LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team opened up USA South play on Friday afternoon against visiting Greensboro Pride. The Pride came away with a doubleheader sweep with a 7-2 victory in game one followed by an 8-4, eight-inning win in the final game.
Covenant drops to 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in league play, while Greensboro improves to 8-4 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the conference.
GAME ONE: Greensboro 7, Covenant 2
The Covenant bats were quieted by solid pitching from Greensboro starter Lauren Miller and reliever Kelsey Sanfilippo as the Pride won 7-2.
After Greensboro took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run from Jackie Nicholson, the Lady Scots cut the deficit to 2-1 on a Morgan Lane RBI single to center field that plated Chandler Shepherd.
The score would remain until the fourth when Greensboro added two runs. The Pride tacked on three more runs in the seventh to seal the win.
Covenant got its final run of the contest in the bottom of the seventh as Shepherd hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought home Kendall Whann for the final tally.
Whann and catcher Morgan Strennen each went 2-for-3 to lead the Covenant offense. Whann also scored a run. Lane finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and Shepherd was 0-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
Lady Scots starter Cori Hilt (1-2) went the distance striking out three and throwing 141 pitches. Greensboro's Sanfilippo (2-1) gets the pitching win after she threw the final four innings and allowed one run on two hits.
GAME TWO: Greensboro 8, Covenant 4 (Final-8 innings)
In the second game of the doubleheader, Greensboro rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning and scored four runs in the eighth to pull out an 8-4 win.
Covenant got out to a quick start with two runs in the bottom of the first. Lane launched her first collegiate home run, a two-run shot over the center field fence, that scored Kaitlyn Sirmons in the opening frame. The Lady Scots added a run to their lead in the second when Meagen Hess reached on a throwing error that allowed Madison Quirk to score from third to make it 3-0.
Greensboro got single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Covenant starter Hannah Rogers was able to limit the damage with timely double plays. Greensboro's Sarah Connolly belted a solo home run to deep left field in the fourth and Madison Crisco singled home a run in the fourth to cut the Lady Scots' lead to 3-2.
Covenant was able to get a run back in the fifth as Shepherd drove in Strennen with a groundout to second base that gave the Lady Scots a 4-2 edge.
In the sixth, Crisco tied the score at 4-4 with a two-run home run to left field. Covenant got the potential game-winning run to to second base in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Scots could not scratch across a run.
Greensboro then scored four runs in the eighth and Covenant could not answer in its half of the inning.
Quirk was 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Lady Scots in game two. Lane went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Sirmons and Strennen each produced a hit. Rogers (1-2) is saddled with the loss as she went 7.2 innings. Greensboro's Sanfilippo (3-1) got her second win of the day going all eight inning and allowing three earned runs.
Covenant will return to action on Saturday as they face Ferrum in a USA South doubleheader. The first game is set for a 1 p.m. start.