LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- For the second time this week, the Covenant softball team split a USA South doubleheader. The Lady Scots hosted rival Maryville on Wednesday and took game one 8-5 before falling in the nightcap 11-6.
Covenant goes to 7-5 overall and 2-4 in league play, while Maryville is 4-10 on the year and 3-5 inside the USA South.
Game 1: Covenant 8, Maryville 5
Covenant scored five runs in the third inning, capped by a Madison Quirk grand slam, and the Lady Scots would have to hold on after a Maryville rally in the seventh for an 8-5 victory in Wednesday's first game.
Quirk had just one hit in the contest, but it was a big one. After Shannon Schmitt had singled home Kasey Hart in the third inning, Quirk followed with a grand slam to left field giving Covenant a 5-0 lead. The homer was Quirk's first of the year and second in the junior's career.
Maryville got a run back in the top of the fourth, but Covenant added to its lead with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan Brett and Schmitt each had RBI hits to stretch the lead to 7-1.
Covenant led 8-1 going to the seventh inning after Brett produced an infield RBI single that plated Hart in the bottom of the sixth. Maryville chipped away at the lead in the seventh scoring four runs on four hits but Cris Gant was able to work out of the jam and preserve the victory.
Gant (3-2) threw a complete-game for the Lady Scots allowing five runs on six hits with eight strikeouts. The freshman right-hander threw 146 pitches in the contest. Brett finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Schmitt was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Joni Johnson, Hart, Lane and Quirk all had a hit apiece as Covenant collected 10 hits as a team.
Maryville starter Kayla Aloisi (1-3) gets the loss after giving up seven runs, three earned, in 3.2 innings. Cydnee Morrisette led Maryville with two hits and Rachel Taylor drove in two despite not recording an official at-bat.
Game 2: Maryville 11, Covenant 6
In game 2, Covenant had 13 hits, but left seven runners on base and fell to 11-6 to the visiting Maryville squad.
Maryville took an early 1-0 lead off Covenant starter Tyler Epes on a double by Kalyn Jones in the first inning, which scored Caitlyn Hogg, who had a double to leadoff the game.
The Lady Scots came through with a tally of their own in the bottom of the second. After Kendall Whann reached on a fielder's choice, she stole both second and third before scoring on Shade Epes single. It was Epes' first career collegiate hit and RBI, and it knotted the score at one.
Maryville broke through in the third inning, pushing five runs across on five hits. The big blow was a two-run double by Savannah Cook.
Down 6-1, Covenant scratched another run across in the bottom half of third on Brett's fielder's choice grounder which scored Hart. Covenant would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-run double by Joni Johnson that scored Jami Johnon and Shade Epes to make the score 6-4.
After Maryville scored one of their own in the top half, the Lady Scots pushed across another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 7-6. Jami Johnson had the big hit this time, a two-run single that scored Quirk and pinch-runner Nicole White.
After having its lead cut to one, Maryville pulled away again with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings. Covenant threatened in the sixth, with one out and the tying run at the plate, but Lane flied out and Brett grounded out to end the Lady Scots' chances.
Tyler Epes (2-2) takes the loss after going 2.1 innings. Her counterpart, Lexie Randolph (2-4), went the distance, giving up six runs on 13 hits.
Joni Johnson had three hits and two RBIs. Her sister Jami also had two RBIs to go with two hits. Lane had a couple of hits to extend her hitting streak to 11, two shy of the program record set by Brett.
Covenant will travel to face USA South foe LaGrange on Saturday. The first game of the doubleheader in LaGrange, Ga., is set for 1 p.m.