Errors and Offense Aid King in Third Straight Sweep
BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Virginia Intermont Lady Cobras committed 10 errors in the field, helping King College take two from their state line rivals by 6-0 and 7-2 scores on a beautifully warm Tuesday afternoon. The duo of Hannah Light and Rachael Wilmoth held the Lady Cobras to four hits in each game while the Lady Tornado, led by Christina Melcher, pounded out 13 runs on 19 hits in the doubleheader.
GAME ONE: Virginia Intermont 0, King 6
Hannah Light (Coeburn, Va.) tossed her second complete game shutout of the season in game one of Wednesday's doubleheader, holding VI to four hits over her seven innings of work. She struck out six batters and retired 10 of her last 11 to close out the 6-0 win. Three of her six strikeouts came over her last 3.1 innings in the circle.
Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) led the game off with the first of her four hits, finding the right center field gap and legging out a double. She scored two batters later on a Fallon Thomas (Bristol, Va.) single to right to give King an early 1-0 lead. After Lady Cobra second baseman Annamarie Russell threw a ball away at second, Thomas advanced to third on Cassie Ringstaff's infield single, placing running at the corners. Another fielding error by Russell allowed King to place their second run on the board.
The Lady Tornado put up a three-spot in the third inning behind Melcher's second extra base hit, a double to the left center gap. After Kendall Brabson (Mountain City, Tenn.) and Ringstaff each hit singles to lead off the inning, Tiffany Harris (Tazewell, Va.) drove home a run on a 6-5 fielder's choice prior to a Stephanie Rodriguez (Lake Mary, Fla.) single down the line put two runners on. Melcher's second double scored two, putting King up five runs after three innings.
Melcher's fourth hit set up King's sixth run in their final at bat. Her liner rolled all the way to wall in right center field where the sophomore motored to third on the play. Cora Milliken (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit a sacrifice fly to right field deep enough to score Melcher from third and give King a six-run lead heading into the last inning.
Melcher finished the day 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of runs batted in and two runs scored. Hannah Light improved her overall record to 4-0 with a 65-pitch outing.
GAME TWO: Virginia Intermont 2, King 7
King struck early and often over the first three innings of game two, posting a pair in all three frames. Backed by Rachael Wilmoth's four-hit performance, the Lady Tornado offense took advantage of six VI errors while cranking out seven runs on 10 hits in the 7-2 victory.
Kendall Brabson posted a RBI single in the first inning, capping off a string of four consecutive singles started by Cora Milliken. Cassie Ringstaff's grounder to short scored Fall Thomas to end the first of three straight two-run innings.
The first of the Lady Cobras' six errors cost them a run when an overthrow by third baseman Kelli Porter allowed Stephanie Rodriguez and Melcher to advance to third on the play. Cora Milliken singled to left center, plating a second run in the inning and extending the King lead to four runs.
King's third two-run inning was started by Kendall Brabson's second hit of the game, a two-bagger to right field. She later scored when freshman Tori McComas (Duffield, Va.) hit a triple to left field. McComas scored on the next play as a result of an error by Porter's second throwing error of the day. A seventh run courtesy of a pair of throwing errors capped off the King scoring.
Virginia Intermont posted a run in each of their first two innings at the plate but struggled beyond the second inning. Sophomore Rachael Wilmoth (Morristown, Tenn.) shut down the Lady Cobras allowing only two runners on base from the third inning on, both by error. From the end of the second inning on, Wilmoth (8-4) retired 13 of her last 15 batters and had four strikeouts. She allowed only two runs on four hits and a walk while tallying five total punchouts.
King (13-9) has now won seven straight games and is 6-0 during their current homestand that includes sweeps of Belmont Abbey, Newberry, and Virginia Intermont. Over that time, they have pitched three shutouts and have outscored their opponents 36-5. They will host Lincoln Memorial on Thursday, March 22 for a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. to close out the eight-game homestand.