EAST BEND — The second-seeded Forbush Falcons took a 2-1 game-one win over fourth-seeded West Lincoln on Wednesday night. In a game that was filled with cowbells, air horns, and baby powder courtesy of several West Lincoln students, the Falcons didn’t let the noise deter them from their goal.
“Winning game one is huge in a three-game series,” said Head Coach Jeremy Helton. “Getting that winning momentum before going to their place is what we needed.”
The Falcons came out on their toes as Taylor Wooten made a huge play to get the game going in the first inning. Wooten snatched a line drive to get the first out for the Falcons, then went on to make the second out of the inning as she caught another fly ball. Allison Mitchell and Kelsey Swaim also made several great defensive plays for the Falcons in the first three innings.
“Allison Mitchell had six or seven put outs and she was just as solid as she could be at third,” said Helton. “Taylor Wooten chased down fly balls, and so did Kelsey Swaim. We had a lot of huge defensive plays tonight.”
On the mound, Sydney Miller threw for seven innings and struck out four batters. She faced off against a hard hitting West Lincoln team who has been able to score 218 runs this season and only allow 37.
“Sydney threw very well against a really good lineup,” said Helton. “She had really good command of the ball and executed our game plan.”
Miller was not only commanding on the mound, she almost had the first run for the Falcons in the second inning as she hit the ball over the fence, but it was ruled foul by just inches. Instead of getting the run in the second inning, Miller set up the go-ahead run for the Falcons in the fourth inning as she reached first base after an error by Rebels third baseman, Raeven McCrodden. With a runner on and one out, Jesse Hunter and Caiti Mickles laid down back-to-back singles to load the bases for the Falcons. With the bases loaded, Coach Helton called on Kayla Shore who stepped up to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt to bring courtesy runner Davis Ann Wood across the plate and give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
“Kayla Shore coming up with the bases loaded and laying down a squeeze bunt was what we needed at the time,” Helton said. “I have so much confidence in her, that’s why she was in that role.”
The Falcons weren’t done with their scoring, as lead-off hitter Taylor Wooten came up with a sacrifice fly to left center field to bring Hunter across the plate and give the Falcons a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. West Lincoln battled back in the fifth inning to earn one run, but it wasn’t able to get past the Falcons’ defense to earn any additional runs.
“We did have a few hits right at them, and we left a few runners on third. We’ve got to get those runs in, and we will.” said Helton. “We’re going to continue to work on what we failed at in the box tonight. We’re facing a really good pitcher who spins the ball well.”
The Falcons were able to retire the final seven batters of the night with Wooten, Miller, Mitchell and Swaim all coming up big in the final two innings.
“I’m proud of the girls and the way they played tonight.” said Helton. “Overall it was a great game for us.”
The Falcons will travel to West Lincoln on Friday night for game two. If they win, they will be the 2A Western Regional Champions. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. If the Falcons lose, they will play again in East Bend on Saturday for the third and final game of the series. For live updates of Friday night’s game, follow along on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.
Kristian Russell can be reached at 336-258-4052 or on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.