MOUNT AIRY — Forbush has been a thorn in North Surry’s side all season.
The Falcons scored six runs in a big second inning and flew past the Greyhounds 11-0 in five to capture the Western Piedmont Conference tournament championship on Friday night at North Surry High School.
The Hounds have lost just four games all season — with three coming at the hands of Forbush.
“I knew we would have to play a perfect game tonight to play with them,” Coach Will Hodges of North Surry said. “We didn’t come close.”
Sydney Miller, the MVP of the conference tournament, got the win in the pitcher’s circle for the Falcons. She scattered two hits, walked one and struck out one. Allison Mitchell hit a two-run homer for Forbush, which had 12 hits in the game.
After North went down in order in the top of the first, Forbush got on the board in the bottom of the inning.
Mitchell drew a walk from North starter Marlee Bunker and advanced on a groundout. Taylor Wooten reached on an error, and the Falcons scored on the play for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Forbush bats roared to life.
Kayla Shore doubled, Marissa Lineberry singled and then Regan Gentry reached on an error, allowing courtesy runner Kaylee Buelin to score. Allison Mitchell had an RBI base hit and stole second, then Bunker retired the next two hitters.
But Forbush wasn’t done.
Logan Wood drove in two runs with a single, Mallory Choplin reached on an error, then Miller crushed a two-run double for an 8-0 Falcons’ lead.
“We’ve been struggling to get timely hits lately,” Coach Rachel Davis of Forbush said. “We mixed up our lineup a bit. They hit the ball well, hustled on the bases, and did everything right to win a ball game.”
North’s Maddie Tickle led off the top of the third with a single, but Miller got the next hitter to ground into a double play. Jordan Badgett had the only other hit of the game for the Hounds, a second-inning double.
North went down in order in the fourth.
Not content with an seven-run lead, Forbush tacked on four more in the fourth. Mitchell hit a two-run shot to right field, and Shore had a two-run double.
After a leadoff walk to Badgett in the fifth, Miller got the next three batters out on two flyouts and a groundout to end the game on the mercy rule.
“Their pitcher kept us off balance,” Hodges said. “They forced us into making some errors and they hit the ball in the gap.”
Davis said she was well aware of North’s ability to stage a late comeback. The Hounds erased a nine-run deficit in the sixth to beat East Surry 10-9 on April 18 and came back from five runs down to defeat West Stokes 7-6 on April 1.
“I told them after the second inning, ‘You know how this team is. They don’t quit,’” Davis said. “No lead is safe against them.”
Forbush, also the regular season conference champions, improved to 17-4 overall. North fell to 17-4. The 2A softball state playoffs get under way next week. North, the No. 2 seed from the WPC, will get a home game on Tuesday.
After the game, the all-tournament teams and all-conference awards were announced.
The all-tournament team was Abigail Worley (West Stokes), Taylor Perkins (West Stokes), Sam Williams (South Stokes), Katie Manring (South Stokes), Jordan Badgett (North Surry), Maddie Tickle (North Surry), Marlee Bunker (North Surry), Allison Mitchell (Forbush), Logan Wood (Forbush), Mallory Choplin (Forbush), and Sydney Miller (Forbush).
Earning all-conference recognition was Taylor Wooten (Forbush), Sydney Miller (Forbush), Bailey Culler (North Surry), Marlee Bunker (North Surry), Katie Manring (South Stokes), Logan Wood (Forbush), Kendra Johnson (Surry Central), Taylor Hill (North Surry), Amber Hawkins (South Stokes), Cassidy Joyner (Surry Central), Brea Lawson (West Stokes), Chelsea Morton (West Stokes), Allison Mitchell (Forbush), Madison Tilley (South Stokes), Katlyn Hodges (North Surry), Hayley Tickle (North Surry) and Savannah Yale (Forbush).
The player of the year was Taylor Wooten and the coach of the year was Rachel Davis, both of Forbush.
All-conference honorable mention players were Samantha Williams (South Stokes), Samantha Gibbs (South Stokes), Sidney Shelton (South Stokes), Katlin Anthony (Surry Central), Hope Hauser (West Stokes), Julie Fulk (West Stokes), Regan Gentry (Forbush), Mallory Choplin (Forbush), Sam Cox (Surry Central), Jessica Doby (Surry Central), and Alyssa Westberry (Carver).