WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Covenant softball team dropped a pair of games to USA South West Division leader Salem on Thursday afternoon in Winston-Salem. The Lady Scots led early in game one, but fell 6-4 before losing 12-2 in the finale.
The losses drop Covenant to 20-14 overall and 11-9 in the USA South. Salem, in its first year of play in the USA South, holds on to the lead in the division with a 15-5 conference record and a 24-13 overall mark.
GAME ONE: Salem 6, Covenant 4
Salem's Brittany Morton hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 tie as the host Spirits defeated Covenant 6-4 in the first game on Thursday.
Covenant took a two-run lead in the second with a pair of runs. Casey Grover and Erika Mast singled to leadoff the inning followed by a Shade Epes walk to load the bases. Carsyn Stone then delivered an RBI single to put the Lady Scots ahead 1-0. Two batters later, Madalyn Ames would reach on a single that allowed Stone to score and put Covenant ahead 2-0.
Salem would score two runs in the third to tie the game at 2-2. In the fifth, it was Morton's three-run blast that was the difference as the Sprits grabbed a 5-2 lead. The Spirits would score one more in the sixth to go ahead 6-2.
Covenant put together a rally in the seventh with two outs as Mast walked before Epes hit a two-run homer. The home run was the first of the season and career for Epes. But Salem would hold the Lady Scots there to hold on for the win.
Covenant out-hit Salem 10-9 as Grover and Mast had two hits apiece. Jordan Brett extended her hitting streak to 13 games with a hit. Stone (7-6) got the loss in the circle as she went five innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.
Lauryn Smith (11-4) went the distance for Salem as she worked around 10 hits and four runs allowed. Morton had two hits and four RBIs at the plate.
GAME TWO: Salem 12, Covenant 2
Salem scored seven runs in the first and would complete the doubleheader sweep with a 12-2 win in five innings.
The Spirits scored seven runs on four hits in the first inning, then scored two runs in the second inning and three more in the third to go ahead 12-0. Brianna Morris went 3-for-3 with a home run and six RBIs, while Briana Crumley had two hits and two RBIs for the Spirits.
Covenant would get on the board in the fifth as Kat Andrews was hit by a pitch to bring in a run with the bases loaded. Caylee Marks followed with an RBI single that plated Kaitlyn Sirmons for the final margin.
Epes and Sirmons had two hits apiece to combine for four of Covenant's five hits in the contest. Brett went 0-for-3 to see her hitting streak stopped at 13 games. Cris Gant (4-6) got the loss in the circle.
Sydney Vaughn (8-2) went five innings in her start and allowed two runs on five hits to get the win.
Covenant will finish the regular season on Saturday with a doubleheader at USA South foe Piedmont. Game one in Demorest, Ga., is set for 1 p.m.
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