DEMOREST, Ga. -- Preseason West Division favorite Piedmont flexed its collective muscle on Tuesday by sweeping a USA South doubleheader from the Covenant softball team. Piedmont took game one, 8-0, before scoring late in game two to take a 2-1 victory.
The losses snaps a stretch in which Covenant (12-14, 4-4 USA South) had won five of six games. Piedmont (11-9, 4-0 USA South) remains unbeaten and tied atop the USA South West Division standings.
GAME ONE: Piedmont 8, Covenant 0
A six-run second inning after two runs in the first were more than enough for host Piedmont to defeat Covenant 8-0 in game one of the doubleheader.
Piedmont scored twice in the first inning and then put a six-spot on the board in the second to grab an 8-0 lead. Mariann Kennison's three-run triple highlighted the second inning and proved too much for Covenant to overcome.
Covenant had just two hits in the contest as both Carlin Labuzan and Jada Allmon doubled. Labuzan doubled with one out in the first inning before being stranded there, while Allmon led off the second inning with her double and later moved to third before being held there.
Melissa Eckman (5-5) got the win in the first game as she tossed all five innings and struck out three. Sarah Huskey (4-2) received the loss for Covenant after lasting an inning in her start.
GAME TWO: Piedmont 2, Covenant 1
In the second game, the visiting Lady Scots battled, but a run in the fifth inning for Piedmont was the difference as the Lions completed the sweep with a 2-1 win.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Covenant got the run back in the top of the second. Allmon singled to start the frame and a one-out, infield single from Erika Mast eventually led to runners at second and third with two outs. Madalyn Ames delivered a single that scored Allmon and tied the game at 1-1.
Covenant had a shot to take the lead in the fifth inning. Madyson Gibbins led off the inning with a triple. The hit forced Piedmont to bring in Eckman to the circle and she retired the next three Lady Scots in order to preserve the 1-1 score. Piedmont then took advantage in the bottom of the fifth as Jessica Bagwell's RBI single to center field brought home the go-ahead run.
The Lady Scots put another runner in scoring position in the sixth, but again Eckman wiggled out of the jam. A one-out walk to Gibbins in the seventh was for naught as Eckman closed the door on Covenant's comeback attempt.
Cris Gant made the start in the circle and had her best outing of the year. The senior went four innings and allowed one run on five hits, while striking out six and walking one. Carsyn Stone (4-6) collected the loss after going two innings in relief.
Gibbins and Ames finished 1-for-2 for Covenant. Shannon Schmitt went 2-for-3, while Allmon, Mast, and Labuzan all had a hit apiece.
Eckman (6-5) got the win after tossing the final three innings in relief of starter Kory Best. Best lasted four inning and gave up one run on six hits. Bagwell went 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Lions offensively.
Covenant returns home for the final homestand of the regular season. The Lady Scots will play each of the next four doubleheaders at home, starting with Maryville on Friday. Game one is set for 1 p.m.
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