LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Playing on its own turf, the Covenant softball team hosted the NCCAA Softball Mid-East Region Tournament on Monday morning and afternoon. The Lady Scots received a bye in the tournament thanks to their No. 1 seed, but were bested in the end by the tournament's third-seed Trevecca Nazarene.
Trevecca Nazarene beat Covenant 4-2 in the second game of the tournament, but Covenant bounced back to eliminate the second-seed Ohio Christian 14-3 in the third game of the day. That setup a rematch with Trevecca Nazarene and once again the Lady Scots were defeated by the Trojans, this time 8-5. Trevecca Nazarene takes home the Mid-East Region Championship and will advance to the NCCAA Softball National Championship on May 10-12 in Botetourt County, Va.
Despite losing two-out-of-three on the day, several Covenant players had strong tournaments. Senior Beth Harris hit two home runs and drove in three runs. Harris' two homers gave her a total of 15 on the season. Another senior, Christine Core went 6-for-12 at the plate in the three games with four runs scored. Jenni Jobe, Lauren Johns, Morgan Booker, and Chandler Shepherd each had two hits in the 14-3 win over Ohio Christian in which Covenant racked up 15 hits.
Facing elimination and hoping to force a fifth and final game, Covenant took a 2-0 lead on Trevecca Nazarene through three innings. Harris' second homer of the day, a solo shot to left field, in the first inning put the Lady Scots on the board. Then in the third inning, Jobe laced a two-out double to the gap in left-center field that plated Shepherd.
The Trojans responded with three runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth inning as they took advantage of Covenant miscues in the field. Trailing 8-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Scots responded with three runs to make it 8-5. Johns took an RBI hit by pitch which was followed two batters later by a Cori Hilt single to left field that scored both Courtney Wagoner and Jobe. Covenant could not capitalize further and then were shut down in the seventh by Trevecca Nazarene closer Riley Mashburn.
Chelsea Krafft (14-12) received both losses to Trevecca Nazarene, but pitched valiantly. Krafft went all seven innings in both contests and allowed just one earned run, while striking out two in the first matchup and five in the second game. Hilt (4-6) picked up the pitching win in the Ohio Christian game as she threw five innings and allowed three runs while striking out seven.
Covenant will now have to wait to see if they are selected as an at-large for the NCCAA Softball Championship. The Lady Scots currently stand at 21-20 overall marking the second straight season that the Lady Scots have achieved the 20-win plateau.