MARS HILL, N.C. – The King University softball team broke the .500 mark with wins over Mars Hill University on Saturday afternoon. The Tornado struck early in game one with all of their eight runs coming in innings two through four to grab game one 8-4. In game two a persistent offense scored 10 runs to take game two 10-0 as well.
FINAL SCORE: King 8, Mars Hill 4; King 10, Mars Hill 0
LOCATION: Ponder Field; Mars Hill, N.C.
RECORDS: King 10-8; Mars Hill 5-11
- Hannah Riddle paced the offense in both games, going 5-for-8 with a double, triple, two runs scored, a walk, an RBI, and a stolen base.
- Candace Maness went 3-for-7 in the doubleheader with three runs scored, three runs batted in, two walks, two doubles, and had two stolen bases.
- Jennifer Kern had a breakout performance in game two, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two home runs, and five runs batted in.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME ONE
- King scored two runs in the top of the second to grab the early lead 2-0 when Olivia Lawson hit a home run to left that scored Maness, who had doubled down the left field line to start the inning.
- The Tornado added five more runs in the top of the third to extend the lead to 7-0 when Erin Roper started the inning with a bunt single and stole second. Riddle later walked, followed by a Michaela Morris walk to load the bases. Maness then doubled down the left field line, scoring Riddle and Roper. Lowe then singled to right center, scoring Morris. Kern followed with a walk and Olivia Lawson was next hit by a pitch, scoring Maness. Kelsie Sligh then grounded out to shortstop, scoring Lowe.
- Mars Hill got on the board in the bottom of the third when Ragan Broome singled to center field scoring Krista Romine who had walked earlier in the inning to make the score 7-1
- In the top of the fourth inning, Riddle tripled to center and was driven in by a Morris double to right field to extend the lead back to seven runs, 8-1.
- The Lions further cut into the lead 8-4 in the bottom of the fourth with a three run inning, highlighted by a Cassidy Dahle single to left that scored Emily Crouse who had singled earlier in the inning and Kaleigh Jonas who had doubled but that as close as Mars Hill would get as the Tornado took game one 8-4.
Winning Pitcher: Emma Hughes (4-2) 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
Losing Pitcher: Shelby Culler (2-4) 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
FOR THE FOES
- Broome went 2-for-4 in game one with two runs batted in.
- Crouse was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME TWO
- King struck first in the top of the second with a three run second inning when Kay Brokering led off the inning with a solo home run to left center. Kaycee Casteel later singled to short and was driven in by a Kern two-run home run to left field to make the score 3-0.
- The Tornado added another two runs in the top of the fourth inning when Hayley Smothers drove in Casteel with a groundout to shortstop, who had singled to short to start the inning. Maness later reached on an error by the shortstop, driving in Kern who had singled to short earlier in the inning to extend the lead to 4-0.
- Another two run inning in the top of the sixth inning gave King a 7-0 lead. Riddle doubled to left center, scoring Roper who had walked earlier in the inning and Morris then reached on another error by the shortstop, bringing Maness home who had singled to short earlier in the inning as well.
- Lawson walked to start the top of the seventh and Casteel followed with a bunt single. Kern then launched another home run, this time to center field, scoring Casteel and Parks who had pinch run for Lawson.
- The Tornado did not allow a run in game two, taking the contest 10-0 behind a seven inning shutout performance from Haley Smothers.
Winning Pitcher: Smothers (3-3) 7.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Losing Pitcher: Brittany Duncan (0-2) 7.0 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO
FOR THE FOES
- Broome posted another two hits for the Lions in game two, going 2-for-4.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The five RBI game for Kern was her second of her career, the last coming against Emmanuel College a season ago and the multi-home run game was the first of her career.
- The complete game seven inning shutout game win was the first for Smother's since a home game against Pfeiffer last season in which King won 2-0.
- King next plays at home in a doubleheader against Concord College on Wednesday. First pitch from Bristol is set for 2:00 pm.
- Mars Hill University stays at home to play Lees-McRae College in a doubleheader tomorrow.