UVa-Wise stymies King offense in doubleheader

BRISTOL, Tenn. – It may have taken a week, but the King University softball team finally played their home opener on Wednesday. However, their opponent, UVa-Wise spoiled the occasion as the Cavaliers swept the doubleheader, 4-0 and 4-2 from the Tornado.

The Cavaliers (2-2) threatened in the first inning of game as they had a runner on third base, but Tornado pitcher Hannah Light got a groundout to end the inning. In the second inning, Light got the first two outs before Rachel Fischer started a rally with a single up the middle. Mindy Combs followed with a double to center field that score Fischer and gave UVa-Wise the 1-0 lead.

King (2-5) had a pair of runners in the third inning, but Rachel Hawks escaped the jam by getting a pop out and groundout to keep the Cavaliers in the lead. UVa-Wise added to their lead in the fifth as Allyssa Zebrowski came up with a two-run single up the middle to stretch the lead to 3-0. Light then got a double play to end the frame.

The Cavaliers added an insurance run in the seventh inning to take the contest 4-0. Hawks allowed only three hits in the complete game shutout for the Cavaliers.

For King, Chrissy Melcher, Allie Spell and Samantha Cole all registered hits while Light tossed all seven innings in the circle.

The UVa-Wise offense didn't slow down in the second game as they grabbed the lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning.

However, the Tornado had an answer in the bottom of the frame. Melcher sparked the rally with a single to right field before Fallon Thomas laced a double to center field that scored Melcher to even the score. King then took the lead in the second inning when Spell score on an error, putting the Tornado ahead 2-1.

The Tornado threatened again in the third as Tori McComas loaded the bases with an infield single. However, Lannie Johnson, the UVa-Wise pitcher, got a foul out to end the threat.

The UVa-Wise offense exploded in the fifth inning, as Alexa Hernandez sparked a two-out rally with a single through the left side. Sarah Wiltshire and Christina Ziemba followed with singles, and Hernandez scored on a throwing error. Zebrowki then ripped a double to left center that scored two, giving the Cavaliers a 4-2 lead.

UVa-Wise pitchers, Johnson and Hawks shut down the Tornado offense over the final three innings to seal the 4-2 win and the sweep.

Morgan Lowe got the start in the circle for King and allowed four runs, two earned on nine hits. Offensively, Melcher, Thomas, McComas, and Spell all recorded hits for King.

The Tornado will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to Lincoln Memorial University. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.