Lady Railsplitters split twin bill with King

HARROGATE, TN -- The Lady Railsplitters split a softball doubleheader with the King Tornado in non-conference action on Thursday at Dorothy Neely Field. Lincoln Memorial University (21-16) fell to King University (15-21), 7-5, in the opener to extend their season-long losing streak to six games before snapping that skid with a 6-2 win in the finale.

The Lady 'Splitters are set to return to Dorothy Neely Field and South Atlantic Conference play with a twin bill on Saturday against the Anderson University Trojans. The first pitch in game one is scheduled to be thrown at 2 p.m. in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Game One Box
King 7
Lincoln Memorial 5

King got off to a quick start in the first game of the afternoon, as lead-off hitter Christina Melcher popped a double into right field to set the stage for a two-run top half of the first for the Tornado. A sacrifice bunt advanced Melcher to third, where she scored on a single by Hannah Smith two batters later. Prior to Smith's single, Fallon Thomas singled back to the pitcher, and she went on to score off of an RBI-single by Amber Walker to give King an early 2-0 advantage.

The Lady Railsplitters did not trail for long, as Brianna Mulkey and Kelly Dreier led off with singles in the bottom half of the first and Amanda Snow walked to load the bases with no outs. Sarah Walz took advantage of that early scoring opportunity by driving a grand slam down the right-field line to propel Lincoln Memorial back in front, 4-2.

From that juncture, King worked to chip away at the Lady Railsplitters' lead. After an uneventful second frame from both sides, the Tornado picked up a run on a sacrifice ground out by Tori McComas, which plated Hannah Smith, who led off with a single in the top of the third. In the top of the fifth, McComas struck again, this time with a solo home run, to knot the game at four apiece.

Kelly Dreier tallied a one-out double in the bottom of the fifth, but a strike out and a ground out stifled that potential scoring rally for the Lady Railsplitters. In the top of the sixth, the Tornado assumed command of the game behind a three-run outburst. Octavia Lewis-Rand recorded the big swing of the inning with a two-run double to push the Tornado out in front, 7-4.

The Lady Railsplitters plated a run in the bottom of the sixth, as Laura Taricano, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a throwing error by the King second baseman, however, they would come up empty in the bottom of the seventh to drop the opener, 7-5.

Samantha Smith suffered the loss on the mound for the Lady Railsplitters after surrendering 10 hits and four earned runs in 6.2 innings of work. She struck out four batters over that span but issued three walks with one hit batsman.

Kelly Dreier led the Lady Railsplitters at the dish with two hits and a run in four plate appearances. Sarah Walz added four RBI in a one-for-four showing at the plate.

Hannah Light improved to 10-10 on the rubber for the Tornado after allowing only six hits in her complete-game performance. Light fanned seven batters and allowed four walks over seven innings of work.

King tallied a 13-hit outing in the opener, paced by Hannah Smith's three-for-four day with two RBI and a run. Octavia Lewis-Rand added two hits and two RBI, while Tori McComas chipped in with two RBI and one hit.

King 7, Lincoln Memorial 5 (Mar 28, 2013 at Harrogate, TN) (Game 1)
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King................ 201 013 0 - 7 13 2 (15-20)
Lincoln Memorial.... 400 001 0 - 5 6 1 (20-16)
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Pitchers: King - Hannah Light and Fallon Thomas. Lincoln Memorial - Amanda Snow;
Samantha Smith(1) and Jordyn Wilson.
Win-Hannah Light(10-10) Loss-Samantha Smith(14-9) T-1:47 A-100
HR KING - Tori McComas (1).
HR LMU - Sarah Walz (2).
Weather: Clear, upper 40s.

Game Two Box
Lincoln Memorial 6
King 2

Much like the opener, the Tornado got out to a quick start in game two, as they tallied two hits and two runs in the top half of the first to run out to a 2-0 lead. Christina Melcher led off with a single and went on to score on a passed ball. Hannah Smith added another run on an RBI-single, which plated Fallon Thomas, who reached thanks to a fielding error by the Lady Railsplitters.

Lincoln Memorial recorded a single hit in three of the next four innings but came up empty until they exploded for four runs in the home half of the fifth. After two-straight outs to open the inning, Brianna Mulkey and Kelly Dreier singled, while Amanda Snow was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Once again, Sarah Walz came through, as she slugged a double into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and give LMU a 3-2 lead. Cierra Mudd reached on an error in the next at-bat and Laura Taricano plated another run for the Lady Railsplitters with a single through the left side of the infield to extend the lead to 4-2.

The Lady Railsplitters kept the Tornado grounded in the top half of the sixth, and Danae Reed propelled LMU out to a 6-2 advantage with a two-run home run in the home half of the sixth. Reed's third home run of the season plated Ashley Hanes, who walked to lead off the inning.

Starter Samantha Smith shut the door in the top of the seventh, as she pitched around a one-out error to cap the Lady Railsplitters' 6-2 win in the finale.

Smith rebounded from the loss in game one with a stellar performance on the mound for Lincoln Memorial in the night cap. The frosh tossed a complete game and allowed only four hits in the contest while striking out five to improve to 15-9 on the season. Smith surrendered only one hit over the final five innings and did not issue a walk in the game.

The Lady Railsplitters doubled the Tornado's offensive outing with eight hits on the day, headlined by Brianna Mulkey and Kelly Dreier's two-hit performances. Sarah Walz added a game-high three RBI, while Danae Reed chimed in with two RBI and a hit.

Morgan White fell to 5-8 on the season for King after allowing eight hits and five earned runs in six innings of work. Hannah Smith recorded the lone RBI of the day for the Tornado.

Lincoln Memorial 6, King 2 (Mar 28, 2013 at Harrogate, TN) (Game 2)
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King................ 200 000 0 - 2 4 2 (15-21)
Lincoln Memorial.... 000 042 X - 6 8 2 (21-16)
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Pitchers: King - Morgan White and Fallon Thomas. Lincoln Memorial - Samantha Smith and
Jordyn Wilson; Laura Taricano.
Win-Samantha Smith(15-9) Loss-Morgan White(5-8) T-1:27 A-0
HR LMU - Danae Reed (3).
Weather: Clear, low 50s
Visit lmurailsplitters.com for the latest news and info on Lincoln Memorial University Athletics.


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