FERRUM, Va. -- For a second straight day, the Covenant softball team used a late-inning rally to earn a victory. The Lady Scots erased a 3-0 deficit with a four-run seventh inning to defeat Ferrum 4-3 in game one of Saturday's USA South doubleheader before dropping game two 8-6.
The loss in game two snapped a three-game win streak for Covenant (8-7-1, 3-5 USA South). Ferrum goes to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
GAME ONE: Covenant 4, Ferrum 3
Down 3-0 heading into the seventh, Covenant scored four runs on four hits to erase the deficit and Cris Gant worked around a jam in the bottom of the inning as the Lady Scots rallied for a 4-3 victory.
Held to just five hits through the first six innings, Covenant responded in a big way in the seventh. Jordan Brett doubled to leadoff the inning and Joni Johnson followed with a walk. Kat Andrews singled home Brett to cut the deficit to 3-1. After consecutive strikeouts the Lady Scots' chances looked bleak, but Morgan Lane produced a clutch two-run single to center field that plated pinch-runners Tyler Epes and Kaitlyn Sirmons to tie the score at 3-3. Two batters later, Madison Quirk came through with an RBI single to left giving Covenant a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Ferrum's Cheyenne Strickland tripled with one out, but Gant worked around the jam by retiring the final two hitters to complete the comeback win.
Gant (3-1) went the distance allowing three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Lane finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Andrews was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Ferrum starter Courtney Rudd (4-1) surrendered four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in a complete-game effort. Strickland and Lindsey Slover had two hits apiece, while Slover drove in all three of Ferrum's runs.
GAME TWO: Ferrum 8, Covenant 6
Covenant fell behind early again in game two, but Ferrum held off another comeback attempt by the Lady Scots for an 8-6 victory and a doubleheader split.
Down 8-2 entering the seventh, the Lady Scots got within 8-6 and had the potential tying run on base before Ferrum's Claire Harris recorded the final out. Shannon Schmitt singled home Kasey Hart, who led off the inning with a walk, before Joni Johnson drove in two runs with a single to make it 8-5. Andrews then delivered a two-out RBI single to plate Brett to draw the Lady Scots within 8-6, but that was as close as Covenant would get.
Andrews finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Hart went 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Schmitt and Quirk also had two hits apiece in the loss.
Ferrum got on the board first with two runs in the second. Covenant got a run back in the top of the third on a Hart RBI double. Ferrum extended its lead to 4-1 with two more runs in the third and then took an 8-2 lead with a three-run sixth inning. Covenant's second run came in the fifth when Jami Johnson had an infield single that enabled Hart to score.
Gant (3-2) is hit with the loss in game two as she went 5.2 innings. Ferrum's Amanda Roberts 3-2) gets the win as she went five innings allowing two runs on seven hits.
Mika Smith went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Panthers, while Aiyana Lew and Slover had two hits each.
Covenant will host Sewanee for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 1 p.m. on Lookout Mountain.
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