Tornado offense stymied by Sacre in loss to Cobras

BRISTOL, Va. – In a game that was added to the schedule yesterday, the King University women's softball team took cross-town rival Virginia Intermont College on Thursday afternoon. The Tornado grabbed the early lead in the first inning, but the Cobras plated a pair of runs in the fifth inning to take the contest 2-1.

Chrissy Melcher stayed hot early for the Tornado (7-8) as she ripped the second pitch of the game down the left field line for a double. However, Virginia Intermont pitcher Michalah Sacre struck out a pair of batters before Hannah Smith came up with a clutch hit. She laced a single to right field that score Melcher and gave King the early 1-0 lead.

That appeared as though that's all King pitcher Hannah Light would need as she retired the first six batters she faced until Amber Palmer led off the third inning with a single. A walk and an error put two runners on with two outs, but Light got a strike out to end the threat.

The Tornado threatened in the fourth inning as they had runners on second and third with one out, but Sacre proved up to the challenge this time as she earned back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Light worked out of a jam where the Cobras had runners on the corners in the fourth inning, but the Cobras (10-7) broke through in the fifth inning. With two outs, Katie Smith singled to put runners on first and second before Tamara Campbell laced a double that went just past the shortstop to score both runners and give Virginia Intermont the lead.

King tried to answer in the sixth inning with as Fallon Thomas started the frame with a walk, and Smith reached on an error. However, Sacre got three straight strikeouts to escape the jam. She then sat the Tornado down in order in the top of the seventh to give Virginia Intermont the win.

Melcher and Smith led the Tornado at the play, each collecting two hits with Smith driving in the lone Tornado run. Light tossed five innings and allowed those two runs on four hits while striking out six.

For Virginia Intermont, Sacre tossed all seven innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out 19.

King opens Conference Carolinas play on Saturday at Erskine College. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m., in Due West, S.C.