VIDEO: Vickee Hollifield Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – No. 20 Carson-Newman (5-3) extended its home winning streak to 21 straight games with a game-one triumph over King (1-1) before the Tornado took the nightcap to earn a split Thursday afternoon at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
Carson-Newman took game one in shutout fashion 4-0 before King prevailed in the nightcap 9-3.
Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) grabbed the win in game one with a three-hit shutout before losing steam in the night cap and taking the loss.
"Lacie came out in game one and kept them off balance," head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "We played really good defense behind her and hit just well enough to get some run production."
King pounded out eight hits in game two as Michaela Morris and Kay Brokering each drove in three runs to notch the 9-3 win and snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Eagles.
The win in game two was just King's second in the series against Carson-Newman. C-N leads the all-time ledger 20-2 following the twinbill.
"That's a great hitting team and a team that will be one of the best in our region," Kazee-Hollifield said. "What's really missing from us is consistency all around. We're just not consistently good in any one thing right now. As long as these kids have fight, we'll be alright. The thing that's worrysome is we keep seeing the same repetitive mistakes."
Carson-Newman made some headway in at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Eagles went 1-for-24 with runners on second or third against North Greenville in a doubleheader split Tuesday.
C-N improved a smidge, going 4-for-7 in game one and 2-for-7 in game two.
Rinus tallied two multi-hit games for the Eagles at the plate. She was 4-for-6 for the doubleheader.
Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove in all three of the Eagles' runs in game two; she was 2-for-3 with a dinger.
Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) had a double and a run batted in in the opening game. She tallied a multi-hit effort as well.
Rinus extended her hitting streak out to eight straight games to open the year while Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) saw her six-game streak come to an end after an 0-for-4 day in game one.
Game one: No. 20 Carson-Newman 4, King 0
It took a bit, but Carson-Newman finally drew blood in the fifth. The Eagles batted around and scored four runs off of four hits and an error. The Eagles were greatly aided by King miscues in the frame.
With Leah Sohm and Morgan Crawford on third and first respectively, Abby Fiessinger hit a ball back to the circle for what should have been a routine out. However, Emma Hughes soft toss to first was offline. Fiessinger reached safely and Sohm scampered home to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles then loaded the bases off a Lacie Rinus single back to the pitcher. Haley Caldwell took advantage of the situation with an RBI base hit bloop single into right center that socred Fiessinger for an unearned run.
KaraLynne Levi completed the scoring by wearing a pitch to drive in Toppel and extend the lead to 4-0.
Lacie Rinus then shut the door retiring the last six Tornado batters in order to cement the win.
King left six runners on base, including the bases loaded in the fourth.
Rinus improved to 3-1 with the victory. She struck out eight in her three-hit shutout, her third complete-game shutout of the year.
Emma Hughes took the loss to fall to 0-1. She gave up seven hits in 4.1 innings of work. Three of the four runs she allowed were earned. She struck out one, didn't walk anybody and hit two batters.
Book it! Eagles tab their 2️⃣1️⃣st straight win at home. @lacieloo goes the distance collecting eight strikeouts in the victory moving to 3-1 on the season.— C-N Athletics (@CNathletics) February 15, 2018
��️ @KingAthletics 0
Final (Game 1)
�� https://t.co/hXALrZiL4v pic.twitter.com/kZyoIwQLLd
Game two: King 9, No. 20 Carson-Newman 3
King lit the lamp first, doing so in the third inning. Katie McCann ripped a line drive down the right field line that rattled around in the corner and allowed McCann to sprint home and give King a 1-0 lead with two out.
The Tornado padded its lead the next inning. Hannah Riddle reached on an error at second to lead off the inning before Katelyn Davidson singled to centerfield to give King a pair of baserunners.
A one-out walk for Kay Brokering loaded the bases.
That set the stage for Michaela Morris who singled to center to drive in Riddle.
Roper added two more runs with a two-RBI base knock up the middle that set the margin at 4-0 in the fourth.
Carson-Newman countered an inning later. After a one-out walk to KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), Boles blasted her seventh career home run over the wall in left. She yanked a 1-1 pitch into the jet stream to get Carson-Newman within two, 4-2. The dinger snapped a 92 at-bat streak for Boles without a bomb.
King would get those runs back in the fifth. Brokering clobbered a two-out, two-RBI double to right center to stretch the advantage back to four runs at 6-2.
Carson-Newman chipped away at the deficit again in the sixth. Rinus doubled to lead off the frame with a shot to left. With two out, Boles drove in her third run of the day with a smoker of a single through right side, scoring Rinus from two bases away. That made it 6-3 after six.
The Tornado tagged on three more runs in the top of the seventh to leave no doubt. Morris drove in two with a single to center and Brokering worked a bases loaded walk to set the final margin at 9-3.
Rinus took the loss to fall to 3-2. King tallied six hits and six runs off her. Five of the runs were earned. She walked two and struck out three in game two.
Morgan Crawford (Chickamauga, Ga.) pitched the final two innings, allowing two hits and three runs. She walked a pair and struck out two.
Leslie Odom took the complete game win for King to start her career 1-0. She scattered seven hits, allowed three runs, walked one and struck out one.
Carson-Newman's doubleheader with Augusta has been moved to Sunday. That twinbill is slated for a noon first pitch. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.