DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The King University softball team wrapped up play at the Captain D's Classic with a split against the same two teams they played on Saturday. The Tornado used three first inning runs to defeat Kentucky Wesleyan College 4-2, before falling to #10 University of North Georgia 1-0 in the nightcap.
Cassie Ringstaff wasted no time getting the Tornado offense going in the top of the first, ripping a leadoff single up the middle. Stephanie Rodriguez then reached on an error before Fallon Thomas laced a double to left center to score two. Thomas later scored on an error to give King (12-15) a 3-0 after the top of the first inning.
However, the Panthers (5-8) answered in the bottom of the frame as Kelsey Miller started the frame with a single through the left side. A walk put two runners on before Mackenzie Weedman ripped a two-run double down the right field line, but that was all the Panthers would get as King held a 3-2 lead after one inning.
King pitcher Hannah Light began to settle in at that point as she stranded runners in each the second, third and fourth innings before working a 1-2-3 fifth inning, her first of the contest. Light again worked around a leadoff single in the sixth inning before Thomas added an insurance run for the Tornado in the seventh. Tori McComas started the inning with a single up the middle, but was forced out before Ringstaff stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. Thomas then rolled a two-out single up the middle to score Ringstaff and give King a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Light got back-to-back outs before Kentucky Wesleyan registered consecutive singles to put two runners on base. However, Light got a groundout to end the game, earning her 11th win of the season. Light scattered 10 hits and struck out six while allowing just the two runs.
McComas and Thomas led the King offense as McComas went 3-for-3, and Thomas drove in three while going 2-for-4.
A day after 10th ranked North Georgia (17-6) defeated the Tornado on a walk-off grand slam, the teams squared off in another tight affair on Sunday afternoon. In what was a great pitcher's duel between Light and Victoria Sink, the Nighthawk offense was able to put up one run in the second inning. The two pitchers only allowed nine total hits in the ballgame.
King had a pair of runners on in the bottom of the first inning, one reached on an error, and Hannah Smith registered King's first hit of the game. Nevertheless, Sink escaped the jam with a pop up.
Sink's offense then gave her the run she needed in the second inning as Ansley Phillips started the inning with a single up the middle. A two-out walk put runners on first and second for Victoria Prince who ripped a single to center field to score one and give North Georgia the 1-0 lead. An infield single loaded the bases, but Light got a fly out to escaped the jam, and leave the bases loaded.
King then recorded hits in each the third and fourth innings, but couldn't get more than one in either frame as both pitchers settled in. Light retired 14 of the final 15 batters she faced to give the Tornado offense a chance to comeback. However, Sink was too much as she nearly matched Light pitch-for-pitch to give the Nighthawks the 1-0 victory.
Light allowed the one run on five hits in the ballgame while striking out one. Thomas, Smith, McComas and Samantha Cole all registered hits for the Tornado offense.
King returns home on Wednesday when they take on Carson-Newman University. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.