BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University softball team returned home to face Francis Marion University in a doubleheader on Wednesday, and the Patriots turned in a couple stellar pitching performances to hold the King offense down. The Patriots took the first game 4-0 and held on for a 2-0 win in the nightcap.
Francis Marion (17-11) threatened with a pair of two-out hits in the first inning, but Lauren Dalton escaped the jam, keeping the game scoreless. King's best opportunity to score came in the second inning when Amber Walker started the frame with a since to center. Chrissy Melcher and Kelsie Craighead both registered singles to load the bases, but the Patriots got a pair of groundouts, cutting down one run at the plate to keep the game scoreless.
The Patriots plated an unearned run in the fourth before tacking on two more in the sixth on a pair of run scoring singles. Francis Marion made it a 4-0 lead with an insurance run in the top of the seventh before thwarting a Tornado comeback in the bottom of the inning to take the contest 4-0.
Dalton tossed all seven innings in the circle, allowing four runs, three earned on 10 hits while striking out three. Craighead led the offense going 2-for-3 at the plate.
In the nightcap, the Patriots had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the first inning, but Morgan Lowe got a pair of groundouts to get out of the frame. Neither team then had a chance to score until Francis Marion broke through in the fourth. Danielle Myers ripped a two-out double, and scored when the next batter, Shelby Kelley laced a triple, giving the Patriots a 1-0 lead. Francis Marion added another in the sixth on a Myers home run to left field.
King (3-13) threatened in the sixth when Walker started the frame with a single up the middle and Melcher laced a double that came within inches of tying the contest off the top of the right center field wall. However, the Patriots pitcher, Kelley induced a pair of groundouts before loading the bases with a walk. The Tornado couldn't capitalize, however, as Kelley ended the frame with a strikeout.
King couldn't get the offense going in the seventh as the Patriots took the contest 2-0. Lowe tossed all seven innings in the circle, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out six. Walker paced the King offense going 2-for-3.
King will be in action again on Saturday when they travel to Limestone College for a doubleheader that starts at 2:00 p.m.