Lady Rockets go deep in 21-3 win over Central Magnet

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Kiersten Blalock is all smiles as she rounds third base and gets ready for some congratulations from Forrest head coach Shelby Stinnett before heading home on a walk off grand slam home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to seal a 21-3 run-rule win over Murfreesboro Central Magnet School Monday night at Chapel Hill.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest Lady Rockets turned in an overwhelming performance Monday night at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill as they blasted Murfreesboro Central Magnet School (MCM) 21-3 in a four-inning, run-rule win.

“I think a big thing is, we are trying to give them a few days off here and there, just to keep them fresh and not wear them out and once we get here we have to go to work,” Forrest coach Shelby Stinnett said. “They are doing a really good job doing that, getting fresh, getting energized and really being ready to go.”

Forrest banged out 17 hits in the contest and blasted four home runs, including a walk off grand slam by freshman Kiersten Blalock in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Kaitlin Leverette and Laura Mealer jacked back-to-back dingers in the first inning and Kayla Gillespie nailed a two-run shot in the third inning.

Lauren Gillespie went the distance in the circle for Forrest, giving up three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out four and walking one Lady Tigers’ batter.

Forrest had 17 hits in the game as Anna Blanton (3RS, 2B, 2RBI, 3SB) and Ally Blanton (2B, 2RS) coming up with three hits apiece.

Laura Mealer slams a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Jenna Blanton (3RS, SB), Kaitlin Leverette (HR, 4RBI, 3RS, SB), Laura Mealer (HR, 4RS, 4RBI, 2BB, SB), and Zoe Long (2RS, SB) all had two hits in the game while Kennedy Gillespie (RS), Blalock (HR, RS, 4RBI), and Kayla Gillespie (HR, BB, RS, 2RBI) all had one base knock apiece.

Forrest had eight stolen bases in the contest, adding to their all-time school record set this season.

The Lady Tigers failed to score in the top of the first inning before Forrest went to work at the plate in the home half of the frame as Jenna Blanton led off with a bunt single and stood on third base after an MCM throwing error.

Anna Blanton beat out an infield single to make it 1-0 and promptly stole second base.

Kaitlin Leverette looks up as the ball sails out of the ballpark for a two-run shot in the first inning.

Leverette followed with a home run to center field and Mealer made it a 5-0 game when she drilled a line drive home run over the left field fence.

Central Magnet came back with three runs in the top of the second on an RBI double by Caitlin Dodson, followed later on in the inning on a two-run double by Faith Peruzzi.

Forrest went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second inning and Lauren Gillespie came back with a 1-2-3 inning for the Lady Rockets in the top of the third.

Mealer drew a leadoff base on balls in the bottom of the frame and stole second base.

Mealer took third on a groundball out before scoring on a wild pitch to make it 6-3 and after another groundout, Ally Blanton singled to left field with two outs.

Kayla Gillespie followed with a towering home run to left field, giving the Lady Rockets an 8-3 lead.

Abby Griffin walked to lead off the top of the fourth inning and Faith McCaghren hit a ground ball up the middle that Forrest shortstop Jenna Blanton made a diving play on and flipped to Mealer at second, who fired to Kennedy Gillespie at first base for a sweet double play.

“Shout out to Jenna and Laura on that double play, I guess if you went here it wouldn’t give it much justice,” Stinnett said. “We preach defense wins championships and if our pitchers hold them down under five runs, I truly believe with that lockdown defense, we can score five and win any ballgame.”

Forrest sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning and banged out seven straight hits to start the frame with the last base knock of that streak coming on an RBI single by Ally Blanton that made it 15-3.

Kaydee Todd comes up with a pinch hit RBI to make it 17-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Kayla Gillespie followed with a walk before Kaydee Todd came up with a pinch hit RBI fielder’s choice.

An MCM fielding error made it a 17-3 contest and after back-to-back base on balls to Leverette and Mealer, Blalock stepped up to the dish and drilled her first varsity home run over the center field fence to end the contest.

“Coming in, once you get to later in the season you kind of know what you got,” Stinnett said. “Todd and Blalock are two girls we want to get in, so what a way for a pinch hitter to come in there and have a big at bat, it’s great.”

The Lady Rockets (23-2, 8-0) can claim the District 8-A regular season with a win over Giles County (19-5, 6-1) tonight at the Field of Dreams in Chapel Hill on Senior Night.

“The biggest thing is to give them that off day tomorrow to keep them fresh and keep them hungry and ready to go,” Stinnett said. “So hopefully we can come in against Giles County and see some good pitching and get some good swings.”

MCM 030 0XX X-3 5 3

Forrest 503 (13)XX X-21 17 0

Murfreesboro Central Magnet: Caitlin Dodson 2-for-2, Emma Tellez 1-for-2, Abby Frazier 1-for-2, Natalie Peruzzi 1-for-1.

BB: Abby Griffin.

RS: Frazier, Griffin, Dodson.

2B: Frazier, Peruzzi, Dodson.

RBI: Peruzzi 2, Dodson.

GIDP: Faith McCaghren.

SB: Griffin.

Totals

Team LOB: 2

Fielding

E: Griffin 2, Kali Penny.

DP: Frazier.

LP: Faith McCaghren.

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

BB: Mealer 2, Leverette, Kayla Gillespie.

RS: Mealer 4, Jenna Blanton 3, Anna Blanton 3, Leverette 3, Long 2, Kennedy Gillespie, Blalock, Kayla Gillespie, Kaydee Todd, Sayrna Kurtz, Addison Bunty.

2B: Anna Blanton, Ally Blanton.

HR: Kiersten Blalock, Kayla Gillespie, Leverette, Mealer.

Grand slam: Kiersten Blalock

RBI: Blalock 4, Leverette 4, Mealer 4, Anna Blanton 2, Ally Blanton 2, Kayla Gillespie 2, Todd.

ROE: Anna Blanton.

FC: Jenna Blanton, Todd.

SB: Anna Blanton 3, Jenna Blanton, Kurtz, Leverette, Long, Mealer.

Totals

Team LOB: 1

Fielding

DP: Jenna Blanton, Kennedy Gillespie.

E: Ally Blanton.

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