Softball Edges Meredith, Falls to Maryville in USA South Tourney

Sarah Huskey (Photo Credit: Jack Lewis)
Sarah Huskey (Photo Credit: Jack Lewis)

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- The Covenant softball team broke a program record for wins in a season with a 2-0 victory over Meredith in the USA South Tournament on Friday morning in LaGrange. The Lady Scots then fell to Maryville, 5-0, in the winners' bracket game in the afternoon.

Covenant (23-19) will face Piedmont on Saturday at 10 a.m. in a losers' bracket game. The 23 wins for the Lady Scots breaks a program record for a single-season.

GAME ONE: Covenant 2, Meredith 0

Covenant scored two runs in the first inning and that was enough as the Lady Scots received a shutout from Sarah Huskey and Joni Johnson for a 2-0 win over Meredith.

In the first, Covenant got on the board with two runs. Shannon Schmitt drove a pitch over Meredith center fielder Sarah Watson's head and the ball rolled to the fence to allow Carlin Labuzan to score from first as Schmitt ended up at third with a triple.

Later in the inning, a throwing error from the shortstop on Erika Mast's grounder enabled Schmitt to score and make it 2-0.

Huskey (7-2) was fantastic in her six innings of work. The sophomore scattered four hits, while striking out seven and walking just two. Huskey retired the first two hitters in each of the first five innings as Meredith struggled to make solid contact.

Meredith put runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, a two-out walk to Erica Occena led to a steal and an error as Occena ended up at third. Huskey worked out of the jam with a strikeout of Kelsey Mabe to end the threat. In the sixth, Meredith put the leadoff runner on base, but Covenant turned a double play as Shade Epes caught a foul bunt and fired to first to double off the runner.

Johnson then came on in the seventh and tossed a 1-2-3 frame to earn the save and secure the win for Covenant.

Schmitt finished 2-for-3 as Covenant tallied four hits in the win. Madyson Gibbins and Labuzan also had a hit apiece.

Myah Morse (8-5) got the loss for Meredith (24-14) after going 4.2 innings and allowing two runs, one earned. Taylor Jackson threw 2.1 scoreless innings.

GAME TWO: Maryville 5, Covenant 0

Against Maryville in a winners' bracket game, Maryville scored three runs in the third and tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to defeat Covenant 5-0.

Covenant had just two hits in the contest, both singles from Erika Mast, but had chances to score in both the second and third innings. 

In the second, a single by Mast and a walk to Shelby Ralston put runners at first and second with nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt to move both into scoring position, but Maryville starting pitcher Katlyn Smith worked out of the jam with a strikeout. In the third, Covenant loaded the bases with one out, but Gibbins was thrown out trying for home after a missed bunt and the threat ended with a strikeout.

Maryville capitalized on its chance in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Christina White delivered an RBI single and Essence Strambler followed with a two-run double to give Maryville a 3-0 lead. Maryville added single runs in the fifth and sixth for insurance.

Cris Gant (3-4) allowed just four hits in her six innings, while striking out five.

Smith (13-1) struck out 11 and walked five as she picked up the win. 

UP NEXT

Covenant will face Piedmont at 10 a.m. on Saturday in a losers' bracket game.

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