MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- An outstanding season came to an end in a tough way for the Covenant softball team on Saturday afternoon in Montgomery. The Lady Scots fell to Huntingdon, 1-0, in eight innings in game three of a best-of-3 first round series of the USA South Tournament.
Huntingdon (17-24) advances in the tournament and will play in the six-team, double elimination portion of the tournament on April 13-15 in LaGrange, Ga.
Covenant ends the year with a 22-17 overall record. The 22 wins ties a single-season program record, while the Lady Scots' 21 regular season wins sets a program record. It also marked just the second winning season in the 10-season history of the program.
Saturday's decisive game played out to a pitcher's duel throughout the contest. Covenant starting pitcher Carsyn Stone and Huntingdon's Raina Lanier matched each other with zeros across the board through seven innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, it was Lanier that put Huntingdon in position to win with her leadoff double to left-center field. Lanier then advanced to third on a wild pitch before Covenant walked the bases loaded to set up a force play at any base with none out. Maggie Porter followed with a fly ball to right field that was deep enough for Lanier to score the game-winning run from third giving the host Hawks a 1-0 victory.
Despite the loss, Stone (8-8) was magnificent in the circle in Covenant's biggest game of the year. The sophomore scattered four hits in 7.1 innings, while striking out one. Stone also surrendered just two walks, both coming in the eighth as Covenant tried to escape the jam. She retired nine straight batters at one point in the middle innings.
Lanier (6-11) held the Covenant offense at bay as well. She gave up five hits and walked one, while collecting 10 strikeouts. Lanier also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Covenant's best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning. After the first two batters were retired, Madyson Gibbins reached on an infield single before Jordan Brett drew a walk to put runners at first and second with two away. But Lanier was able to work out of the tight spot with a strikeout to keep the game scoreless. The fifth inning marked the only time Covenant was able to get a runner into scoring position.
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