Tornado takes split at Lincoln Memorial

HARROGATE, Tenn. – The King University softball team jumped out of conference play to face Lincoln Memorial University on the road. The Tornado came out and took game one 7-5 behind 13 hits from their offense. However, the Railsplitters bounced back to take a 6-2 come-from-behind victory in game two.

Christina Melcher quickly sparked the Tornado offense with a double to start game one. She eventually scored on a Hannah Smith single, putting King up 1-0. Amber Walker made it a 2-0 lead with a single down the left field line to score Fallon Thomas who reached on an infield single earlier in the inning. However, Lincoln Memorial escaped a bases loaded jam, keeping the lead at 2-0.

The Railsplitters used that momentum to ignite their offense in the bottom of the inning. The big blow came from Sarah Walz, as she came up with the bases loaded. Walz took the first pitch she saw and ripped it down the right field line for a home run to put Lincoln Memorial up 4-2 after the first inning.

King tallied a single runs in the third and fifth innings, with Tori McComas hitting a home run to center field in the fifth inning. The Tornado broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning, coming on back-to-back singles by Smith and Octavia Lewis-Rand. Smith drove in Macy Shupe, who single earlier in the frame, and Lewis-Rand gave King a 7-4 cushion with a two-run single.

Lincoln Memorial tacked on one run in the sixth, but Hannah Light got out of the inning and closed the game out in the seventh inning for her 10th win. Light scattered six hits, giving up five runs, four earned, and striking out seven. Smith led the offense, going 3-for-4 while scoring one run and driving in two. Lewis-Rand and Walker each recorded two hits in the win.

Just like game one, King (15-21) jumped on the Railsplitters early game two. Melcher started the game with a single and was sacrificed to second by Cassie Ringstaff. She later advanced to third, and scored on a passed ball. Smith drove in Thomas, who reached on an error to put King up 2-0 after one inning.

The teams then went scoreless until the fifth inning when Lincoln Memorial exploded for four runs. Walz came up with a three-RBI double to right center, and Laura Taricano later scored Walz with a single through the left side. The Railsplitters (21-16) tacked on a pair of insurance runs with a Danae Reed two-run in the sixth inning.

Lincoln Memorial pitcher Samantha Smith shutdown the Tornado offense after the first inning, as she only allowed two hits over the final six innings.

Morgan White started in the circle for King, and allowed all six runs, five earned on eight hits. Melcher, Ringstaff, Smith and Lewis-Rand all recorded hits to lead the Tornado offense.

King will be in action again on Saturday when the travel to take on University of Virginia-Wise. First pitch of the doubleheader from Wise, Va., is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.