FERRUM, Va. -- In the longest game in program history, the Covenant softball team fell to Ferrum 7-6 in 11 innings in Saturday's first game before the Lady Scots dropped an 8-1 decision to the host Panthers in game two of the USA South doubleheader.
The first game was the longest game, in innings played, in the program's 10-year history. Covenant had played two 10-inning games, but the last came nearly eight years ago in April of 2009 (a 6-5 win against Virginia Intermont).
Covenant falls to 18-12 overall and 11-7 in conference play. Ferrum goes to 15-8 and 12-4 in league play. The Panthers have won 10 straight games overall.
GAME ONE: Ferrum 7, Covenant 6
In the longest game, in terms of innings played, in program history, Covenant could not hold a two-run lead in the 10th inning and Ferrum would prevail in 11 innings 7-6. Covenant had two-run leads in both the seventh and 10th innings, but Ferrum rallied each time.
Covenant led 3-1 in the seventh inning, but a two-out error allowed the game-tying run to score and send the contest into extra-innings. The Lady Scots took a 4-3 lead in the eighth as Erika Mast doubled to center field that enabled Madalyn Ames to score from third. But Ferrum would answer in the eighth on Maddie Ols' sacrifice fly to make it 4-4.
Neither team was able to score in the ninth. Ferrum's Tiffanie Moore tried to score from third on a softly hit grounder, but Covenant pitcher Carsyn Stone threw to Shannon Schmitt in time at the plate to get the out and keep the game tied.
Covenant broke through with two runs in the 10th. Schmitt singled home Madyson Gibbins and Mast followed later in the inning with a single to center field that brought in Schmitt for a 6-4 Lady Scots lead. Ferrum rallied with two runs of its own as Lois Carpenter doubled home Courtney Rudd and two batters later Bailey Oakes singled in Carpenter. Reliever Cris Gant worked out of the jam from there as she got Ols to strikeout to end the inning.
In the 11th, Ferrum held Covenant scoreless in the top half and then won the game on Cheyenne Strickland's RBI single.
Stone made the start and went the first 9.1 innings, easily the longest outing of her career. She allowed three earned runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. Gant (3-5) suffered the loss.
Mast finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Schmitt was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Jordan Brett added two hits in five trips with a run scored and an RBI.
Ferrum reliever Rudd (5-4) tossed the final 1.2 innings to earn the win. Ashton Lambeth started and went 9.1 innings allowing two earned runs on 10 hits. Carpenter went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Ols finished 1-fr-4 with two RBIs.
GAME TWO: Ferrum 8, Covenant 1
Ferrum scored four runs in the third and would complete the doubleheader sweep with an 8-1 victory in Saturday's finale.
Covenant scored its lone run in the sixth inning Shade Epes reached on a fielder's choice that brought home Brett. The Lady Scots managed seven hits in the game, with two coming off the bat of Mast.
Ferrum had a four-run third inning, all of the runs being unearned. Bailey Oakes hit a three-run homer in the frame to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead. Ferrum would add two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth for the final tally.
Tyler Epes (5-2) suffered the loss for Covenant. Rudd (6-4) went five innings in her start and picked up the win.
Covenant will travel to Sewanee on Wednesday for a doubleheader. Game one is set for 4 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. CDT). The games are a make-up from the Feb. 9 rain out.
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