Forest's Ross holds Lady Panthers to three hits

Marq Mitcham -- Sterlington's Chesnie Daigle slaps a single to left field in Tuesday's game against Forest.

Kinley Smith and Abbie Ramage went yard to back Brooke Ross' three-hit, 13-strikeout pitching as Forest pushed past Sterlington 8-2 Tuesday afternoon at Panther Park.

Ramage's leadoff home run over the left-center fence sent the Lady Bulldogs to a 1-0 third-inning lead.

Sterlington drew even in the fourth when Emarie Adams walked, went to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on Madigan Stevens' groundout and scurried home on a throwing error.

Forest responded with three in the fifth to go ahead 4-1.

Katy Rios singled with one out in the fifth, made her way to second on a passed ball and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI double to left by Ross. Smith, batting from the cleanup slot, then scalded an RBI double to right-center. Caroline Kelly's groundout advanced Smith to third before Sierra Helmer bashed the visitors third RBI double of the inning.

Sterlington crept within 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but missed the opportunity for a big inning.

Katie Haynes led off with a base hit to right. On to run for Haynes, pinch runner Gracie Rowton stole second ahead of Chesnie Daigle's one-out RBI single to left.

Helmer then flagged down a well-hit ball off the bat of Sterlington leadoff batter Kaela Mullins for the second out. After walking Adams, Ross avoided further damage with an inning-ending punchout.

Forest (11-8) erased any doubt with a four-run seventh.

Ross started it off with a double to left and Smith crushed a two-run shot which easily cleared the fence in straight-away center.

Kelly then worked a free pass and Helmer doubled over the third base bag to put runners on second and third with still nobody out. McKenzie Franklin followed with an RBI groundout and Olivia White poled a long single off the base of the center field fence to conclude the scoring.

Putting an exclamation point on the complete game three-hit effort, Ross worked a 1-2-3 seventh with a fly out and consecutive strikeouts. She allowed only seven base runners on three singles and four walks.

Eight of Forest's 12 hits went for extra bags. Smith, who collected three RBIs, and Ramage homered and doubled. Ross and Helmer both boomed a pair of doubles, Rios sliced two singles and White and Natalie Franklin contributed base hits.

For the Lady Panthers (12-8), Stevens, Haynes and Daigle singled.

Stevens was the pitcher of record for Sterlington with Adams in relief.