HICKORY, N.C. – The King University softball team faced off against number seven ranked Lenoir-Rhyne University on Tuesday afternoon. The Tornado scored two runs late in game one but fell 5-4 to the Bears and took game two by scoring late runs again to win 4-3.
FINAL SCORE: Lenoir-Rhyne 5, King 4; King 4, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
LOCATION: Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Field; Hickory, N.C.
RECORDS: King 14-10; Lenoir-Rhyne 26-3
- In game two, Hannah Riddle went 2-for-3 with a run scored, walk and an RBI double.
- Kaycee Casteel had a solid game two as well, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
- Olivia Lawson had the big hit in game one, going 1-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME ONE
- Through the first three innings, the game was scoreless until Lawson hit a two-run double that drove in Erin Roper and Jennifer Kern who both had singled earlier in the inning to give the Tornado the lead 2-0 in the top of the fourth.
- Lenoir-Ryne struck back with a run in the bottom of the fourth when Mackenzie Cates reached on a fielder's choice, driving in Sydney Landreth to make the score 2-1.
- The Bear added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the score 2-2 when Mackensi Swain grounded out to shortstop, bringing in Jessie Valerius who had singled to lead-off the inning.
- A three run sixth inning highlighted by a Cates RBI double that brought Madison Carter across the plate who had an RBI single previously gave Lenoir-Rhyne the 5-2 lead.
- The Tornado responded with a rally in the top of the seventh when Candace Maness singled to shortstop with two outs. Riddle then proceeded to reach on an error, advancing Maness to third on the errant throw. Riddle scored on a wild pitch next, Riddle advancing to third. Michaela Morris then singled home Riddle to make the score 5-4 but the Tornado were not able to push another run across, falling narrowly in game one to the Bears.
Winning Pitcher: Brandi Parks (15-0) 7.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Losing Pitcher: Morgan Matthews (3-4) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
FOR THE FOES
- Cates led the Bears in game one, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs driven in.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME TWO
- Lenoir-Rhyne got on the board first in the bottom of the first 1-0 when Carter reached on an error, scoring Landreth who had walked earlier in the inning.
- The Tornado knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth when Kaycee Casteel singled on a bunt to third base, bringing in Riddle who had doubled to left center to start the inning.
- King added another run in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead 2-1 when Summer Hayes started the inning by singling to second base, later scoring on a Morris groundball that the shortstop booted.
- The Bears came back with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Landreth singled to left field, driving in Valerius who had walked to start the inning to tie the score 2-2.
- A persistent King offense struck with two more runs in the top of the sixth to re-take the lead when Casteel singled to shortstop to start the inning who was then sacrificed to second by a Lawson bunt. Hayes then reached on a fielding error by the third basemen to put runners on the first and second. Devotie followed with a sharp single to right center to load the bases. Maness walked to bring in Casteel and Riddle followed with an RBI single up the middle to bring in Hayes to make the score 4-2.
- Lenoir-Rhyne tried to mount a rally when Savannah Davis started the bottom of the seventh with a single to left field. Sarah Kenley later drove her in with a single to left center but the rally fell short as King took game two 4-3.
Winning Pitcher: Emma Hughes (7-2) 7.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Losing Pitcher: Sydney Miller (4-3) 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO
FOR THE FOES
- Christina Walker record three hits to lead the Bears in game two.
- Landreth was 1-for-3 with a RBI and walk.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- The victory for King was their first win against a top ten opponent since becoming an NCAA II member in 2011.
- King next plays at Erskine on Friday. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.
- Lenoir Rhyne stays at home to face Limestone on Thursday.