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Softball Splits Season-Opening Doubleheader with Berry

Madison Quirk (Photo creedit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)
Madison Quirk (Photo creedit: Anna Dove/Sports Information)

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN-- The Covenant softball team had no problem shaking the rust off their bats in their first action of 2015 as they scored 19 runs over two games to split a doubleheader with Berry. Covenant won game one 12-6 before falling in game two 19-7.

Covenant (1-1) was led by Madison Quirk, who finished the day 5-for-5 with two doubles, four RBIs, and four runs scored.

Game 1: Covenant 12, Berry 6

It didn't take long for the Lady Scots to get their bats in gear as they scored six runs in the first inning, on five hits, after staking the Vikings to an early 1-0 lead on Kylie Aiken's first home run of the season.

After a walk to Kasey Hart and a double by Morgan Lane, Lady Scots cleanup hitter Jordan Brett singled home Hart to tie the game and give Brett at least one hit in 13 consecutive games, a new program record.

Quirk followed with an RBI single of her own and Jami Johnson drove in two with her first collegiate hit, a single off Berry starter Marie Collup. Kendall Whann and Hart collected the other two RBIs on a walk and a sacrifice fly, respectively.

The Lady Scots would follow up with four more runs in the third inning to take a 10-1 lead. Quirk led off with a single, after which twin freshmen Jami and Joni Johnson worked back-to-back walks to load the bases and bring up Hart.

Hart hit a sharp liner back to the pitcher, who caught it, but then made a wild throw over to third while trying to double up Whann, allowing Whann to score and the Johnsons to each move up one base.

Jami Johnson scored on a wild pitch, and Joni Johnson and Kaitlyn Sirmons, who had walked, both scored on a single by Lane.

Down by nine runs, the Vikings chipped away and scored four runs in the next two innings to make it 10-5, but Covenant would tack on single runs in the fifth and sixth to put the game out of reach.

Lane, Brett, and Jami Johnson each collected two RBIs, with Lane going 3-for-5 for the game. Whann drove in one run and was 3-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored.

Cris Gant (1-0), making her first collegiate start, allowed three earned runs on four hits in five innings, while striking out nine. Joni Johnson came on in relief and allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work.

The losing pitcher was Marie Collop (0-1), who went 2.1 innings, allowing seven hits and 10 runs, all of them earned. Kayla Davis pitched the final 3.2 innings and gave up two runs.

Game 2: Covenant 7, Berry 19 (5 innings)

In game two of their doubleheader, Berry scored 13 runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead and cruise to the five inning victory.

After the Vikings hit back-to-back home runs in the first off starter Tyler Epes, the Lady Scots came back with four runs of their own to take a 4-2 lead after one inning. Shannon Schmitt, Quirk, and Whann all had RBI hits in the inning.

But in the second, Kenzie Fleming led off with a home run. Before Covenant could stop the bleeding, Berry had gone through 17 batters and collected 14 hits, with six of them going for extra bases.

The Lady Scots came back with three runs in the bottom of the second, but were unable to mount a comeback in the later innings as Kassie Howard (1-0) came in to relieve struggling starter Allison Conrado and retired Covenant in order with five strikeouts in her two innings of work.

Howard gets the win and Epes (0-1) is tagged with the loss.

Quirk went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and Lane had a hit and two runs scored.

Covenant will take a trip to Macon, Georgia, next week when they face Wesleyan for a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information.