March 30, 2013

Tornado use longball in sweep of Virginia-Wise

WISE, Va. – The King University softball team stayed on the road for a non-conference doubleheader with the University of Virginia-Wise. The Tornado swept the double dip from the Cavaliers, taking game one 8-3, and following with an 11-9 victory in eight innings.

Game one was scoreless until Aubree Hutt ignited the Tornado offense in the third inning with a single. After she stole second, Christina Melcher crushed a home run to give King a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, after a Fallon Thomas single, Hannah Smith ripped a home run to put the Tornado up 4-0.

King extended the lead to 5-0 on a Melcher single that that scored Allie Spell in the fourth inning.

Virginia-Wise answered with one run in the fourth, and cut their deficit to 5-3 after they plated two runs in the sixth.

However, Hannah Light shut down the Cavalier offense, and the Tornado extended the lead in the seventh inning. With two runners on, Tori McComas gave King three insurance runs, as she laced a three-run home run to give King an 8-3 lead.

Light worked out of jam in the seventh, stranding the bases loaded to earn the complete game victory. She struck out seven in seven innings of work while scattering nine hits. Smith went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and two runs batted in while Hutt went 3-for-3 in the win. Thomas and Melcher chipped in with two hits apiece.

The Tornado offense stayed hot in the nightcap as Melcher started the second game with a double, and promptly stole third. She later scored on a Cassie Ringstaff single to right center, giving King (17-21) a 1-0 lead. King plated three more runs in the second inning, one on a solo home run from Amber Walker, and two more on another home run from Melcher.

The Cavaliers (14-13) didn't give up, however, as they plated three runs in the third inning. Virginia-Wise then took their first lead of the day, 7-4, on a pair of two-run home runs in the fourth inning.

King bounced right back to even the score at seven in the top of the fifth inning. Walker ripped a two-run double to pull the Tornado within one, and Spell evened the game with a run scoring groundout.

Hutt started the sixth inning with a single, and was sacrificed to second by Melcher. After an out, Thomas came up clutch for the Tornado. She crushed her fourth home run of the season, giving the Tornado a 9-7 lead.

However, Virginia-Wise's Charity Lawson answered with a two-run home run of her own in the bottom of the sixth to even the game at 9-9.

Both teams went down in order in the seventh, and the game went to extra innings. With Stephanie Rodriguez placed on second base, Octavia Lewis-Rand dropped down a bunt to mover her to third. However, the bunt was misplayed, and Rodriguez scored to give King the lead. Lewis-Rand later scored on a Thomas single to give the Tornado an 11-9 cushion.

Light retired the Cavaliers in order in the bottom of the eighth to earn her second win of the day, and 12th of the season. Light tossed four innings in relief of Morgan White and struck out five batters while allowing only two runs. Thomas went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in and two runs scored to lead the Tornado offense. Walker and Melcher recorded two hits each with Walker driving in three runs and Melcher driving in two.

The Tornado will be in action again when the play at Tusculum College on Monday. First pitch for the doubleheader is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.