Tornados fall to Limestone, 3-0 and 9-2

Brevard strands 15 runners on base in pair of losses

Box Score

Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados fell in both games of the doubleheader on Friday afternoon against Limestone College, losing game one, 3-0, and game two 9-2. For the season, Brevard falls to 8-4, while Limestone improves to 5-13.

Brevard stranded 11 runners in the first game as Liz Houser dropped her first game of the season, while in the second game, Kelsey Kuykendall drove in seven runs of the Saints nine runs as Limestone completed the sweep.

Game 1: Limestone 3, Brevard 0

Liz Houser (5-1) dominated in everything but the runs column in this game, racking up eight strikeouts while only allowing five hits in her sixth complete game of the season. The junior from Greenville, N.C. faced only six batters above the minimum in her sixth start as a Tornado. Her opponent, Madison Carpenter (1-1) won her first game of the season, scattering eight Brevard hits, while striking out one.

The Tornados threatened in the bottom of the third inning, loading the bases with no outs as Sarah Carlos opened the inning with a walk and Becca Curlee and Kristina Clayton both dropped down bunt singles. However, Brevard was unable to push across a run as the Limestone defense closed up and Carpenter was able to escape the inning unscathed.

Houser, meanwhile, carried a no-hitter through the first four innings, allowing Jenna Guse to reach in the first inning on a walk, but retired 11 straight batters up until the top of the fifth when Kelsey Kuykendall opened the inning with base hit through the left side of the infield. Three batters later, Hannah Mills drove home Christina Woolgar with a single up the middle as Limestone took the lead, 1-0.

Brevard put the first two batters on in the bottom of the inning when Clayton stroked a single to left center and Chelsi Mallory dropped down a bunt single, but Carpenter again was able to set the Tornados down in order without allowing a run.

Limestone added some insurance in the top of the seventh as the Mills lined a one-out pitch from Houser over the centerfield fence, driving in Emily Wallace to give Limestone a 3-0 lead.

Brevard attempted a two-out rally in the bottom half of the seventh, as Mallory scorched a grounder up the middle for a single and Jennifer Brown tagged a pitch past the Saints third baseman to give the Tornados runners on first and second. Katie Thornburg sent the next pitch up the middle, but a diving stop by Kayla Hamalainen who flipped the ball to Alex Aburto at second ended the game in favor of the Saints.

Game 2: Limestone 9, Brevard 2

Jennifer Gift (3-3) gave up seven earned runs in the evening game, while striking out seven, but the Tornados defense was plagued by three errors as Limestone captured game two behind the pitching of Emily Wallace (1-8) who gave up two runs while allowing five hits.

One runner reached base in the first two innings as Thornburg got on in the bottom of the second with single that bounced through the right side of the infield.

Limestone scored in the top of the third as Guse put a single through the infield with the bases loaded, scoring Mills. Kelsey Kuykendall drove in a run later in the inning as she reached on an error by the Tornado shortstop, scoring Alex Aburto putting Limestone up, 2-0.

Brevard rallied back in the bottom half of the inning as Kasey Fagan led off with a single up the middle. Maddie Fletcher came in to run for Fagan and moved to second on Wallace’s throwing error on Sarah Carlos’ grounder. A sacrifice bunt by Curlee moved both runners into scoring position. Clayton drove both runners home as she dropped a perfectly placed bunt, catching the entire Limestone defense off-guard as the Tornados evened the score up at 2.

The Saints however, rallied back to tack on three runs in the top of the fifth as Kelsey Kuykendall drove home Guse, Felicia Fritz, and Hamalainen with a bases-clearing double to straightaway centerfield.

Limestone added four more in the top of the seven as Kelsey Kuykendall again cleared the bases with a double to left field. Kelsey later scored in the inning on a sacrifice fly hit by Mallory Kuykendall.

Brevard attempted to come back one final time in the seventh, but were unable to score in falling 9-2.

Brevard does not have any time off as the Tornados take the field tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. against Montreat College. The Tornados and Cavaliers split their earlier season games with Montreat winning game one 3-2, while Brevard took game two 6-1. The Saints take the field on Monday, March 9th as they head home to Gaffney, S.C. for a matchup against Glenville State College, with game time set for 2 p.m.

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