LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team opened up USA South play on Saturday with a doubleheader split with visiting Wesleyan. Covenant won game on 5-1 before falling in game two, 5-2.
Covenant goes to 7-11 on the year and 1-1 in USA South play. Wesleyan picked up just its second win all-time over Covenant in the second game and goes to 4-8 overall and 1-1 in conference.
GAME ONE: Covenant 5, Wesleyan 1
In the game one victory, Covenant used timely hitting and strong pitching to subdue the visiting Wolves, 5-1.
Carsyn Stone (3-5) went five scoreless innings in her start and only surrendered five hits to go with three strikeouts. Tyler Epes came on in relief and gave up an unearned run in the sixth before closing out the win by going the final two innings.
After Stone got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the first, Covenant responded by taking a 1-0 lead. With two outs and runners at first and second, Shelby Ralston singled to left field to bring home Faith Manning before Shannon Schmitt was cut down at second trying to advance. The lead grew to 2-0 in the second when Stone helped her cause by singling to leadoff the inning before scoring on a Jada Allmon RBI fielder's choice.
As Stone worked scoreless innings in the circle, Covenant aided the lead with two more runs in the fourth. Carlin Labuzan drove home Madyson Gibbins with a sacrifice fly and Schmitt followed with an RBI double that chased home Shade Epes for a 4-0 lead. In the fifth, a bases-loaded walk to Jami Johnson plated Allmon and gave the Lady Scots a 5-0 lead.
Ralston and Shade Epes had two hits apiece in the win as Covenant out-hit Wesleyan 9-6.
Shelby Crosby (1-3) got the loss in the circle for Wesleyan as she allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings.
GAME TWO: Wesleyan 5, Covenant 2
In the second game, the script flipped as Wesleyan secured a doubleheader split by using timely hitting and strong starting pitching en route to a 5-2 victory.
Wesleyan took a 3-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings as the Wolves scored a run in the second and two more in the third. Covenant got on the board in the third on a Schmitt RBI single to left field that scored Gibbins to make it 3-1.
However, Wesleyan extended its lead in the fourth. A two-run single by Hannah Allen with two away in the inning capped the frame and gave Wesleyan a 5-1 lead. Covenant put together a rally in the home half of the seventh as Schmitt delivered an RBI double that again brought home Gibbins, but Wesleyan starter Valerie Clower got Ralston to fly out to end the game.
Clower (3-4) went the distance for Wesleyan as she scattered nine hits and allowed two runs. Yasnei Llavore had three hits and two RBIs to lead Wesleyan offensively, while Kendra Roach and Clower had two hits apiece.
Tyler Epes (1-4) picked up the loss for Covenant after going three innings and giving up one earned run on six hits. Sarah Huskey tossed the final four innings in relief. Schmitt finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Gibbins was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Covenant will host Sewanee for a doubleheader on Tuesday. Game one is set for 1 p.m.
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