BRISTOL, Tenn. --- Ivee Richesin and Taylor Plemons each threw complete-game victories as Tusculum University swept a non-conference softball doubleheader at King University on Monday, winning by scores of 4-2 and 6-2.
Following their sweep of the Tornado (25-18), the Pioneers (21-19) will play their final South Atlantic Conference doubleheader of the season on Friday at Lenoir-Rhyne, starting at 2 p.m.
Game 1: Tusculum 4, King 2
The Pioneers trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth inning, but pushed across a run in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh to earn the win. Richesin (7-7) scattered eight hits and struck out five, but did not allow an earned run and was helped by two double plays turned by the Pioneer defense.
Tusculum had 11 hits in game one, with Brittney Franse and Taylor Johnson each going 2-for-3 and Emily Hester finishing 2-for-4. Kaycee Casteel led the Tornado at the plate by going 3-for-4 with three singles.
After Tusculum could not take advantage of two-out singles by Johnson and Hester in the top of the first, King put its first two runners on base in the bottom of the inning. However, Richesin was able to get Jenna Burnett to hit into a double play to end the frame.
King went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second as Katelyn Davidson led off with a double, took third on a ground out and scored on a passed ball. The Tornado tried to pull off a double steal to get another run, but Hanna Adams was cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning and Richesin got the last out as she speared a liner off the bat of Azlee Sells.
The Tornado extended their lead to 2-0 in the third as back-to-back singles by Casey Gilbert and Casteel were followed by a hit from Kay Brokering on which Gilbert scored on an error. Tusculum's defense again came through as Burnett hit into another double play, with Casteel thrown out trying to score.
Gilbert shut down the Pioneers through four innings but ran into trouble with two outs in the fifth as Taylor Battle singled with two outs and stole second. Sammie West then singled to left to move Battle to third, who then scored when West got caught in a rundown between first and second.
In the sixth, Hester led off with a double and Johnson was safe on a fielder's choice grounder which moved pinch-runner Emily White to third. Anna Alloway then singled home White to tie the game at 2-2, and Grayson Brown came through with the go-ahead hit as Johnson scored for a 3-2 Tusculum lead. Tusculum tacked on a run in the seventh as West led off with a double and scored on a throwing error as she tried to take third on a ground ball.
Gilbert (11-5) gave up three earned runs while walking one and striking out five. Three of the 11 hits she allowed were doubles, as Gilbert needed 114 pitches to get through seven innings for the Tornado.
Game 2: Tusculum 6, King 2
The Pioneers picked up 11 hits for the second consecutive game, and Plemons (8-6) scattered five hits in her second straight complete-game victory. Plemons walked two, struck out four and gave up just two third-inning runs while throwing 130 pitches.
Franse was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI and Alloway connected for her third home run of the season to spark a three-run sixth inning. Emma Casey had a two-run pinch-hit double in the sixth as eight of the Pioneers' nine starters had at least one hit.
King threatened in the first inning as Gilbert led off with a single, Burnett was safe on catcher's interference and Davidson walked. However, Plemons got Hattie Campbell on a ground out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Tusculum grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third against King starter Rachel Farmer. Brittany Fletcher singled with one out and scored on a triple by Battle. West then singled on a bunt as Battle came home to boost the Pioneer lead to 2-0.
King came back with two runs in its half of the third as Casteel doubled off the fence with one out and Brokering followed with a triple to the fence in left as Casteel scored the Tornado's first run. A fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Campbell allowed Brokering to score and tie the game at 2-2.
The Pioneers regained the lead for good in the top of the fourth as Johnson and Alloway led off with singles and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Brown. With two outs, Franse reached on an infield single as Johnson scored for a 3-2 Tusculum lead.
In the sixth, Alloway led off with her third home run of the season to extend the Pioneer advantage to 4-2. Brown and Franse then reached on singles, and Casey came up as a pinch-hitter with two outs. After fouling off nine straight pitches with a 2-2 count, Casey delivered a two-run double to drive home Franse and pinch-runner Caitlyn Brinkley and extend Tusculum's lead to 6-2.
Farmer (6-6) surrendered nine hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings for King, striking out three and walking one. Emma Hughes relieved in the sixth and gave up two hits and one run while striking out a pair.
Brokering led King at the plate by going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in game two, while Gilbert was 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in four trips.