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Lady Rockets fall in 9-AA finals

Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 8:20 pm

Maddy Ille dives for home and scores in the top of the seventh. (Post Photo by Chris Siers)

Taylor Moreland catches a fist bump from head coach Shelby Lightfoot as she rounds third after slugging her fifth-inning home run. (Post Photo by Chris Siers)

UNIONVILLE — After having success against backyard rival Community over the past few season, the Forrest Lady Rockets came up just short in the District 9-AA championship, despite a seventh-inning rally, and fell 3-2.
The loss was the second defeat to the Viqueens, who previously defeated Forrest 4-2 in the winners’ bracket finals earlier in the week.
In Friday’s championship, fans were delighted to a quality pitcher’s duel between Viqueen starter Annie Prince and Lady Rocket starter Taylor Moreland.
Community did the bulk of its damage with two outs in the bottom of the second inning.
With two outs, a Kailani Allen double set up a RBI triple from Carlie Blanton, giving the Viqueens a 1-0 lead.
The Purple and Gold doubled its lead and drove in another score in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by Alana Tate.
Trailing 2-0, the Lady Rocket bats stayed quiet for only so long.
In the top of the fifth, Moreland blasted a leadoff homer over the center field fence to put the Lady Rockets on the board.
But the momentum was short-lived as Community responded with a run on a RBI single from Taylar Wessner in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead.
In the seventh, and down to their last three outs and down by two, Briley Burnham and Moreland connected on back-to-back one-out singles.
After recording a fly out for the second out, Ella Chilton stepped to the plate and connected on a groundball single to center field, allowing courtesy base runner Maddy Ille to make the dash for home.
On a bang-bang play, Ille’s dive for the plate notched another Lady Rocket run, giving Forrest hope, with one out.
But even with runners in scoring position, Prince came through with a strikeout for the third and final out to secure the championship for the Viqueens.
Both Prince and Moreland were stellar in the championship.
Prince got the win in the circle and gave up two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts, while Moreland allowed three runs on six hits to go with four punch outs.
Moreland and Burnham led the Lady Rockets with a pair of hits.
The loss puts the Viqueens in precarious situation, having to travel for the first-round of the Region 5-AA tournament.
The good news for the Lady Rockets is the game is against a familiar foe—Summertown.
In two regular season meetings, Forrest split games with the Lady Eagles, falling 9-5 back in March, before beating the Lady Eagles 4-2 just three weeks ago.
Forrest will begin the region tournament on Monday evening.

Forrest 000 010 1 — 2  5  0
Community 011 010 x — 3  9  0

Forrest: Taylor Moreland 2-for-2, Briley Burnham 2-for-3, Ella Chilton 1-for-3.
Community: Carlie Blanton 2-for-3, Anna Haskins 2-for-3, Gracie Daniel 2-for-2, Taylar Wessner 1-for-3, Alana Tate 1-for-3, Kailani Allen 1-for-3.

WP: Prince
LP: Moreland