BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Mars Hill softball team split with King on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action, dropping game one, but winning game two in comeback fashion.
GAME ONE: KU 9, MHU 7
Leading 6-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Lions conceded six runs to the Tornado to trail 9-6 entering the top of the seventh. With runners on first and second and one out, Kaycee Casteel's single down the left field line plated Summer Hayes and Katie McCann, beginning the comeback. Candace Maness replicated the previous result with a single to left, scoring Casteel. With the game tied at six, Hannah Riddle launched a ball to center field for a two-run homerun to give King the 8-6 lead.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Erin Roper was walked, allowing Katelyn Davidson to cross home and go up by three runs.
The Lions attempted to rally in the top of the seventh and were able to get one run to pull within two. With the bases loaded, Kayleigh Jonas grounded out into a 6-4-3 double play that plated Ragan Broome for the Lions' seventh run.
Mars Hill opened the contest with two runs to carry a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. Taylor Lail's two-out RBI single got the Lions on the board followed by another RBI single off the bat of Hollie Norris.
King answered back with a three-run homerun from Kay Brokering to give the Tornado their first lead of the game.
Jonas collected two RBIs in the top of the third with a double that scored Ashley Evans and Christiana Marasa. Broome extended the Mars Hill lead to 6-3 with a two-run homerun down the left field line for her fifth homerun on the season.
Marasa suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings pitched. Emma Hughes earned the victory, striking out four batters in five innings pitched and allowing three runs.
GAME TWO: MHU 5, KU 3
Mars Hill rebounded by scoring five unanswered runs to earn the split with King on Saturday afternoon with game two's victory.
Trailing 3-0 entering the top of the third inning, Emiley Burriss broke the shutout with a solo homerun to left field. Jordan Harris added a solo blast to center in the top of the fourth to cut the Tornado lead down to one run.
The Lions scored two runs in the fifth to take their first lead of the contest. Bobbi Jones' RBI single into center field scored Ann Marie Gooch to tie the game at three. With the bases loaded, Ashley Evans grounded out to first base, but allowed Shae Condon to come home and put Mars Hill up 4-3 late in the game.
A RBI double from Taylor Lail in the sixth extended the Mars Hill lead that would remain intact to secure their ninth win of the year.
King opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, plating two runs. King had loaded the bases and scored two runs, the first from Kay Brokering, who got on base after being hit by an errant pitch. Michaela Morris singled up the middle to drive in the Tornado's second run.
In the bottom of the second, Hannah Riddle put King up by three with an inside the park homerun.
The Lions racked up 10 hits in the second game with Burriss and Ragan Broome each having two. Riddle accounted for two of the six Tornado hits.
Cristi Pressley went 6.2 innings, giving up one run and striking out four for the win. Leslie Odom was credited with the loss, giving up 10 hits and five runs in seven innings pitched.
The Lions improve to 9-5 on the year while King sits at 8-10.
Mars Hill returns to action on Saturday, March 17 when they host Queens to begin South Atlantic Conference play. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Ponder Field.