LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Jordan Brett's three-run home run sparked a seven-run sixth inning in Friday's first game and the Covenant softball team used that momentum to a doubleheader sweep of North Carolina Wesleyan on Friday afternoon. The Lady Scots took game one 8-1, before holding off NC Wesleyan 6-5 in the finale.
The wins push Covenant's record to 14-8 overall and 8-4 in the USA South. NC Wesleyan drops to 8-12 on the year and 4-4 in league play.
GAME ONE: Covenant 8, NC Wesleyan 1
Covenant could not scratch across a run in the first four innings, but tied the game in the fifth and then exploded for seven runs in the sixth to take game one 8-1.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the sixth, Madyson Gibbins and Carsyn Stone led off the frame with consecutive singles. After a sacrifice bunt from Kaitlyn Sirmons, Brett came to bat with runners at second and third. The senior unloaded on a 2-0 pitch from NC Wesleyan's Logan Lowery and deposited it over the left field fence for a three-run homer. The home run was Brett's fifth of the year, setting a career high for a season.
But the Lady Scots were not done there. Three batters later, Casey Grover hit a two-run homer to right-center field, her second of the year, giving Covenant a 6-1 lead. Two NC Wesleyan errors extended the inning further as Gibbins singled home Erika Mast and then Kat Andrews scampered home on a throwing error to make it 8-1.
Covenant had opportunities earlier in the contest, but could not break through until the fifth. In that inning, Schmitt singled off the third base bag and was driven home on Grover's triple to right field to knot the score at 1-1.
Stone (4-4) went the distance in the circle for Covenant. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits with a strikeout, while collecting two infield singles at the plate. Brett, batting leadoff for the first time in her career, was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and a run. Grover went 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs as well. Gibbins had both of her hits in the sixth inning after coming on as a pinch-hitter.
NC Wesleyan starter Lowery (5-6) allowed six earned runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts to get the loss. Hannah Ivester had a hit and an RBI offensively for the visiting Bishops.
GAME TWO: Covenant 6, NC Wesleyan 5
Covenant rallied from an early deficit and then held off a seventh inning rally from NC Wesleyan to complete the doubleheader sweep with a 6-5 win.
The Lady Scots got on the board in the first when Brett reached on an error that allowed Gibbins to score, but NC Wesleyan answered with three runs in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Covenant tied the game in the third with two runs as Mast singled home Schmitt before Tyler Epes drew a bases loaded walk to make it 3-3.
In the fourth, Covenant was at it again with two more runs. Gibbins walked to leadoff the inning and score from first on Schmitt's double to left-center field giving the Lady Scots a 4-3 lead. Later in the inning, Mast lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.
Covenant led 6-4 entering the top of the seventh, but NC Wesleyan put runners at second and third with nobody out. Reliever Joni Johnson allowed one run, but stranded the tying run at third as Kaeli Farnsworth grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
Tyler Epes (4-1) got the win in the circle as she threw five solid innings allowing four runs on nine hits. Johnson came on to pick up her second save of the year by tossing the final two innings. Schmitt and Brett both went 2-for-3, while Mast was 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Covenant.
Shelby Godwin (3-5) got the loss for NC Wesleyan as she surrendered five earned runs on 11 hits in six innings. Tiffany Manning went 4-for-4 with a run and an RBI to lead NC Wesleyan offensively.
Senior Day will be Saturday as the Lady Scots host William Peace for a doubleheader. Game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. Senior Day activities will take place after game two.
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