CHATTANOOGA -- Playing its second doubleheader in a little more than 24 hours, the Covenant softball team took two wins from visiting Judson College on Wednesday afternoon. The Lady Scots won game one 5-1, before rallying in game two to win 5-3.
Chelsea Krafft pitched brilliantly in the two games as she threw complete-games and got both pitching wins. Krafft (11-4) allowed just one earned run in the two games combined and struck out nine batters on the day.
Covenant improves to 16-7 on the year. The Lady Scots have been victorious in 11 of their last 12 games.
Judson, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), came ready to play as they plated one run in the top of the first inning. Malina Graff led off with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored on Victoria Graff's single to left field to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Scots' bats were kept in check by Judson starting pitcher Meliah Matthew through the first two innings. Covenant finally broke through in the third with two runs without the benefit of a hit. Christine Core walked to leadoff the inning and Jenni Jobe followed with a hit-by-pitch. Core then scored on a Lauren Johns fielder's choice, while Jobe came around on a Morgan Booker RBI ground out to give Covenant a 2-1 lead.
Courtney Wagoner connected on her second home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center field, in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it 3-1. Covenant then added two runs in the sixth inning as Core and Jobe each had RBI ground outs.
Krafft went the distance for Covenant and allowed no earned runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out six. Matthew gets the loss for the Eagles, but pitched effectively as she went six innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits.
Chandler Shepherd and Meagan Hess each went 2-for-3 with a run scored for Covenant. Wagoner also was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
In the second game of the twinbill, Judson again struck first. This time, the Eagles scored three times in the first inning off Krafft. Victoria Graff's double to right-center field scored Chelbie Greenhaw all the way from first base to make it 1-0. Starting pitcher Raelynn Liveoak helped herself with a double that plated Graff. Heather Ryland capped the inning with a ground out that scored Liveoak and made it 3-0.
Liveoak held down the Covenant offense for three innings as she allowed just two hits. But in the fourth inning the Lady Scots got on the board with a single run. Beth Harris singled with one out and Wagoner reached on a fielder's choice and error. Johns then singled to load the bases for Booker. Booker ripped a hard liner up the middle but the ball found Liveoak's glove, and took it off in the process, then trickled away. Judson first baseman Victoria Graff recovered the ball and threw home to get Harris on the force and second out of the inning.
Even with the bad break for Covenant, Grace Hooper came through one batter later as she singled to center field to bring home Wagoner and make it 3-1 after four innings.
Still trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, the Lady Scots scored four times to take the lead. Wagoner's two-out, two-run single to center field plated Harris and Hess to tie the game at 3-3. Johns followed with a triple to the right field corner to score Wagoner, and Johns scored as the relay throw from the outfield skipped into the dugout.
With the 5-3 lead, Krafft retired the final six batters in order in the final two innings to secure the win and the sweep. Krafft allowed four hits and three runs, though only one was earned, while striking out three on 86 pitches. Liveoak is hit with the loss for Judson.
Wagoner went 1-for-3 with a pair of runs and RBIs. Harris bounced back from an 0-for-3 first game to go 2-for-3 with a run in game two. Johns and Hooper each had two hits in three at-bats.
Covenant returns to action on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader against GSAC foe LaGrange College on Lookout Mountain. Game one is set for 1 p.m.