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This team took the hard way, they took the long road. Toughness defines their season; they were all but forgotten midway through the season. Just one way, the only way into the regionals was to win, and that’s just what they did. Entering the Conference Carolinas as the No. 6 seed, the King College Tornado had absolutely nothing to lose, and they used that to their advantage, taking down No. 1 seed North Greenville twice to win their first Conference Carolinas Championship.
The Tornado received a dominant effort from sophomore pitcher Hannah Light, who went 19-4 this season with a 1.51 ERA. Light finished second in the Conference Carolinas in both wins and ERA this season. She received Tournament MVP honors for her shutdown-performance over the weekend, going 3-0 and striking out 23 batters.
King has won seven in a row, in which they have scored at least four runs in each of those games, stealing the automatic berth from the Conference Carolinas. They were swept by top seed North Greenville during the regular season, but got back at the Crusaders when it mattered most.
Historically the Conference Carolinas representative has not fared well in Dahlonega, going 1-6 over the past three years, including two-and-out the past two years. Erskine went quietly last year, losing both games in eight-run rule fashion. Queens was the champion the two previous years, winning one game in 2009. They have not defeated a Peach Belt school in any of those years, something that will need to be done this year as three of the four teams come from the PBC.
The odds will be against the 2012 King College Tornado this coming weekend, as has been the case this entire postseason. Don’t tell these players that though, because that’s just the fuel they need to move on. Just ask the other Conference Carolinas members.