COLUMBUS, Ga. – The King University softball team wrapped up play at the Cougar Classic with a pair of tough games against Wingate University and Pfeiffer University. The Tornado had an early lead against Wingate, but the Bulldogs came back to take the contest 5-4 early Sunday morning. In the nightcap, Pfeiffer plated four runs in the fourth en route to the 5-2 victory.
The Tornado (2-3) jumped on Wingate (7-0) right away was Cassie Ringstaff ripped a single and stole second. Fallon Thomas followed with a single and advanced on the throw to put runners on second and third. Hannah Smith came up and rolled a hit through the right side to score Ringstaff and give King the early lead.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the second inning when Kayla Saliga ripped a double, and Amy Winfield followed with a home run to give Wingate the lead. Later in the inning, Katie McLaurin ripped double that scored Shannen Adams who singled earlier in the inning to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.
The Tornado got one run back in the top of the third on a Tori McComas single that scored Chrissy Melcher. However, the Bulldogs matched that run in the bottom of the inning to keep their two run cushion. King again tallied a single run in the fourth inning as Octavia Lewis-Rand ripped a leadoff double. After a pair of outs, Melcher came up with a clutch single up the middle to pull King back within one.
Nevertheless, Wingate matched that run again in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-3 lead. In the fifth inning, Hannah Smith ripped a shot down the left field line just inside the foul pole for her first home run of the year to pull King within one. However, King couldn't plate the tying run as Wingate took the game 5-4.
Hannah Light tossed six innings in the circle for the Tornado and struck out four against four walks. Lewis-Rand, Smith and Melcher all registered two hits to lead the King offense.
Against Pfeiffer (3-2), neither team was able to muster any offense until the fourth inning when Sadie Saine ripped a leadoff home run to get the Falcons on the board. Lindsey Russell followed with a single before Julie Bullington crushed a home run to left field to stretch the lead to 3-0. A sacrifice fly later in the inning gave the Falcons a 4-0 advantage. The Falcons stretched their lead to 5-0 with an unearned run in the fifth inning before King got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
Stephanie Rodriguez started a two-out rally when she reached on an error. Melcher followed with a triple that scored Rodriguez and got King on the board. In the sixth, the Tornado tried to comeback as Thomas reached an error to start the inning before Smith ripped a double to put runners on second and third. After an out, McComas laced a fly ball to left field that scored Thomas to cut the deficit to three. However, the Falcons got out of the inning to keep the lead at 5-2, which was the final score.
Smith went 2-for-3 and Melcher went 2-for-4 to lead the Tornado offense.
King will be in action again on Wednesday when they take on Carson-Newman University in their home opener. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.