DUE WEST, S.C. – King faced a mix of struggles between their pair of games with the Erskine Flying Fleet on Saturday. Lady Tornado Softball dropped both games, 6-0 and 9-4, to fall to 5-5 overall on the season in their conference opening weekend of play.
GAME ONE: King 0, Erskine 6
King was limited to just three hits in game one of their doubleheader against the Fleet. Kelsey Spurrier held the Lady Tornado scoreless through seven innings while striking out ten batters in the 6-0 decision.
Senior Kendall Brabson (Bean Station, Tenn.) escaped a second-inning, bases loaded jam unscathed, but Erskine struck back in the third inning. Ericka McCarson led the inning off with a solo home run to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Erskine added one more in the frame when Lindsay Waters scored on a sacrifice fly following a triple.
A four-run fourth gave Spurrier the run support needed to accompany her performance.
Brabson finished allowing six runs on eight hits, striking out three Erskine batters.
GAME TWO: King 4, Erskine 9
The King bats woke up in the night cap of the twinbill, however Erskine surpassed their offensive performance with nine runs on 16 hits in a 9-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Erskine struck early with a two-run home run in the first inning by Larissa Shannon and added to their lead with a four-run second inning with two-RBI base hits from Morgan Purcell and Bailey Thornton to give the Flying Fleet a 6-0 lead after two innings.
King chipped into the lead with a pair of runs in the third when Cassie Ringstaff (Richlands, Va.) and Kendall Brabson reached base to lead off the inning. Ringstaff finished her trip around the bases, scoring from second on a RBI single by Fallon Thomas (Bristol, Va.). Cora Milliken (Jacksonville, Fla.) recorded the first of her two ribbies by singling home Brabson later in the inning.
After giving up an addition run in the fourth, King took advantage of a pair of errors that put their first two runners on base in the following inning. Milliken again came through with a run-scoring single, followed by a ground out that turned in another King run to being the Lady Tornado within three runs of the Fleet, 7-4.
Erskine put the game out of reach, responding with two runs in their next at bat.
Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.), Cora Milliken, and Fallon Thomas each had two hits in the game, as a part of King's 10 total. Rachel Wilmoth (3-2) took the loss.
King (5-5, 0-2) will continue league play on the road against North Greenville University on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The Trojans and Lady Tornado will play two, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Following that series, King will play eight straight home games between March 1 and March 7, four of those against league opponents.