MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- It took extra-innings in both games, but the Covenant softball team picked up a big USA South sweep of Huntingdon on the road on Friday. Covenant scored six runs in the ninth inning of game one to secure an 8-2 victory before rallying past the host Hawks 6-4 in eight innings for a game two win.
It was the second and third extra-inning games of the week for Covenant (11-11, 3-1 USA South) after the Lady Scots defeated Sewanee in eight innings on Tuesday. Covenant remains unbeaten in extra-inning contests on the year at 4-0. It was also just the second time in program history, and the first since 2009, that Covenant had both games of a doubleheader go extra-innings.
GAME ONE: Covenant 8, Huntingdon 2 (9 innings)
Friday's first game went from looking like a Covenant win, to a potential loss, to a win as the Lady Scots gave up a two-run lead in the seventh before scoring six runs in the ninth to take an 8-2 victory.
Leading 2-0 in the seventh behind a stellar pitching performance from Sarah Huskey, Covenant was one out away from a victory before Huntingdon rallied. A hit-by-pitch and a walk followed by a two-run single by Alyssa Singleterry tied the score at 2-2. Singleterry advanced all the way to third on her single and represented the winning run, but Huskey snagged a liner off the bat of Rayne Ellis for the third out and sent the contest into extras.
After neither team could score in the eighth, the Lady Scots opened the flood gates in the ninth. Erika Mast led off with a walk and Madalyn Ames had a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Shade Epes drew a bases loaded walk to give Covenant a 3-2 lead before Jami Johnson bounced into a fielder's choice with Madyson Gibbins racing home for a 4-2 lead. Shelby Ralston had the big hit in the frame as her bases-clearing double to left-center brought home three and gave Covenant a 7-2 edge.
Two batters later, Faith Manning lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Ralston for an 8-2 lead.
That was more than enough for Huskey, who tossed all nine innings to pick up the win. Huskey (4-1) allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in her win. The sophomore right-hander retired nine straight hitters at one point in the middle innings.
Ralston went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles, while Shannon Schmitt was also 2-for-5. Manning went hitless, but drove in three runs.
Lindsey Selph (2-5) got the loss in her relief appearance for Huntingdon. Madison Hunt went the first 5.2 innings in the circle for the Hawks. Singleterry went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the loss.
GAME TWO: Covenant 6, Huntingdon 4 (8 innings)
To complete the sweep, Covenant rallied from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning and then scored twice in the eighth to come away with a 6-4 win.
Covenant trailed 4-1 entering the seventh inning, but a leadoff walk to Ames and a Shade Epes single that turned into a Huntingdon error allowed Ames to score and make it 4-2. Schmitt then got the Lady Scots within one at 4-3 after her one-out RBI double plated Epes. With runners at second and third with one out, Jada Allmon dropped in a game-tying RBI single to right field that scored pinch-runner Tyler Epes.
Joni Johnson threw a scoreless seventh inning in relief to send the second game into extras. In the eighth, it was Joni Johnson that got on with a bunt single to put runners at first and third with nobody out. With the bases loaded, Manning smacked a pinch-hit, two-run double to left field scoring Joni Johnson and Kirsten Aanensen and giving Covenant a 6-4 lead.
Huntingdon was retired in order by Joni Johnson in the home half of the eighth to seal the sweep.
Aanensen was 1-for-4 and hit her first collegiate home run, a solo shot in the second inning. Shade Epes was the only Covenant player to record multiple hits as she went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Selph (2-6) got the loss for Huntingdon (7-11, 0-4 USA South) after allowing two runs, one earned, in her relief appearance. Singleterry, Madison Perryman, and Samara Miller each had two hits.
Covenant will return to USA South action on Saturday at LaGrange. Game one of the doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.
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