BRISTOL, Tenn. --- Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) and Amanda Decker (Apex, N.C.) each drove in a pair of runs in the second game of a Conference Carolinas doubleheader to lead the Lees-McRae College softball team to a spilt with King College on Thursday afternoon.
King (7-8, 1-5 CC) blanked Lees-McRae (5-12, 1-1 CC) by a score of 3-0 in the opener, as the Bobcats defeated the Tornado, 5-2, in the nightcap to earn the split in their conference-opening twin-bill. The Tornado tallied 10 base knocks, including six extra base hits, in the twin-bill, as Lees-McRae dropped in nine hits, including three doubles.
Robb, Decker, and Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.) each tallied two hits to pace the Bobcats, as Robb and Decker both drove in a pair of runs. Lindsey Huntsinger (Asheville, N.C.) also drove in a run for Lees-McRae.
Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) took the ball in game one, allowing three runs on four hits in four innings of work. Holli Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.) tossed a scoreless two innings with three strikeouts in relief in the opener, as the sophomore hurler made the start in game two and threw six frames, allowing one run on five hits and notching nine K's. Kristen Oakes (Lenoir, N.C.) did not allow a hit in one inning of work to earn her first collegiate save in game two.
Christina Melcher led the way for King with a 3-for-6 day, tallying two doubles and a triple while driving in one run. Tiffany Harris and Christy Kooch each posted two base knocks, both driving in a run as Cora Milliken also tallied an RBI.
Rachael Wilmoth got the nod in game one for King, tossing seven two-hit innings while striking out five to earn the victory. Kendall Brabson took the ball in the nightcap, allowing five runs on six hits in four innings of work. Wilmoth pitched the final three frames of game two, striking out three and surrendering one hit.
Game One: King 3, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)
King got on the board in the second, pushing across the game's first two runs on an RBI triple by Harris before Tiffany Brand pushed Harris across with a sacrifice fly. The Tornado added a run in the fourth, pushing the lead to 3-0 on an RBI double by Melcher that scored Harris from second. Wilmoth shut the door from there, not allowing a base runner over the final three innings to clinch the victory for the Tornado.
Game Two: Lees-McRae 5, King 2 (Box Score)
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when Lees-McRae pushed across five runs on five hits to take a 5-0 lead. After Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.) led off the inning with a walk and Coley reached on a bunt single, Robb stroked a double to left to score two before advancing to third on the throw.
Following an RBI groundout by Huntsinger that scored Robb from third, Oakes and Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, Mass.) recorded back-to-back singles, advancing to second and third on an overthrow. Decker then stepped up to the plate and ripped a single up the middle, scoring Oakes and Armstrong to give the Bobcats a 5-0 lead.
King threatened in the fourth, putting runners on second and third before a force-out at second ended the inning. The Tornado got on the board in the fifth, plating one run on two hits as Kooch drove in Melcher with a double to left center to cut the lead to 5-1. King plated another run in the seventh, pushing across its second tally of the game when Cassie Ringstaff was hit by a pitch and scored on a passed ball and two wild pitches.
Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Hartsville, S.C. to take on Coker College in conference play at 1 p.m.
- LMC -