BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University softball team turned in one of their best performances of the season, sweeping Conference Carolinas-leading and 18th-ranked Limestone College on Friday afternoon. Behind the pitching of Emma Hughes, King took game one 3-1 before coming back to take game two 4-3 for their first sweep of a ranked team in program history.
FINAL SCORE: King 3, #18 Limestone 1; King 4, #18 Limestone 3
LOCATION: King Softball Field; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 27-17, 13-5 Conference Carolinas; Limestone 39-9, 15-3 Conference Carolinas
- Erin Roper posted four hits on the day, including a 3-for-3 performance in game one with one run batted in.
- Hannah Riddle ripped a two-run home run in game one and had two hits on the day. She also scored three runs on the day.
- In game two, Jennifer Kern had the game-winning hit, scoring two in the fifth inning.
- Hughes struck out nine in nine innings, earning her 15th win and first career save.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME ONE
- Hughes got King off to a great start, striking out the side in the first inning.
- Hannah Devotie sparked the offense with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first inning. Kaycee Casteel followed with a bunt single, but Devotie was cut down at third base.
- Riddle then came up with the big hit, a two run home run to right center, giving King the 2-0 lead.
- Hughes stayed sharp in the second, setting the Saints down in order. She then got the first two outs of the third inning to retire the first eight batters she face.
- The score remained the same until Emma Swearingen started the fifth inning with a home run to center field, cutting Limestone's deficit to 2-1.
- In the sixth inning, Olivia Lawson got that run back when she came up with a two-out single to right field to score Becca Gould who pinch ran for Kern, giving the Tornado a 3-1 advantage.
- In the seventh, Hughes got a strikeout, foul out and another strikeout to give King the 3-1 win.
Winning Pitcher: Hughes (15-5) 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Losing Pitcher: Courtney Smith (15-4) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME TWO
- The Saints got on the board first in game two as they put runners on the corners with one out. Swearingen drove in one with a groundball, but that was all King pitcher Raven Allender allowed.
- The Tornado answered in the bottom of the inning when Casteel and Riddle started a rally with back-to-back singles.
- King had the bases loaded when Roper and Summer Hayes came up with consecutive RBI singles, putting the Tornado ahead 2-1.
- In the fifth inning, Limestone plated a pair of two-out runs on a Tessa Faucette single with runners on second and third.
- King had an answer again, however, as Devotie started the bottom of the inning with a single and stole second.
- With Devotie on third, Riddle walked and stole second before pitcher Josie Weber got the second out of the inning.
- Nevertheless, Kern came up with a two-run single to right center, scoring both runs and putting King back ahead 4-3.
- Hughes then entered the game and slammed the door, retiring all six batters she faced, giving King the 4-3 victory.
Winning Pitcher: Morgan Matthews (4-7) 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Save: Hughes (1) 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Losing Pitcher: Josie Weber (19-3) 6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
FOR THE FOES
- Faucette went 2-for-2 in the nightcap, driving in a pair of runs.
- Cara Phillips also posted a pair of hits in game two, scoring one run.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King is now 4-1 against ranked teams this year. The Tornado top 11th-ranked University of Charleston and seventh-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne University earlier this season.
- It also marks the first time since 2013 King has swept Limestone in a doubleheader.
- King travels to take on Winston-Salem State University on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
- Limestone hosts Wingate University on Wednesday.