King opens conference play with split at Erskine

King opens conference play with split at Erskine

DUE WEST, S.C. – The King University softball team opened Conference Carolinas play on Saturday at Erskine College and the Tornado offense continued to play at a high level. The Tornado plated runs in each of the first two innings of game one before breaking open the 9-2 win with five runs in the sixth inning. However, the Flying Fleet offense awoke in game two, taking the split with a 13-8 victory.

Chrissy Melcher continued her hot streak as she started the game with a double. She scored later in the inning when Fallon Thomas stole second to give King the early 1-0 lead. Erskine (4-10, 1-3 CC) answered in the bottom of the inning as Lydia Trexler hit a leadoff home run to even the score.

The Tornado (8-9, 1-1 CC) got that run back in the second inning however, as Samantha Cole was hit by a pitch to start a rally. Melcher followed with another double, and Cassie Ringstaff drove Cole in with a single, but Melcher was thrown out at the plate to keep the lead at 2-1.

King plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning before they broke a 4-2 game open in the sixth inning. Hannah Smith ripped a bases loaded single to score the first of five runs in the frame, before Amber Walker followed with another single to score a run. Cheyenne Delffs, Cole and Melcher all recorded run scoring singles to stretch the lead to 9-2.

King pitcher Hannah Light allowed a pair of hits over the final two innings, but didn't allow any runs as King took the contest 9-2. Light earned her seventh win of the season as she allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight in seven innings. Melcher went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and one run batted in. Smith went 3-for-4 and drove in a run while Cole and Ringstaff each had two hits in the win.

Melcher again started game two with another hit, this time a single before she scored on a Ringstaff double to put King on top in the first inning. However, Trexler evened the score in the bottom of the frame as she ripped another leadoff home run.

The Tornado grabbed the lead with an unearned run in the second inning before Morgan Lowe worked out of a jam in the bottom of the frame. The Flying Fleet loaded the bases, but Lowe induced a groundball to leave the bases loaded and keep King in the lead.

Smith tacked on to King's lead as she ripped a home run to start the third inning, giving the Tornado a 3-1 lead. However, Erskine answered with six runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning. Trexler capped the big inning with a grand slam to give the Flying Fleet a 7-3 lead.

Ringstaff got a pair back with a double in the fourth that scored Melcher and Octavia Lewis-Rand. Nevertheless, Erskine answered with three in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a Kathryn Windham two-run home run.

Neither team scored in the fifth, but King tried to comeback in the sixth as Thomas laced a two-run double, and Smith followed with a run scoring single to cut the deficit to 10-8. However, the Flying Fleet plated three runs in the bottom of the inning to put the lead out of reach as they took the contest 13-8.

Melcher went 2-for-3 with three runs scored while Ringstaff went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three runs batted in. Thomas and Smith both drove in two runs while Smith accounted for two hits as well.

King will be in action again tomorrow as they take on USC Aiken. First pitch from Florence, S.C., is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.