LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team dropped a pair of USA South games to Maryville on a chilly Wednesday afternoon on Lookout Mountain. Maryville took game one 10-1 in six innings before holding off a late Covenant rally for a 3-1 win in the finale.
Covenant drops to 12-8 overall and 6-4 in league play, while Maryville maintains first place in the USA South West Division with an 8-2 conference mark and 17-5 overall.
GAME ONE: Maryville 10, Covenant 1
Covenant had nine hits in the contest, but a fast Maryville start put the host Lady Scots in a hole they could not overcome in a 10-1 loss.
Covenant had at least one runner in scoring position in four of the first five innings, but Maryville starting pitcher Nicole Blackburn worked her way out of each jam to keep the Lady Scots off the scoreboard.
Maryville scored three runs in the first as Alexus Murray delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0. The visitors then added single runs in the third and fifth innings to build a 5-0 lead. The big inning was the sixth for Maryville as five runs crossed on seven hits, including Rachel Taylor's two-run homer, to make it 10-0.
Covenant would get on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Epes singled home Kirsten Aanensen, who doubled, with two outs. But Covenant would not be able to add to that as Maryville took the six-inning victory.
Blackburn (5-2) tossed a complete-game for Maryville as she scattered nine hits and one run. Taylor, Murray and Morgan Brewer all had two RBIs apiece to lead the Maryville offense.
GAME TWO: Maryville 3, Covenant 1
A pitcher's duel ensued in game two of the doubleheader, but a three-run third inning was enough to lift Maryville to a 3-1 victory and a sweep of Covenant.
Covenant starter Carsyn Stone and Maryville's Casey Joliff matched each other for most of the afternoon. Joliff carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, while Stone was able to put up four scoreless innings sandwiched around Maryville's third inning offense.
The scoreless tie was broken in the top of the third as Maryville scored three runs. Three of Maryville's four hits in the frame were on the infield, but the visitors were able to scratch across runs on Ashton Hayden's RBI single and Taylor's two-run single to make it 3-0.
After being no-hit through five innings, Covenant mounted a rally in the sixth. Stone led off with the Lady Scots' first hit, a clean single to center field, before Ames singled two batters later to put runners on first and second. After a Madyson Gibbins infield single to load the bases, Shannon Schmitt grounded into a fielder's choice that allowed Tyler Epes to score and make it 3-1. Joliff got out of the jam after that to preserve the 3-1 Maryville lead.
Covenant had one more chance in the seventh as Kat Andrews worked a walk and Shade Epes singled to bring the winning run to the plate. But again Joliff had the answer in the circle as she got the final two outs to secure the win.
Stone (3-4) went six innings allowing three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. Stone also had a hit, while Gibbins, Schmitt and Shade Epes had a hit apiece.
Joliff (3-1) threw the complete-game allowing one run on four hits. Taylor and Hayden had two hits apiece with Taylor driving in two runs.
Covenant hosts North Carolina Wesleyan for a doubleheader on Friday starting at 2 p.m.
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