BRISTOL, Tenn. – A day after a pair of tough road defeats, the King University softball team tried to get back in the win column on Saturday when they hosted Belmont Abbey College on Senior Day. However, the Tornado ran into a hot pitcher, dropping game one 6-0 before the Crusader offense led Belmont Abbey to a 6-4 game two win, sweeping the doubleheader from King.
Belmont Abbey (20-21, 13-6 CC) grabbed the lead with a run on an RBI single from Anna Mixt in the second inning and extended their lead to 3-0 with two unearned runs in the fourth inning as the King defense cut down another run at the plate.
The Tornado (15-25, 9-9 CC) threatened to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning, using a pair of Crusader miscues and a hit by pitch to load the bases. However, Belmont Abbey got the final out, to keep their advantage at 3-0.
Belmont Abbey added three runs on run scoring singles from Mixa, Jena Reisnauer and Amber Faust to extend their lead to 6-0. That was all Crusader pitcher Samantha Jacobs needed as she sat King down in order in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
Chrissy Melcher registered King's lone hit in the contest, coming in the sixth inning. Morgan Lowe earned the start in the circle and tossed all seven innings while allowing six runs, four earned on nine hits.
Belmont Abbey didn't waste any time getting on the board in the nightcap, plating four runs in the first inning. The Crusaders got run scoring hits from Sloane McPeak and Shanie McConnell and a sacrifice fly before scoring the final run on a wild pitch for the 4-0 lead.
Seniors Amber Palmer and Tori McComas got the Tornado offense going with back-to-back singles to start the third inning. Samantha Cole followed with a single to load the base before the Crusaders got the first out of the frame. Then Amanda Sports and Melcher registered consecutive RBI singles and Hannah Smith made the score 4-3 with a sacrifice fly.
However, the Crusaders responded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, stretching their lead to 6-3, but King pitcher Lauren Smith got back-to-back outs to strand the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, King got one back on a Cole sacrifice fly that plated Diamond Callwood to cut the King deficit to 6-4. However, the Tornado couldn't get their offense going again as the Crusaders took the 6-4 victory.
Lauren Smith tossed all seven innings in the circle, giving up six runs, three earned on 11 hits. The Tornado offense got their five hits from five different players while Sports, Melcher, Smith and Cole all drove in one run each. It was Senior Day for the Tornado, meaning the quartet of McComas, Melcher, Palmer and Rodriguez played their last game at home in the Scarlet and Navy.
King wraps up the regular season on Tuesday when they travel to Emmanuel College. First pitch from Franklin Springs, Ga. is slated for 5:00 p.m.