Tornado drop pair to Lenoir-Rhyne and #8 Armstrong State

Photo Credit: Ashlyn Zook
Photo Credit: Ashlyn Zook

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The King University softball team nearly came away with a win in the first game of the day against Lenoir-Rhyne University, but fell as the Bears score two runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Tornado then fell to #8 Armstrong State University in the nightcap 8-0.

King started the opening game of the day the best way possible, with Moran Lowe sitting Lenoir-Rhyne (7-0) down in order in the top of the first inning. The Tornado then struck in the bottom of the frame as Amanda Sports reached on a wild pitch, and Chrissy Melcher followed with a two-run home run to centerfield, putting King ahead.

However, the Bears bounced right back with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Lenoir-Rhyne loaded the bases with a pair of walks and an infield single when Madison Cart registered a two-run single up the middle to even the score at two.

The Tornado regained the lead in the third inning when Samantha Cole started the frame with a walk, and stole second. After a Stephanie Rodriguez infield single that moved Cole to third, Sports ripped a double that scored Cole and put King up 3-2. However, the Tornado couldn't push across another run in the frame.

The Bears threatened in the fifth inning, loading the bases, but Lowe induced a groundball to third base, and the Tornado turned a 5-2-3 double play to end the frame and keep the lead. Lowe again worked out of a jam in the sixth, stranding a pair of runners on the corners, keeping the Tornado ahead.

However, Lenoir-Rhyne broke through in the seventh as Averi Miller started the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second. An infield single put runners on the corners before an Ashley Olive double evened the score at 3-3. Brittany Cou then followed with a single that gave the Bears their first lead of the game at 4-3.

The Tornado couldn't muster any offense in the bottom of the seventh, going down in order as Lenoir-Rhyne took the contest 4-3. The top three in the order for King came up with their three hits, one each for Rodriguez, Sports and Melcher. Lowe only allowed the four runs on 10 hits while striking out three in seven innings.

Following their tough morning defeat, the Tornado (1-3) had to come back and face the eight-ranked team in the country, and host Armstrong State. The Pirates lit up the scoreboard early, plating four runs in the first inning. Following and infield single, Alexis Mercer ripped a two-run home run to give the Pirates (5-2) the advantage early.

Armstrong State's Jane Trzaska laced a three-run home run to left center in the third inning, and the Pirates added a run on a Trzaska double in the fourth to give Armstrong State the 8-0 victory.

Diamond Callwood and Sports registered hits for the Tornado in the contest.

King will be in action again on Sunday when they face Lenoir-Rhyne at 10:00 a.m. and Armstrong State again at 2:00 p.m.

Testa inks 11 for 2016
June 23, 2015 Testa inks 11 for 2016