April 17, 2012

Lady Tornado Take Two, Close Out Regular Season

 

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kendall Brabson recorded four hits and five RBI to lead the Lady Tornado in King College's sweep of St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Tuesday afternoon. With their two victories, King achieved 30 wins for the first time in program history.

GAME ONE: St. Andrews 3, King 5
Both teams battled in game one, but Kendall Brabson's fifth inning, solo home run proved the be the separator of a 5-3 King victory. Rachael Wilmoth took the win, throwing all seven and allowing only one earned run.

Brabson, a native of Bean Station, Tenn., posted the game's first run and the first of her two run scoring hits in the bottom of the third inning. Christina Melcher (Orlando, Fla.) reached base on a fielder's choice, then swiped her eighth base of the season to setup Brabson's single that fell inside the right field line to score the freshman shortstop. The Brabson single was the first of three straight hits, resulting in as many runs for the Lady Tornado. Cassie Ringstaff (Richlands, Va.) hit a deep fly ball over center fielder Amanda VanKleeck's head, resulting in a RBI triple. Tiffany Harris (Tazewell, Va.) hit a single to left, scoring King's third and final run of the inning.

St. Andrews responded with two runs in the fourth, both unearned against Wilmoth, to trim the Lady Tornado lead to one. Both runs were scored when with runners on second and third with one out, VanKleeck grounded out to Mackenzie Draine at first base and Mary Cross beat the throw to the plate. While all backs were turned, Kelsey Lee broke for the plate and easily score the second Knights run.

The Knights tied the game in the top of the sixth when Lee singled home a run, but King immediately took back the lead with Kendall Brabson's sixth home run of the season. Brabson launched a deep, fly ball over the right field fence for the eventual game-winning run prior to the Lady Tornado adding one more run for insurance heading into the final frame. Cassie Ringstaff reached on an error and later came around to score after stealing second and finishing her trip around the bases with Harris' second RBI single of the day.

Rachael Wilmoth (Morristown, Tenn.) earned her 13th win of the season, going all seven and allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits. The sophomore struck out five, including four over the first three innings. She retired the Knights side in order in their first two trips to the plate.

GAME TWO: St. Andrews 1, King 9 (F/6)
Hannah Light (Coeburn, Va.) kept the St. Andrews offense at bay, allowing only one run to score by way of an error in the fifth. The Lady Tornado bats were loud as ever, belting out nine runs on 14 hits in a six-inning affair ending in a King win, 9-1.

Christina Melcher led the team with three hits and a pair of RBI, but the entire middle part of the King lineup exceled, combining to go 7-for-11 at the plate and tallying eight RBI.

Already possessing a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning, Melcher continued to pour on the offense with her third hit of the day, a run-scoring single hit to center. Fallon Thomas (Bristol, Va.) followed with a base clearing triple to left field, scoring two more runs. Brabson closed out the inning with a ground out to the right side, scoring Thomas and giving King a 7-0 lead.

Both teams swapped runs in the fifth, with King just one run away from ending the game in five innings but Melcher lined into a double play to end the inning. The Lady Tornado finished the game the next inning when Brabson hit a sharp single to right that was mishandled by Jenn George, allowing Fallon Thomas to score from first base.

Hannah Light (W, 16-4) tied her career high with 10 strikeouts and walking none in the complete game victory. The sophomore went six innings and allowed only two hits in her 16th victory of the year.

Senior Tiffany Harris recorded her first career home run in her final game at the King College Softball Complex. She hit a solo shot over the batters eye in center field in the fifth inning of game two.

 

Kendall Brabson and Chistina Melcher each led the team with four hits over the doubleheader. Brabson finished with a team-high five RBI in the pair of wins and joined Harris as one of two Lady Tornado to homer on the day. As a team, King collected five steals on as many attempts. Melcher and Ringstaff each had two steals while Aubree Hutt collected the final stolen base.

The Lady Tornado achieved 30 wins in a season for the first time in program history, extending their program record for most wins in a year. They conclude the regular season with a 30-17 overall record and improve to 13-9 in Conference Carolinas play. King finishes the 2012 season with a remarkable 23-9 home record in the new KC Softball Complex.

With her 4-for-7 performance on the day, Christina Melcher completes her freshman campaign with a team-best .402 overall batting average while also leading the team in hits (66), total bases (95), and sharing the team lead in stolen bases with nine.

King is poised to begin its first run in the Conference Carolinas Tournament this weekend with an opening round matchup against No. 3 Queens University of Charlotte as the tournament's sixth seeded team. They will play at Coker College's Byerly Field in Hartsville, S.C. on Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m. Depending on the result of their game with the Royals, the Lady Tornado will play either at 2 or 4 p.m. that day.

Download the 2012 Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament bracket - click here

Visit the official 2012 Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament website - click here

 

East Division Standings

 

Conf.

Overall

Mount Olive

17-5

31-15

Queens (N.C.)

16-5

28-22

Coker

10-11

18-22

Barton

7-15

17-24

Pfeiffer

7-15

18-35

St. Andrews

2-18

8-44

West Division Standings

 

Conf.

Overall

North Greenville

18-4

23-9

Erskine

14-8

21-21

King (TN)

13-9

30-17

Limestone

13-9

23-27

Belmont Abbey

8-14

15-33

Lees-McRae

4-16

13-34