King Splits with ‘Splitters, Streak Ends at Eight
BRISTOL, Tenn. – King College took one of two games in Thursdays' doubleheader action against the Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters at the KC Softball Complex. The Lady Tornado extended its winning streak to eight games with an 11-1 drubbing of LMU in game one but fell 4-2 in the nightcapper to bring the streak to an end.
GAME ONE: Lincoln Memorial 1, King 11 (F/5)
King's offense came to play, battering LMU starting pitcher Cierra Mudd with 11 runs and 11 hits in the five-inning affair. Cassie Ringstaff (Richlands, Va.) led the team with three hits, all singles, and scored all three times she reached base. Fallon Thomas (Bristol, Va.) led the Lady Tornado with three RBI while teammates Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) and Tiffany Brand each had two.
Tiffany Brand (Knoxville, Tenn.) put King on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when with runners on the corners she singled to left field, scoring Kendall Brabson and moving Ringstaff to third. Two batters later, an error by second baseman Sarah Walz kept the inning alive and allowed Ringstaff to score, putting King up 2-0. Cora Milliken singled to put runners on second and third and was followed by Fallon Thomas and her two RBI single up the middle to cap off King's four-run second inning.
King came back with three more runs in the third inning, all unearned. With the bases loaded and two outs, Cierra Mudd hit Christina Melcher on a 1-1 inside fastball to plate one. Cora Milliken (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit a solid single to left, scoring one and keeping the bases load for Thomas who drew a walk to force home the Lady Tornado's third run of the inning and take a 7-0 lead.
The bottom of the King order kept the runs coming through four consecutive hits, leading to four more runs and a commanding 11-0 lead. Cassie Ringstaff hit a single to right that was misplayed by Kelly Dreier and allowed her to advance to second. Tiffany Harris recorded a single to left, scoring Ringstaff, and advanced to second on the throw to the plate setting up for Tiffany Brand's run-scoring single. Stephanie Rodriguez (Lake Mary, Fla.) knocked Brand home with a triple that hit the heart of the right center field gap to give King a 10-run lead. She later scored when she beat out a throw to the plate on a grounder from third to end the scoring for the inning.
Hannah Light (Coeburn, Va.) received more than enough offense to carry her through five innings en route to her fifth complete game of the season. She cruised through the Railsplitter lineup, retired the side in order in each of the first three innings. She struck out three of her four total in the first three innings, including two in the third. Perfection was broken up in the fourth, but the defense stepped up and kept LMU off of the board. Fallon Thomas pegged Brianna Mulkey at second base on a stolen base attempt and stranded two runners in the inning to keep the shutout intact. Lincoln Memorial spoiled the shutout effort when Mulkey beat out a bunt down the first base side, allowing Krisha Mahan to score. Light allowed only five hits, walked none and struck out four in her fourth win of the season.
The win extended King's winning streak to eight games.
GAME TWO: Lincoln Memorial 4, King 2
A three-run third inning made the difference in King's 4-2 loss to LMU in game two of the doubleheader. Rachael Wilmoth (Morristown, Tenn.) took the loss after surrendering all four Railsplitter runs as the Lady Tornado offense collected only four hits and left the tying run at the plate as the game ended.
After Lincoln Memorial took advantage on a two-out error with the bases loaded to go up 1-0 in the second, the Railsplitters started the inning off with Kelly Dreier singling up the middle and then swiping second base on the next at bat. Cierra Mudd hit a double to left center field to score Dreier and Sarah Walz singled home LMU's third run of the game before a pitching change was made.
Up 3-0, Hannah Light entered and recorded the final two outs of the inning, stranding two runners on base. The sophomore kept King in the game, retiring the next 12 batters from the fourth inning on and allowing zero base runners.
King scored twice on a two RBI triple from Christina Melcher in the bottom of the fifth but left two runners in scoring position between the sixth and seventh innings. Cora Milliken hit a two-out double to left field, but Meghan LeFevor struck out the final batter, her ninth of the day, to end the game.
With the split, King advances their record to 14-10 overall heading back into conference play. They look to improve upon their 3-5 league record against Pfeiffer University on Monday, March 26, in two games beginning at 2:00 p.m. The game was rescheduled due to the untimely loss of Falcon Softball assistant coach Ray Harrington, Wednesday afternoon.