Bristol, TN – North Greenville dropped a pair of close games to the King Tornado on Friday falling to 2-1 and 3-2 to the defending Conference Carolinas tournament champs.
Game one was scoreless until the final inning. North Greenville put up the first run of the game in the visitor’s half of the frame with a solo home run on a 2-0 count. The 1-0 lead would be the first of two leads for the Crusaders, the second advantage coming in game two.
Jaelin Griffin inched NGU closer to the game one win, retiring the first two batters of the King seventh. The Tornado got their first baserunner of the inning with a two-out single. The two out runner would come around to score on the next at-bat with an RBI single that tied it up at 1-1.
The two-out dagger came from King’s Burnette who looped a two-out double into left-center which brought around the game-winning score. Griffin finished with eight strikeouts while allowing six hits.
Taylor Koon’s home run was the only hit of the game for North Greenville. She finished 1-3 with an RBI and a run.
The Crusaders took a 2-0 lead in game two with a pair of runs in the third inning. Brooklyn Stone made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly that scored Savannah Small while Sam Kicklighter tacked on another run with an RBI single that plated Jenna Hewes to make it 2-0.
King cut the lead to one run in the fourth inning with an RBI single but the Tornado stranded two runners as Callie Richardson was able to work around any more trouble. North Greenville would also leave runners on board in the next inning.
The Tornado would take advantage of NGU’s failed scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth as two runs came across to make it 3-2. The damage came from a two-RBI double from Campbell that scored Brokering and Castell to put North Greenville in a one-run hole.
The Crusaders put runners on in both the sixth and seventh innings but were unable to bring across the tying run. NGU finished with five runners stranded and a 1-3 spot with runners in scoring position. The Tornado were just 2-16 with runners in scoring position.
Jenna Hewes led North Greenville’s offense, going 2-2 with a run scored. Kicklighter was 1-3 with an RBI while Savannah Small was 1-3 with a run scored.
North Greenville will head to Banner Elk to take on Lees-McRae College in a Conference Carolinas double-header.