LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team fell for the first time this season as the Lady Scots dropped a pair of games to No. 13-ranked Birmingham Southern on Tuesday afternoon. Covenant fell 4-1 in the first game before losing 6-1 in the finale.
The Lady Scots drop to 4-2 on the year. Birmingham Southern, ranked 13th in the NFCA preseason Top 25, goes to 2-2 overall.
GAME ONE: Birmingham Southern 4, Covenant 1
Birmingham Southern hit two home runs and the visiting Panthers held off a Covenant rally in the seventh inning to take game one 4-1.
Covenant trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, but put together a rally. Kat Andrews and Kaitlyn Sirmons singled in the inning to put two runners on with two outs. Erika Mast drove in pinch-runner Tyler Epes with an RBI single to left field to draw Covenant within 4-1. Mast then beat out a force play at second on Carlin Labuzan's grounder to shortstop to load the bases with two away. But the Panthers were able to get out of the inning without further damage to seal the win.
Birmingham Southern got on the board with a run in the second on Alex Skene's RBI single. The Panthers then used the long ball to extend the advantage as Kendall Hamm hit a two-run homer in the fourth before Micaela Beck's solo blast to center field in the seventh.
Cris Gant (1-1) went the distance allowing one earned run on four hits with eight strikeouts for Covenant. Taylor Harkins threw the first five innings and then came on in relief in the seventh to record the final out for the Panthers. Harkins (1-0) struck out four and allowed three hits.
GAME TWO: Birmingham Southern 6, Covenant 1
A four-run third inning opened the game up for Birmingham Southern and the Panthers completed a sweep with a 6-1 win in game two.
The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-run home run off the bat of Savannah Lee and would extend that margin in the third. After the first two batters were retired in the third, Birmingham Southern scored four unearned runs to grab a 6-0 lead.
Covenant got a run back in the fourth when Labuzan produced a sacrifice fly that plated pinch-runner Madyson Gibbins. But that was all Covenant got off Birmingham Southern starter Haley Crumpton. Crumpton (1-1) threw a complete-game and struck out 10 while scattering seven hits.
Casey Grover and Ames both went 2-for-3 for Covenant, while Shade Epes, Schmitt and Jordan Brett recorded one hit each. Carsyn Stone (1-1) picked up the loss in the circle as she went seven innings allowing two earned runs with three strikeouts.
Lee had two hits and three RBIs for Birmingham Southern, while Alex Skene went 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.
Covenant hosts Mount St. Joseph on Saturday for a doubleheader. First pitch of game one is set for 12 p.m.
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