King splits Conference Carolinas opener with Pfeiffer

Photo Credit: Ashlyn Zook
Photo Credit: Ashlyn Zook

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University softball team opened Conference Carolinas play against Pfeiffer University, the Tornado offense came alive in the first game of the doubledip. King plated 10 runs en route to the 10-3 victory before the Falcons took a see-saw affair 9-6 in the night cap.

Pfeiffer threatened in the top of the first inning of game two as their first two batters reached base and were sacrificed to second and third. However, Tornado pitcher Morgan Lowe got a strikeout followed by a groundout to first base to escape the jam.

Stephanie Rodriguez started the King (2-8, 1-1 CC) half of the first inning with an 11 pitch at bat, ripping a single through the left side. She then stole second and later scored on an Amber Walker single to center. Walker later scored on a Hannah Smith single to center, making the score 2-0 King after the first inning.

The Tornado added another run on a Rodriguez two-out double on the first pitch that scored Diamond Callwood who singled that started the second inning. Pfeiffer (9-12, 1-1 CC) plated two runs in the third inning before King extended their lead in the bottom of the inning.

Amanda Sports started the third inning with a walk before Walker ripped her first home run of the season off the scoreboard in left center. Chrissy Melcher laced a one-out triple and scored on a Callwood single, stretching the Tornado lead to 6-2 after three.

Walker tacked on a run for the Tornado in the bottom of the fourth, and the Falcons match it in the top of the fifth before King put the game out of reach in the sixth. Tori McComas started the frame with a double before scoring on a Sports single to right center. Walker then added another with a sacrifice fly and Melcher drove in Sports with a single down the left field line that put King up 10-3. Lowe then sat down the Falcons in order in the seventh, giving the Tornado the victory.

Lowe earned the win in the circle, tossing all seven innings and allowing three runs while scattering eight hits on 87 pitches. Walker paced the offense going 3-for-3 with five runs batted in and two runs scored while Rodriguez went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot. Smith, Melcher and Callwood all registered two hits for King.

King struck first again in the nightcap with Rodriguez setting the table as she laced a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning. She then was sacrificed to third and scored on a Sports sacrifice fly to give King the 1-0 lead after one.

However, Pfeiffer matched that run with a Rachel Crowder home run in the second, and took a 3-1 lead on a Lindsey Russell two-run double in the third inning.

The Tornado had a response in the bottom of the third inning, however. King took advantage of a pair of Falcon errors to plate one run and Walker tied the score with an RBI single. Smith then put the Tornado ahead with her first home run of the year, a laser down the left field line, and King led 5-3 after three innings.

Nevertheless, the Falcons responded with three runs on a Chandler Walker three-run home run in the fourth to regain the lead. Pfeiffer added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth while Sydney Poole, the Falcon pitcher held the King offense to one hit over the three inning span that gave Pfeiffer a 9-5 lead.

Rodriguez tried to spark a two-out rally in the seventh with a double and late scored on a Kelsie Craighead single up the middle, but that was all King was able to score as they fell 9-6.

Rodriguez and Smith led the King offense with two hits apiece with Smith driving in two and Rodriguez scoring three runs.

King will be in action again on Monday when they host Newberry College at 2:00 p.m.

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