BRISTOL, Tenn. – With a pair of Conference Carolinas doubleheaders awaiting this weekend, the King University softball team jumped out of conference to take on crosstown rival Virginia Intermont College at the Stateline Classic hosted at Whitetop Park. The Cobras jumped ahead in the second inning, and that was all pitcher Micalah Sacre needed as Virginia Intermont took the contest 3-1.
The Tornado (24-22) got a pair of runners on walks in the top of the first inning, but couldn't get the timely hit as Sacre kept the game scoreless with a strikeout to end the frame. Virginia Intermont (21-17) also had a pair of runners in the first inning, but Morgan Lowe, the King pitcher was up the task, keeping the game scoreless through the first inning.
Virginia Intermont broke through in the second inning as a dropped fly ball allowed a runner with one out. Erica Martin followed with a home run to center field to give the Cobras a 2-0 lead after two innings.
King finally got to Sacre in the fourth inning with Hannah Smith reached on an error to start the inning. Tori McComas followed with a single through the right side, and after an out, Cheyenne Delffs loaded the bases with a single to right field. Lowe ripped a groundball to short that turned into a force play at third base, but allowed a run to score. However, that was all the Tornado would get as Sacre kept the Cobras in the lead at 2-1.
The Cobras added an insurance run on a Martin single to center, but Sacre didn't need the insurance run as she worked around a one-out walk in the seventh to complete the game and give Virginia Intermont the 3-1 victory.
Lowe tossed all seven innings in the circle for King, and only needed 76 pitches. She allowed two runs, three earned while scattering nine hits and striking out four. Sacre on the other hand allowed one unearned run on three hits, and struck out 13 on 104 pitches.
Offensively, Lowe drove in King's lone run with Stephanie Rodriguez, McComas and Delffs registering hits for the Tornado.
King will be in action this weekend when the return to Conference Carolinas play, hosting Limestone College. The doubleheader could be big in terms of conference tournament seeding as the Tornado sit atop the standings at 9-3, and the Saints are in third at 6-4. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. The Tornado will then host Barton College on Sunday, which is also Senior Day starting at 1:00 p.m.