Lady Rockets beat Nolensville in D12-AA clash

Friday, April 5, 2019
Kaitlin Leverette (45) is all smiles after belting a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

After suffering their first loss of the season via a 1-0 setback at Cascade on Monday, the Forrest Lady Rockets beat Marshall County 11-0 on Tuesday and followed that win up with another District 12-AA triumph on Wednesday at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill as they beat Nolensville 8-1. “Coming in we are just treating every game as an opportunity to get better,” Forrest coach Shelby Stinnett said. “I tell them the end is what matters and what counts, so we are really treating these games as seeing what we need to fix, seeing what we need to fine tune and hopefully later in the season that will pay off.”

Forrest (14-1, 4-0) had eight hits in the contest, including a two-run home run by Kaitlin Leverette in the fourth inning.

Lauren Gillespie started in the circle for the Lady Rockets and tossed four innings of two-hit ball, giving up one earned in the second inning.

“Lauren has pitched two long, tough games this week, so learning a little bit of having to pitch a little bit when you’re tired and work through stuff is something she is learning in that senior role,” Stinnett said.

Gillespie struck out three and walked four Lady Knights’ batters before Ashely Milligan came on in relief in the top of the fifth inning and went unblemished, giving up a pair of hits, striking out four and issuing zero bases on balls.

“Oh man, “Big Red” (Milligan), like I said before is really taking that role,” Stinnett said. “I’m still trying to get her some innings in case something happens and they do get on Lauren, we have her and we feel confident in her. Right now, man she is fired up and she brings that energy you need.”

Gillespie held Nolensville scoreless in the first inning and Jenna Blanton reached on a leadoff error in the home half of the inning.

Jenna Blanton steals second base in the first inning for the Lady Rockets, who beat Nolensville 8-1 at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill Wednesday night.

Blanton’s bunt attempt was misplayed by the Lady Knights as a wild throw ended up in right field and Blanton stood on third base, but not for long as she raced home when the Nolensville catcher tried pick her off and her throw sailed in to the outfield.

Avery Patton and Holli Finnell banged back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the second inning for Nolensville.

Gillespie got a groundout before walking the next two Nolensville batters to tie the game, but struck out the next two Lady Knights, adverting any further damage.

Zoe Long takes off for first base on an infield single in the second inning that led to a 2-1 Forrest lead.

Zoe Long led off the bottom of the inning with a bunt single and proceeded to steal second and third base before trotting home on a fielder’s choice RBI by Ally Blanton to make it a 2-1 contest.

Gillespie hit Hailey Hughes with a pitch to start the third inning, but she was erased on a nice 4-6-3 double play, and a fly out to center ended the inning.

Patton got the first two outs on a pair of grounders in the bottom of the inning before Leverette reached on an error.

Laura Mealer singled to right field and took second and Kennedy Gillespie knocked in Leverette to make it 3-1.

Forrest went to the trick play as Kennedy Gillespie wandered off first and went halfway to second.

Nolensville tried to get Gillespie out going back to first base, only to see Mealer scoot home before the throw got there to make it 4-1.

Abby Hageman drew a one-out walk in the top of the fourth inning before the Lady Rockets’ turned a another double play, this time started on a ball back to the circle that Gillespie fired to Mealer at second, who turned it nicely to Kayla Gillespie at first base to complete the double-bubble.

“We preach as a coaching staff that defense wins championships,” Stinnett said. “I truly believe that if our pitchers give us a chance to win, you have to be solid, if you have solid defense you can get a run here and there, so that will be big for us later on.”

Karley Daughrity ripped a leadoff double down the left field line to start the home half of the inning and Ally Blanton sacrificed her third base.

Kayla Gillespie knocked Daughrity home with an RBI single to left field and one out later, Anna Blanton drove in Gillespie to make it 6-1.

Leverette stepped in the batter’s box and drilled a home run over the left field fence and the Lady Rockets were comfortably in front 8-1.

An elated Ashley Milligan gets high fives after striking out the final Nolensville batter to secure the 8-1 win over the lady Knights.

Milligan came to the circle in the top of the fifth and set down the Lady Knights in order and Patton did the same to Forrest in the home half of the fifth inning.

Hailey Hughes led off the top of the sixth with a shot to right field that Long scooped up and gunned down Hughes trying to advance.

Forrest went down 1-2-3 again in the bottom of the inning and Holli Finnell led off the top of the seventh with a blast off the center field fence and wound up on second base.

Milligan got the next Nolensville batter looking at strike three and Kayla Gillespie scooped up a ground ball and tagged first for the second out.

Milligan came with straight gas and whiffed Alexis Hall to end the game.

Forrest had eight hits in the contest with Laura Mealer going 2-for-3 while Leverette, Anna Blanton, Zoe Long, Kennedy Gillespie, Daughrity, and Kayla Gillespie all had one base knock apiece.

Forrest won’t be back on the diamond until Tuesday when they host Giles County in another District 12-AA clash.

District 12-AA Standings

Forrest (14-1, 4-0)

Giles County (11-3, 3-1)

Murfreesboro Central Magnet (3-12, 2-1)

Nolensville (7-6, 1-2)

Marshall County (1-5, 0-2)

Community (1-6, 0-4)

Nolensville 010 000 0-1 4 3

Forrest 112 400 X-8 8 0

Nolensville: Holli Finnell 2-for-3, Hailey Hughes 1-for-1, Avery Patton 1-for-3.

BB: Hughes, Abby Hageman, Paige Dickinson, Alexis Hall.

RS: Macy Dupree.

2B: Finnell.

RBI: Hall.

FC: Hageman.

HBP: Hughes.

GIDP: Sophie Bussell, Dickinson.

Totals

Team LOB: 5

Fielding

E: Holli Finnell 2, Kylee Owensby.

LP: Avery Patton

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

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

2B: Mealer, Daughrity.

HR: Leverette.

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

SAC: Anna Blanton, Ally Blanton.

ROE: Jenna Blanton, Leverette.

SB: Jenna Blanton, Anna Blanton, Mealer, Kennedy Gillespie, Long, Kayla Gillespie.

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

Relief: Ashley Milligan (3IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 0BB).