EAST BEND — Forbush took advantage of two errors and a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead and an eventual 4-1 win over visiting West Stanly in the fourth round of the 2A West playoffs Friday night.
“They gave us a few gifts,” Forbush Coach Rachel Davis said, “and we took advantage of it.”
Forbush took down another 2013 state champion to advance to a best-of-three regional series slated for play next week.
Allison Mitchell led off the inning with a single. Savannah Yale followed with a bunt that was mishandled. Mitchell would score all the way from first on the play and Yale would wind up on second. Tale moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error.
Logan Wood, who walked with one out and moved to second on the throwing error, scored on Mallory Choplin’s single to make it 3-0.
“We came in a lot more tight than I thought we would,” West Stanly Coach Wesley Kidd said. “Those three unearned runs tightened us up.
“I think it came down to the miscues in the first inning. That happens a lot in these games. Somebody does something to hurt themselves and we didn’t get by with it tonight.”
The Colts, who committed five errors, kept helping Forbush - but the Falcons couldn’t take advantage of the last three.
Forbush’s last run came after West Stanly had cut it to 3-1 in the top of the fifth. With one out, Miller put one over the left-center wall to restore the three-run lead.
“I was just looking to get a base hit,” Miller said of the blast.
After allowing five hits through 4.2 innings, including the double that cut the Forbush lead to 3-1, Miller retired the last seven batters she faced. All with a smile on her face.
“I don’t get intimidated very well,” Miller said, adding her defense played well behind her. “I am very confident in them . They don’t let much get by them.”
“She did a great job hitting her spots,” Kidd said. “You got to give her credit. She kept us off balance at the plate. And their infield made some great plays.”
West Stanly finishes the season 22-6. They are the reigning 2A state champion.
“All are back but two,” Kidd said. “We were the conference champion. We won the conference tournament. We got to the fourth round. There’s only eight teams left. It just didn’t work out this year.
“I wish Forbush the best.”
The Falcons, now 21-4, will face the Madison-East Rutherford winner next week. The first game will be at either Madison or East Rutherford. The second game will be at Forbush. A third game, if necessary would be at Madison or East Rutherford.
“I’m still waiting for that one big game,” Davis said. “I know we keep beating these great teams.
“But these are great girls. And they have the potential to be unstoppable.”
Forbush beat West Wilkes, the reigning 1A state champion, in the third round Tuesday.
Miller, when asked if she thought Forbush would be the position they are in right now, answered, “not really. We’re better than I thought we would be.”
WS 000 010 0 — 1 5 5
F 300 010 x — 4 6 0
WS: Brennan Broadaway and Walker Barbee. F: Sydney Miller and Marissa Lineberry. 2B: Maddie Brown (WS); Savannah Yale (F). HR: Miller.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @elkinareasports.