- The 2018 season got off to a rocky start for the Covenant softball team on Friday. The Lady Scots suffered a 13-2 defeat to Greenville in the day's opener before falling to host Rhodes, 6-0, later in the day in Memphis.
Battling cold temperatures, Covenant (0-2) was unable to break through in either contest. It was the first meetings all-time between the programs in both games.
GAME ONE: Greenville 13, Covenant 2
Covenant scored two runs in the top of the first, but a tough bottom half of the second led to eight Greenville runs as the Panthers claimed a 13-2 victory in five innings in Friday's season opener for both teams.
Things looked early on for Covenant as Faith Manning led off the game with a double, her first collegiate hit, and she scored two batters later when Casey Grover singled to right field giving the Lady Scots a 1-0 lead.
Grover was able to move to second on a fielding error on her single and Shannon Schmitt followed with an RBI double to left field to plate Grover and make it 2-0.
Covenant held that lead until the bottom of the second. Greenville capitalized on three Covenant errors, three walks, and a hit-by-pitch to score eight runs on six hits and grab an 8-2 lead. Elizabeth Hawkins' bases-loaded double brought in three runs and gave Greenville a 4-2 lead in the inning before the Panthers added four more runs.
Greenville added three more runs in the third and two more in the fourth for the final tally.
Five Covenant hitters recorded a hit apiece. Grover and Schmitt were both 1-for-2 with an RBI, while Grover added a run scored. Manning, Carlin Labuzan and Jada Allmon also collected hits in the loss. Cris Gant (0-1) suffered the loss in the circle.
Cayla Speaks and Hawkins each had three RBIs for Greenville (1-0), while Kate Jolliff Rosado and Becca Oldham had two RBIs apiece. Oldham (1-0) went the distance in her start in the circle as she allowed two runs on five hits.
GAME TWO: Rhodes 6, Covenant 0
Covenant could muster just five hits in Friday's second game and Rhodes scored twice in the first and pulled away late for a 6-0 victory over the Lady Scots.
Manning went 2-for-3 for Covenant, while Carsyn Stone, Madalyn Ames and Shelby Ralston also tallied a hit each.
Covenant had runners in scoring position in three different innings, but could not come through with a run. Stone walked in the first inning and was sacrificed to second before being stranded. In the third, Ames led off with a double to left field and later tried to score on a Stone grounder to shortstop but was thrown out at the plate. Finally, in the sixth inning Covenant put runners at second and third with nobody out after a Stone double moved Manning to third, but Rhodes starter Bri Maniscalco wiggled out of the jam unscathed upon.
Rhodes (1-0) scored twice in the first inning on an RBI ground out followed by Marisa Moore's two-out RBI single to right field. The host Lynx added a score in the third on a passed ball and then opened up a 5-0 lead in the fifth on a pair of RBI singles.
Stone (0-1) took the loss in her start for Covenant. The right-hander went five innings and allowed two earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Joni Johnson allowed an unearned run in her one inning appearance.
Rhodes was led by Moore's three hits and two RBIs on the day. Maniscalco (1-0) threw a complete-game shutout and tallied seven strikeouts.
Covenant will play Greenville on Saturday at 11 a.m. EST in Memphis before wrapping up the weekend with another contest against Rhodes at 3 p.m. EST.