BELMONT, N.C. – The King University softball team continued their hot streak of late, sweeping a doubleheader at Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey College. King fell behind early in game one, but they rebounded behind the stellar pitching performance from Hannah Light, taking the sweep with a 3-1 win in game one, and 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
The Tornado (18-19, 3-3 CC) started the game by loading the bases in the first inning with one out. However, the Crusaders (7-24, 3-5 CC) got a pair of outs to keep the game scoreless. Belmont Abbey then opened the scoring the bottom of the frame when Kinsey McClure ripped a single to score Mackenzie Dziendziel who drew a walk to start the frame.
Nevertheless, Tornado pitcher Hannah Light settled in after the first inning. The senior retired 14 straight batters until allowing a walk in the sixth inning, but the walk was erased on a double play. After Light got the first out of the seventh inning, Dani Marietta singled, but Light got the final two outs, to retired 18 for the final 20 batters she faced.
The King offense gave Light the runs she needed in the second inning as Allie Spell crushed her first home run of the season over the left field fence into the wind. Morgan Lowe then restarted the rally with a walk, and Cassie Ringstaff reached on a two-out infield single. After a Tori McComas infield single, Hannah Smith ripped a single to left that scored Lowe, but Ringstaff was cut down at the plate to end the inning with King leading 2-1.
Smith gave her battery mate an insurance run in the top of the seventh, lacing a single down the left field line to score Ringstaff who reached on an error earlier in the frame. Light tossed all seven innings, allowing three hits and striking out nine in the 3-1 victory. Smith went 2-for-3 and drove in two to pace the Tornado offense.
Light continued to deal in the second game, not allowing a hit until the third inning when she stranded a pair of runners on base. Earlier in the frame, Ringstaff drove in McComas with a fielder's choice to give King a 1-0 lead. Light didn't allow another hit until the seventh, and only allowed one base runner over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
The offense gave Light a little breathing room in the seventh as Samantha Cole sparked a two-out rally with an infield single. Amber Walker reached on an error, and duo moved up a base on a wild pitch before the both scored when McComas reached on another error, giving King a 3-0 lead going to the bottom of the seventh.
The Crusaders threatened to score in the bottom of the seventh as Marietta and Nikki Faust registered back-to-back singles. Jena Reisanauer then reached on an error to load the bases with one out. However, Light induced a fly ball to center field that turned into a double play to end the game and give King the sweep, 3-0.
Light only allowed four hits in seven innings while striking out three in her 17th win of the season. Cole went 2-for-3 to lead the King offense while Ringstaff drove in one run.
King will be in action again on Saturday when they travel to North Greenville University. First pitch from Tigerville, S.C. is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.