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Lady Scots Rely on Hitting to Power Past Wesleyan

Jami Johnson (Photo Credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information
Jami Johnson (Photo Credit: Anna Dove/Sports Information

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- After being shutout in two games over the weekend, the Covenant softball team broke out of their slump in a big way in taking both games of a doubleheader with Wesleyan, 11-10 and 13-8.

In the two games combined, the Lady Scots pounded out 34 hits, with 12 doubles and two triples.

The offensive explosion was led by the Johnson twins. Jami Johnson had four hits, all of them doubles, and collected five RBIs and three runs scored. Sister Joni Johnson, who also finished both games for Covenant, collecting a win and a save, had three doubles among her four hits, with four runs and three RBIs.

Shannon Schmitt had a walk-off single in the first game, and Morgan Lane had six hits on the day to stretch her program-record hitting streak to 15 games.

Game 1: Covenant 11, Wesleyan 10

The first game started out as a pitchers duel for the first three and-a-half innings. Covenant starter Cris Gant gave up two runs in the first but didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning. On the flip side, Wolves starter Mellissa Webb held the Lady Scots scoreless on two hits through the first three innings.

Trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, Covenant strung together three two-out hits to bring in four runs and take the 4-2 lead.

They would tack on another four runs in the fifth after Wesleyan scored a run in the top half to make it 4-3. Jami Johnson's two-run double was the big hit of that inning.

Wesleyan came storming back, however, with six runs in the top of the sixth inning on just three hits. Gant and reliever Cori Hilt combined to walk five and hit one batter in the inning as Wesleyan took a 9-8 lead.

Covenant regained the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the sixth. Kasey Hart led off the inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Kendall Whann had a go-ahead RBI, driving in Jordan Brett, a couple of batters later.

Joni Johnson came on to try and nail things down, but gave up a single followed by a double to the first two batters of the inning. Facing a potential big inning, Johnson was able to minimize the damage after she gave up a game-tying groundout to Colleen DeGraff.

In the bottom of the seventh, Joni Johnson led off the inning and reached on an error. Lane followed one batter later with a double to put the winning run at third base. After Brett was intentionally walked, Schmitt came through with her heroics, driving a single past the third baseman into left field.

Joni Johnson (3-1) got the win after pitching the final inning and giving up one run. Webb went the distance for the Wolves and gets the loss after surrendering 10 earned runs on 16 hits.

Whann was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Jami Johnson had two hits and three RBIs.

Game 2: Covenant 13, Wesleyan 8

Covenant picked up right where it left off in game two, scoring at least one run in every inning to give them a run in 10 straight innings.

Covenant scored four runs in the first and followed that up with two runs each in the second and third innings, then scored single runs in the fourth and fifth, before finishing off with three more in the sixth.

Lane had an RBI single for the first run, stretching her hit-streak to 15 games. Madison Quirk had a two-run triple and Shade Epes an RBI single in the inning.

Lane hit another RBI single in the second, immediately before Brett doubled to drive in another run.

Wesleyan hung tough, however, and trailed Covenant by only one, 9-8, after Victoria Clower hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Joni Johnson came into the game, however, and was able to get the final out of the inning with two runners aboard.

The Lady Scots rebuilt their cushion with four runs over the next two innings, with Joni Johnson helping her cause by delivering a two-out, two-run double in the sixth.

In the circle, Johnson made it stand up by retiring the seven batters she faced in order to record her second save of the season.

Tyler Epes started the game and gets credit for the win. She is now 3-2 on the year after pitching the first 4.2 innings. Camillia Carter (1-1) pitched all six innings for the Wolves and gets the loss.

Lane was 4-of-5 with four RBIs. Joni Johnson had three doubles and two RBIs with three runs scored. Jami Johnson, Quirk, and Brett eached chipped in two hits and two RBIs in the victory.

Covenant will host USA South foe Methodist on Friday for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.

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