlin Leverette drills an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning to open up the scoring for the Lady Rockets, who beat Brentwood 9-1 in the home opener Monday night at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Shelby Stinnett won a ton of games and set many school records in the circle as a player on the Field of Dreams at Chapel Hill and on Monday, Stinnett earned her first home win as a coach via a 9-1 win over the Brentwood Lady Bruins.

“I never even thought about it that way,” Stinnett said. “All the shout-out goes to the girls, without the girls that have bought in and a great coaching staff, none of this is possible.”

The Lady Rockets, coming off a 4-0 record at the Lady Warrior Southern Classic in Murfreesboro over the weekend continued their hot hitting as they banged out 10 hits versus Brentwood withAnna Blanton, Kaitlin Leverette, and Laura Mealer all getting two hits apiece, while Jenna Blanton, Zoe Long, Kennedy Gillespie, and Ally Blanton all had one base knock apiece in the contest.

“The offense is on all cylinders,” Stinnett said. “We tend to sometimes struggle with a little slower pitching, so learning to make that adjustment to hit the lower speeds and then still being able to hit that quick speed is an adjustment we are going to have to make all year.”

Lauren Gillespie picked up another win in the circle for the Lady Rockets, tossing four scoreless innings before Ashley Milligan came on to hurl the final three frames.

Both pitchers turned in solid performances with no bases on balls in the game as Gillespie gave up two hits and struck out five while Milligan gave up one run on two hits and also whiffed five Lady Bruins’ batters.

“Lauren is definitely our workhorse and you know what she brings to the table and I’m looking forward to a fantastic year from her,” Stinnett said. “We are trying to get Ashley some time not only to get ready next year, but take some of the load off Lauren so we don’t wear out.”

“Ashley has picked up the role and has been excited to be in that role and once she settles in and goes to work she gets a lot of confidence.”

Anna Blanton slaps a base hit up the middle to get things going in the top of the first inning for Forrest.

Gillespie set down Brentwood 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning before the offense gave her all the runs she would need as Anna Blanton got things going with a one-out single to center field and promptly stole second base before scoring on an RBI single by Kaitlin Leverette.

Laura Mealer followed with a shot to the left field fence for a double that scored Leverette to make it 2-0 for the undefeated Lady Rockets (11-0).

Brentwood managed a one-out single by Emily Cockrill in the top of the second inning before Gillespie set down the next two batters in order.

Zoe Long steals second base as the throw from the Brentwood catcher sails in to center field.

Zoe Long drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning and swiped second base before scoring on a Brentwood error to make it 3-0.

Kennedy Gillespie, who reached on the error and wound up on third base, trotted home on a sacrifice fly RBI by twin sister Kayla for a 4-0 Forrest lead.

Gillespie was masterful in the top of third, setting down Brentwood 1-2-3.

Laura Mealer had a pair of doubles and an RBI for the Lady Rockets.

Forrest put the game away in the home half of the inning as they sent four runs across home plate on RBIs by Leverette, Long, Kennedy Gillespie, and Ally Blanton to make it an 8-0 contest.

Lauren Gillespie finished up her stint in the circle with a scoreless fourth inning and the Lady Rockets plated their final run of the game in the bottom of the inning when Jenna Blanton led off the frame with an infield single and raced to second on an unaware Brentwood defense.

Blanton went to third on a ground ball out by Anna Blanton and came home on a wild pitch.

Milligan came to the circle in the top of the fifth inning and gave up back-to-back singles and a fielder’s choice RBI to Ella Sawba before escaping the fame with no further damage.

Milligan allowed just one more base runner over the final two innings to secure the first home win for the Lady Rockets, who had won 10 road games in a row to start the season.

Forrest travels to Community (0-4) on Thursday and goes to Cascade on Monday before returning home on Tuesday when they host Marshall County (1-4) in an intra-county rivalry contest.

Brentwood 000 010 0-1 6 2

Forrest 224 100 X-9 10 0

Brentwood: Emily Cockrill 2-for-3, Ansley Casillas 1-for-3, Elizabeth Laviolette 1-for-3, Indy Cockrill 1-for-3, Emma Glenn 1-for-1.

RS: Indy Cockrill.

2B: Emily Cockrill.

RBI: Ella Sawba.

SB: Indy Cockrill.

Team LOB: 5


E: Laviolette, Emily Cockrill.

LP: Emily Cockrill.

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

BB: Long.

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

2B: Mealer 2.

RBI: Leverette 2, Ally Blanton, Kayla Gillespie, Kennedy Gillespie, Long, Mealer.

SF: Kayla Gillespie.

ROE: Kennedy Gillespie.

SB: Anna Blanton 2, Jenna Blanton, Long.

Team LOB: 2

WP: Lauren Gillespie (4IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 5K, 0BB), Ashley Milligan (3IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 5K, 0BB).