Tusculum uses big inning to split doubleheader at King

Tusculum uses big inning to split doubleheader at King
BRISTOL, Tenn. ---

Tusculum College and King University split a non-conference softball doubleheader Monday afternoon at the King Softball Field, with the host Tornado taking the opener 4-1 before the Pioneers used a six-run second inning to come back with a 6-1 victory in game two.

The Pioneers (19-29) return home for a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader against Carson-Newman University on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch from Red Edmonds Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Game 1: King 4, Tusculum 1 - box score
The Tornado scored all four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to erase a 1-0 Pioneer lead, as Hannah Smith hit a two-run home run and Jennifer Kern added a two-run single in the frame.

Hayley Smothers (10-12) scattered six hits and struck out two in the victory for King, which finished with eight hits as a team. Kern was 2-for-3 with a double at the plate and was also hit by a pitch.

Robin Stoner and Morgan Ward each went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Pioneers, who scored their only run in the top of the first as Carolyn Williamson singled with one out, moved up on singles by Stoner and Emily Hester, and scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Jordan Keene.

Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons (2-9) allowed one hit through the first three innings before running into a jam in the fourth. After hitting the leadoff batter, Plemons gave up a two-run home run to Smith to give the Tornado a 2-1 lead. Eliza Davis came on in relief and allowed a walk and a single before Kern singled with two outs to extend the King lead to 4-1.

Plemons allowed three hits and three earned runs in three-plus innings of work for the Pioneers, with one strikeout. Davis tossed the final three innings in relief and surrendered five hits and one earned run, with three strikeouts and a walk.

Game 2: Tusculum 6, King 1 - box score
The Pioneers took advantage of a pair of Tornado errors to score six runs in the second inning, and righthander Cayla Cecil made the lead stand up as she scattered eight hits and allowed just a solo homer to Smith in the bottom of the sixth. Cecil (8-6) threw her 10th complete game in 17 starts, finishing with two strikeouts and three walks.

Tusculum opened the second inning against King starter Lauren Smith as Hester singled and Jordan Keene was safe on an error. Another error allowed pinch-runner Taylor Lewis to score and give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead. After a sacrifice bunt, Bailey Culler delivered a two-run double for a 3-0 Tusculum lead. Miranda Beeler singled with two outs, and both she and Culler scored on a triple by Williamson that pushed the Pioneers out front 5-0. Stoner capped the inning with an RBI single that scored Williamson and gave Tusculum a 6-0 advantage.

Cecil gave up a pair of one-out singles in the first and back-to-back hits with two outs in the second, but pitched out of trouble both times. Hannah Smith put the Tornado on the board with her second home run of the day in the bottom of the sixth, but Cecil got out of a bases-loaded jam to avoid further damage. In all, the Tornado left 10 runners on base in the game.

Lauren Smith (6-9) allowed five hits in 4 2/3 innings for the Tornado, striking out three and walking one, while Morgan Lowe gave up two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Hannah Smith went 2-for-3 at the plate for King (17-27), as did Lauren Rowsey.

- TC -