BURLINGTON, N.C. – Kaycee Casteel kept the King University softball team alive in the Conference Carolinas Softball Championship with a run-scoring single in the seventh inning. The second-seeded Tornado came back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the fourth seed Trojans 5-4 to stay alive.
FINAL SCORE: No. 2 King 5; No. 4 Mount Olive 4
LOCATION: Springwood Park; Burlington, N.C.
RECORDS: King 29-20; Mount Olive 33-19
- Casteel led the Tornado with three hits, driving in two runs, including the game-winner in the seventh.
- Casey Gilbert, Jenna Burnett and Azlee Sells added two hits each with Burnett driving in a pair.
- Madison Morgan posted two hits and drove in two to lead Mount Olive.
- Rachel Farmer earned the win, tossing three innings in relief and allowing only two hits.
- Mallory Ratcliff started for Trojans and allowed four runs on five hits in three and two-thirds innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Azlee Sells started the bottom half of the second with a double and later scored on a Katie McCann sacrifice fly to give King the 1-0 lead.
- Mount Olive evened the score in the top of the third on an Eileen Barrera bases-loaded groundout before Morgan ripped a double that scored two and gave the Trojans a 3-1 lead.
- Burnett ripped a double that scored Gilbert in the bottom of the inning, cutting the King deficit to 3-2.
- Lassiter ripped a sacrifice fly, extending the Mount Olive lead to 4-2.
- Casteel ripped a double that scored McCann with two outs in the fourth for King.
- Burnett later laced a single that scored Casteel and evened the game at 4-4.
- King threatened with a pair of runners in the sixth inning, but couldn't push a run across.
- The Tornado loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, and Casteel came up with the big hit. The ripped the full-count pitch to left field, to score Lexi Stafford and gave King the 5-4 win.
- King will face the loser of six seed Southern Wesleyan and seventh seed Belmont Abbey at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.
- Mount Olive is eliminated.