Light leads King to sweep of Coker

BRISTOL, Tenn. – In a key Conference Carolinas series, the King University softball team swept Coker College on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Bristol. Hannah Light tossed a four-hit shutout in King's 5-0 game-one victory, and Tornado came from behind to take game two 7-2 to stay near the top of the conference standings.

In the second inning of game one, Christina Melcher laced a two-out single up the middle to score Macy Shupe, who singled earlier in the inning. Amber Walker tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home, and the Tornado led 1-0 after two.

The Tornado tacked on one more in the third, before erupting for three runs in the fifth inning. With two outs, and two runners on, Walker ripped a single to center field that scored pinch runner Octavia Lewis-Rand before Mackenzie Draine came up with a big hit. The senior crushed a double to left center that scored two and opened up the King lead to 5-0.

That was all the offense Light need as she got strikeout to cap the 5-0 win. Light only allowed four hits while striking out eight against just one walk. Melcher and Draine paced the Tornado offense with two hits apiece while Draine drove in two. Shupe accounted for two runs scored while going 1-for-2 with one walk.

In game two, the Cobras (22-14, 11-7 CC) jumped ahead early. Sarah Roundtree led off the game with a single, and after an out, Coker had runners on the corners following a single by Sydney Weatherford. Light got a strikeout and it appeared as though she would get out of the inning unscathed. However, Weatherford stole second and Ashley Gallman ripped single down the right field line to score both runners and put Coker ahead 2-0.

The Tornado (22-24, 11-3 CC) got on the board in the second inning when Tori McComas laced her fourth home run of the season, down the left field line. Thomas evened the score in the bottom of the third inning when she drove in Melcher with an infield single. Later in the inning, King had the bases loaded, and Shupe dropped a bunt down the first base line. The Cobras tried to get the runner at the plate, but Thomas beat the throw to give King the 3-2 lead.

King added a run on Thomas RBI single in the fourth before breaking the game open in the sixth inning. Melcher started the inning with a single, and Cassie Ringstaff followed with a double to left field. Smith drove in Melcher and Ringstaff with single up the middle to extend the lead to 6-2. Walker added an insurance run with a single to score Smith later in the inning.

Light calmed down after the first inning, only allowing five hits over the final six innings to earn her 16th win of the season. McComas led the Tornado offense, going 3-for-4 while the top four batters in King's lineup accounted four two hits apiece. Thomas and Smith drove in two runs apiece while Melcher and Ringstaff each scored two runs.

King will be in action again on Wednesday when the face Virginia Intermont College at the Stateline Classic. First pitch from Whitetop Creek Park is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.