Hanna Huckabee (Oak Ridge, N.C.) tallied three hits, including two doubles, and Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) tossed six and two-thirds shutout innings in game one, as the King College softball team
rallied for doubleheader sweep of Lees-McRae College on Wednesday evening in Conference Carolinas play.
King (19-23, 8-2 CC) took game one by a score of 4-1, before scoring seven runs in the sixth inning of game two to rally for a 9-1 victory and the twin-bill sweep. Lees-McRae (7-30, 2-8 CC) tallied 12 hits in the doubleheader, including a trio of extra-base hits, as King posted 20 base knocks on the day.
Huckabee paced the Bobcats with a 3-for-6 day, stroking two doubles and driving in a run. Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.) and Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) each posted a multi-hit afternoon as well, while Sadie Lagle (Harmony, N.C.) launched her third home run of the season in game two.
Crickenberger pitched a gem in the opener, keeping the Tornado off the scoreboard through the first six and two-thirds innings while striking out three. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) took the ball in the night cap, striking out three in seven innings of work.
Cassie Ringstaff led the way for the Tornado with a four-hit day, driving in six runs, including a grand slam in game one. Tori McComas added four base knocks of her own, as Mackenzie Draine and Hannah Smith each drove in two runs.
Hannah Light took the ball in game one, allowing one run on seven hits and striking out three to earn the victory. Morgan Lowe got the nod in the night cap, surrendering one run on two hits in two innings. Light tossed two innings in relief, as Morgan White picked up the win with three shutout frames out of the pen.
Game One: King 4, Lees-McRae 1
The Bobcats threatened to take an early lead in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with one out on a walk by Lagle, before Light struck out the next two batters to keep LMC off the scoreboard. Lees-McRae would put another runner in scoring position in the third, when Huckabee laced a two-out double to left center.
King would tally the game's first runs in the top of the seventh, loading the bases on a single to right by Octavia Lewis-Rand before Ringstaff put a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center for a two-out grand slam, giving the Tornado a 4-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the inning, cutting the advantage to 4-1 with two outs when Huckabee scored Moon with her second double of the game; King would also close out the win on the play, recording the third out at home plate to cap the 4-1 victory.
Game Two: King 9, Lees-McRae 1
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the second, taking an early 1-0 lead when Lagle crushed a 1-1 pitch to left center for a leadoff solo home run. Lees-McRae threatened to widen the margin in the third, putting runners on second and third with one out before King retired the next two batters to stay within one run.
King got on the board in the sixth with seven runs on six hits, including a pair of two-run doubles by Smith and Ringstaff, to take a 7-1 lead. The Tornado added to the advantage with two in the seventh, pushing the margin to 9-1 following a leadoff homer by Fallon Thomas and an RBI single by Draine. Light would seal the victory for the Tornado, retiring the final six batters of the game in relief.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Bobcats host Coker College in league play at 2 p.m. at the Bobcat Softball Field.
Photo Courtesy: Hollie Crickenberger, LMC Athletics