March 19, 2013

Tornado rebound to split at Georgia Southwestern

AMERICUS, Ga. – The King University softball team dropped game one of a nonconference doubleheader at Georgia Southwestern State University, but the Tornado rebounded to take game two. The Hurricanes took game one, but won game two 2-0 behind a complete game shutout by Hannah Light.

The Tornado started game one with by loading the bases, but Georgia Southwestern pitcher Allison Pastor escaped the jam by getting a ground out to third base. The Hurricanes used that momentum in the bottom half of the inning as Mason Moreland drew a leadoff walk, and promptly stole second base. After being sacrificed to third base, she stole home to give Georgia Southwestern a 1-0 lead.

Cassie Ringstaff sparked the Tornado offense in the third inning when she led off with a single to right field and stole second base. She advanced to third on a Hannah Smith infield single and Macy Shupe loaded the bases with a walk. Ringstaff came in to even the score when Tori McComas was hit by a pitch. However, the Tornado couldn't take the lead as the Hurricanes go a pair of fielder's choices to end the frame and keep the score tied.

Georgia Southwestern regained the lead in the bottom of the third, however, as Moreland started the inning with a single. She advanced to second on a single, before stealing third, and scoring on a Nellie Moore squeeze bunt. The Hurricanes tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning when Avery Purser ripped a double to score Moore.

King threatened in the seventh, but couldn't push across any runs, stranding runners on first a second. Amber Walker went 2-for-3 in game one to lead the King offense while Morgan White tossed four innings in relief of Hannah Light.

Game two was a pitcher's duel between Light and Ashley Cavender. Christina Melcher led off the game with an infield single and was sacrificed to second, but was stranded there. In the third inning, Melcher ripped a one-out double to right center, but again was stranded there by Cavender.

The Hurricanes got their first base runner in the third inning, as Chelsea Hodges reached on an error. Ashley Clifton followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. The next batter walked to load the bases, but Light induced a double play ball to shortstop and a line out to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.

King broke into the scoring column in the sixth inning as Melcher started the frame with a triple to left field. Ringstaff followed with a walk before a double steal plated the game's first run. Ringstaff advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded there as Cavender escaped the jam.

Light proved up to the task again in the sixth as she stranded a leadoff triple at third base before Shupe tacked on an insurance run for the Tornado. Shupe started the top of the seventh inning with a home run to left center field to give King a 2-0 cushion.

Those two runs proved to be all Light need as she got three consecutive ground outs to second base in the seventh inning to end 2-0 King win. Light allowed only two hits in the complete game shutout. Melcher led the offense, going 3-for-3 with one run scored while Shupe accounted for the other Tornado hit.

King will be in action again tomorrow when they take on Columbus State. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.