BRISTOL, Tenn. – Christina Melcher and Christy Kooch combined for five of King's six extra-base hits over a two-game span while the Lady Tornado earned their first Conference Carolinas win on Thursday afternoon. Rachel Wilmoth led her team onto a 3-0 shutout victory from the circle in game one before Lees-McRae College rebounded in game two with a 5-2 win. King is now 6-8 overall on the season.
GAME ONE – Lees-McRae 0, King 3
Rachel Wilmoth (4-3) held the Lees-McRae Bobcats to just two hits through seven innings of work in her second complete-game victory of the season. The Morristown, Tenn., native allowed three base runners in her outing and retired the side in order in her final three innings in the circle. Wilmoth struck out five and walked none while limiting LMC to just a pair of singles during the third and fourth innings. In each inning, the Bobcats stranded a runner at second base without scoring.
King put two on the board in the second inning to take an early lead. Cora Milliken (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled down the left field line to lead the inning off before Tiffany Harris (Tazewell, Va.) hit a blast over LMC right fielder Brooke Sheridan's head, legging out a triple and driving home Milliken. Tiffany Brand (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Harris to score and give the Lady Tornado a 2-0 lead.
Harris crossed the plate for a second time after her next at bat in the fourth inning. The senior hit a grounder to short with a runner on but shortstop Lori Fulmer's throw to get the lead runner drew Karli Robb off of the bag at second. Two batters later, Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) cracked one her three extra-base hits of the day with a double to deep left field to extend the King lead to three runs.
GAME TWO – Lees-McRae 5, King 2
Lees-McRae broke out with a five-run fourth inning, giving the Bobcats all the run support they needed to back Holli Crickenburger on the rubber. Karli Robb hit a two-run double just out of the reach of King left fielder Christy Kooch to get the inning started. The bottom of the LMC order cranked out three consecutive two-out base hits, including Amanda Decker's two-RBI single up the middle, capping off the five-run frame.
King chipped into the lead during their half of the fifth when Christy Kooch hit a double into the left center field gap, plating Christina Melcher who led the inning off with her second extra-base hit of the game. Cassie Ringstaff rounded the bases in the seventh after being plucked by a pitch and advancing the remaining 180 feet to score on wild pitches and passed balls.
Holli Crickenberger held the Lady Tornado to five hits and a run while striking out nine. Kendall Brabson (1-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out two.