DUCANCS – A Rikkelle Miller home run to left center field in the bottom of the fourth inning proved to be the only run the top-seeded King needed in a 1-0 championship game win over the Carolinas. Conference against Francis Marion, fifth seed.
The title is the third for King, who also won the tournament crown in 2012 and 2018. King is the first No. 1 seed to win the tournament title since the 2015 season.
In a game with only five combined hits, Miller’s solo shot led to her being named to the All-Tournament Team for King along with Camryn Haag.
King’s Nikole Counts was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after a stellar appearance in the circle. Counts, who improved to 19-7 this season, struck out two and allowed just two hits.
Francis Marion’s all-tournament selection Rachel Davis (33-20) was also phenomenal in the circle in the championship game. Davis struck out three and allowed just three hits.
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King wins the automatic bid for the Conference Carolinas to the 2022 NCAA Division II Softball Championship after his undefeated run through the Conference Carolinas tournament. The NCAA Division II Softball Draft Show will take place at 10 a.m. on May 9.
On Saturday, FMU overcame an early 2-0 deficit and scored in each of the final four innings to claim a thrilling 4-3 victory in nine innings over sixth seed Emmanuel College (Ga.) in one game. eliminatory.
Earlier in the day, the Patriots won another playoff game by defeating fourth-seeded Belmont Abbey College 4-3.
Davis (15-7) took the win out of the bullpen in Game 2. She relieved Janecia Hemingway in the third inning and pitched the last seven frames, allowing just one unearned run on three no-walk hits and six strikeouts.
Four Patriots recorded two hits, including All-Conference senior shortstop Ashtyn Patterson and junior second baseman Megan Matsil, both of whom also had a run. Designated player Grace Trautman and right fielder Katie Smith also had two hits apiece.
In the win over Belmont Abbey, Francis Marion scored once in the second and three times in the fourth, then held off a Crusaders three-point rally (32-15) late in the sixth to claim the 4-3 win.
Davis was the winning pitcher as she went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Hemingway came into the game sixth and struck out four of the five batters she faced to collect her third save of 2022.
Graduate center outfielder NaJah Gerrald was the only Patriot with multiple hits.
FLORENCE — Francis Marion University scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning to force extra innings, but King University (Ten.) scored twice in the top of the 12th to escape with a marathon 13-11 win Saturday in Carolinas Baseball Action Conference.
FMU finishes the regular season with a 29-18 overall record and a 16-14 mark in its first season in Conference Carolinas. The Patriots enter the conference tournament this coming week as the seventh seed and face the same King team (23-20, 16-13) in a playoff Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Wilson, Carolina. North, at Fleming Stadium.
Senior right fielder Will Hardee (0-1), the Patriots’ ninth pitcher, was brought to the mound in the 12th inning and took the loss. Junior right-hander Matt Dooley started and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, one unearned run, three walks and two strikeouts. Senior right-hander Nick Palumbo came in late and allowed the ninth-inning rally with three scoreless innings.
Senior third baseman Todd Mattox led the way offensively for the Patriots, going 3 for 7 with a home run and two RBIs. Senior left fielder Lex Tuten and junior shortstop Naphis Llanos went 3 for 6 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. In the process, Llanos also extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
Senior second baseman Tanner Wakefield also recorded three hits with a double and an RBI.
A single in the ninth by Hardee extended his hitting streak to 25 games, tying the third longest in program history – set by Jerry Honeycutt in 2001.
FLORENCE — Florence-Darlington Tech scored two points late in the ninth for a 4-3 win over Gaston College on Saturday.
DJ Sullivan had the winning single for the Stingers (42-11). Scott McDonough had three hits and led a pair while Patrick Matthews also had three hits.
Landon Mills went four innings on the mound and struck out six while Landon Gaddis (6-0) picked up the win with a scoreless relief inning.
FLORENCE — Florence-Darlington Tech earned a double sweep of Gatson College on Saturday in a pair of lopsided wins over five sets, 15-0 and 13-0.
In the opener, Aliyah Williams, Temple Jones and Laura Smith each drove in two runs for the Stingers (22-14) while Courtney Watson and Heidi Anderson combined the shutout in the circle. Watson had eight strikeouts and Anderson hit three.
In game two, Williams and Smith again tossed a pair of each while Watson and Temple Jones combined on the shutout in the circle. Watson had seven strikeouts while Jones had two.
SUMTER — Despite a singles win from runner-up Liam Day in first place, fifth-seeded and 47th-seeded Francis Marion University fell 4-1 to 24th-seeded Belmont Abbey College on Saturday in the semifinals of the 2022 Conference Carolina Men’s Tennis Tournament.
Francis Marion finished his first season under coach Jay Evans with a 14-7 record, an improvement of 12 wins over the previous season.
SUMTER — Third-seeded Erskine College recorded a three-set singles win at No. 4 to break a 3-3 stalemate and defeat second-seeded Francis Marion University 4-3 on Saturday in the semi-finals. 2022 Conference Carolinas women’s tennis tournament final.
Francis Marion ends his season at 14-6, his first season under coach Jay Evans. The win total represents an improvement of 10 wins over the 2021 campaign.
At 16-0, Paige Wise becomes the first Patriot to complete a full season with a perfect singles record.