BRISTOL, Tenn. – Wednesday's Stateline Classic featured a full evening of softball that was capped off with the annual showdown between Virginia Intermont College and King College as its feature game. King made short work of the Lady Cobras, belting out 14 runs on 15 hits in a six-inning affair that led the Lady Tornado set a new program best in wins for a single season.
King pounded out 10 runs and sent 15 hitters to the plate in the sixth inning to helped end Wednesday night's game after six innings. Already possessing a 4-0 lead heading into the inning, the Lady Tornado registered nine hits and took advantage of two VI errors on their way to score the most runs in a single inning they had all year long.
The frame was highlighted by a grand slam hit by senior Christy Kooch, her first home run of the season. Prior to the slam, Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) scored on a double hit by Fallon Thomas (Bristol, Va.). Two additional walks thrown by Lady Cobras pitcher Ashlynn Scott set up Kooch's grand slam and prompted a pitching change.
Virginia Intermont brought in Amanda Schultz, but the offense kept coming from King. Now leading 9-0 with one out, Cassie Ringstaff and Tiffany Harris hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Schultz then launched a pitch off of catcher Amber Palmer's glove, allowing Ringstaff to score and Harris to advance to second. Christina Melcher took advantage with runners on with a two RBI single to increase the lead to 12-0. A passed ball and a Kendall Brabson single accounted for the final two King runs and took a 14-0 score into the last half of the sixth.
Amber Porter broke up King's shutout bid with a two-out, solo home run. It was one of only three hits the Lady Cobras had the entire game.
The combination of Hannah Light and Rachel Wilmoth (W, 11-6) plus the powerful offensive display served as a true statement in addition to making history in the program's record books. With the 14-1 victory King earned its 25th win of the season, the most wins in a single season in program history. It is the most wins in a season since 2009 when Head Coach Jenn Testa led the Lady Tornado to 24 victories in her first year at the helm.
King's 14 runs are the most runs scored in a single game, this season. Their previous best was 12 in a 12-0, five-inning victory over Emory & Henry College in their first series of the season on Feb. 17.
Kendall Brabson (Bean Station, Tenn.) continued her hot hitting, going 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the top of the third inning. Brabson worked the count full against VI starting pitcher Bailee Packett and blasted a shot to dead center field to give King a 3-0 lead. The senior first baseman also walked three times.
Christina Melcher finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI. Senior Tiffany Harris (Tazewell, Va.) led the team with three hits, all singles, against VI and scored twice. The one through four hitters of the King lineup all had two hits apiece and went a combined 8-for-14, tallied eight runs scored and seven RBI between them.
Wilmoth earned her 12th win of the season, allowing one run on three hits and struck out three Lady Cobra hitters. Hannah Light went two innings, also striking out three batters, but keeping Virginia Intermont hitless in the short start.
King (25-14, 9-7) entered a four-game homestand with consecutive doubleheaders against Coker College (April 12) and Mount Olive (April 14). The Lady Tornado and Cobras square off at the KC Softball Complex with a 1 p.m. first pitch. The team will celebrate Senior Day on Saturday versus Mount Olive with a 2 p.m. start time.