LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant softball team dropped both games of a USA South doubleheader to LaGrange on Saturday afternoon. Covenant dropped game one, 9-4, before falling 9-3 in the finale.
Covenant drops to 7-12 on the year and 2-2 in USA South play. LaGrange improves to 6-4 and 2-2.
GAME ONE: LaGrange 9, Covenant 4
LaGrange scored three first-inning runs and never trailed in the game to take a 9-4 victory in Saturday's opener.
The Panthers scored the first seven runs of the game before the Scots could finally get one on the board.
In the bottom of the sixth, Covenant trailed 7-0 but Jada Allmon reached on an error allowing Erika Mast to score the first run of the ballgame for the Scots and cut the deficit to six. In the bottom of the seventh, Carlin Labuzan drove in three with a bases-loaded double to get the Scots within 9-4, but Covenant would not get closer.
LaGrange tacked on two more in the top half of the seventh but Labuzan hit a three-run double and trimmed the lead to five. Still threatening after the bases-clearing knock Cope Whitaker drew a walk and the Scots had runners on first and second with only one away in the inning, but LaGrange was able to work out of the jam to preserve the win.
Mast and Shelby Ralston both went 2-for-3 in the contest as Labuzan went 1-for-4 with the only 3 RBIs for the hosts.
Sarah Huskey (2-4) got the start but only lasted an inning giving up three runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Lulu Klecan threw 1.1 innings of relief before Lauren Kierpa tossed the final 4.2 innings.
LaGrange had the help of the long ball hitting two home runs. Madelynn Formby and Kelsey Dietz each recorded two-run shots to help the Panthers.
Brittany Todd had a 3-for-5 game as Dietz went 3-for4 with a pair of RBIs. Formby went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs from the home run.
Emsley Smith (3-3) went the complete game scattering nine hits and four runs (three earned) to go along with five strikeouts.
GAME TWO: LaGrange 9, Covenant 3
A tight game throughout, LaGrange scored four runs in the seventh to break open the contest and complete the sweep with a 9-3 victory.
Covenant took its first lead of the day with three runs in the bottom of the first to erase a 2-0 deficit. Madyson Gibbins led off with a walk and Whitaker would reach on an error that allowed Gibbins to score the Scots' first run. Two batters later, Manning delivered a two-run single to plate Whitaker and Mast to give Covenant a 3-2 lead.
LaGrange scored three runs in the third to regain the lead at 5-3. Covenant had chances in the fourth and sixth innings to tie or take the lead. The Scots loaded the bases in the fourth and had second and third with one out, but could not come through either time.
It was the visiting Panthers that had the big blow in the seventh as four runs came across to put the game out of reach.
Manning went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk for Covenant. Carsyn Stone (2-8) got the loss after going six innings allowing seven runs.
Payton Thomas collected the win for the Panthers. Thomas (2-1) threw a complete-game allowing three unearned runs on four hits. Taylor Long was 4-for-4 with two runs and four steals, while Brittany Todd went 3-for-4 with three runs.
Covenant will host Birmingham Southern for a doubleheader on Tuesday. Game one is set for 1 p.m.
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