The Covenant softball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a doubleheader sweep of Brevard on Saturday afternoon. Erika Mast delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning of a 2-1 game one victory, and strong pitching continued in the second game as Covenant completed the sweep with an 8-2 victory.
It was the first meetings all-time between the programs. The wins for Covenant (14-16) snapped the losing streak and moved the Lady Scots to 7-3 at home. Brevard (5-5) is a reclassifying member of NCAA Division III and the USA South.
GAME ONE: Covenant 2, Brevard 1
In a pitcher's duel, Covenant rallied from a 1-0 deficit with a run in the fifth and then scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on Mast's RBI single as the Lady Scots took a 2-1 victory.
Brevard's Breanna Allen and Covenant's Sarah Huskey traded zeroes in the circle for much of the game.
Huskey (5-2) went the distance, and allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts and faced just three batters over the minimum. Allen (2-2) got the loss, but scattered seven hits over six innings and allowed two earned runs.
Brevard took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Brittan Miller hit a solo homer run down the left field line. The homer was Miller's first of the year and was the visiting Tornados' only hit to that point in the game.
Covenant finally cracked the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Small ball was in order for the Lady Scots as Madyson Gibbins led off with a single and then stole second and third. Two batters later, Shade Epes put down a perfect bunt and Brevard was unable to get a hustling Gibbins at the plate as Covenant tied the score at 1-1.
In the sixth, Shelby Ralston led off with a double and was pinch-run for by Tyler Epes. Epes moved to third on a sacrifice and then Mast singled to left-center field to plate Epes and give the Lady Scots a 2-1 lead.
Brevard got a runner to second with two outs in the seventh, but Huskey got Sara Lalier to strikeout swinging to end the game.
Gibbins went 2-for-2 for Covenant with a run scored to help the Lady Scots out-hit Brevard 7-3. Shade Epes, Carlin Labuzan, Shannon Schmitt, Ralston, and Mast all had a hit apiece.
GAME TWO: Covenant 8, Brevard 2
In the second game, the bats got hot for Covenant as the Lady Scots scored three runs in the first and four in the third to take the 8-2 victory.
Covenant had seven hits in the contest, but it was Shade Epes that produced the most for the Lady Scots. Epes went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBIs to lead the way. Labuzan, Schmitt, Faith Manning, and Mast all had a hit, while pinch-hitter Hannah Talley collected a double.
Three Covenant pitchers combined to allow just two runs on five hits. Starter Carsyn Stone went the first three innings and didn't allow a run while giving up just one hit. Tyler Epes (2-6) was credited with the win in relief as she tossed two innings.
In the first inning, Covenant took advantage of a two-out Brevard error to score three runs. Shade Epes had the big hit in the inning as her double scored both Jada Allmon and Schmitt to make it 3-0. In the third, Epes was at it again when she doubled to the gap in left field to bring in Ralston and Schmitt giving Covenant a 5-0 lead.
Later in the third inning, Manning delivered an RBI single and Mast had a sacrifice fly to put the Lady Scots ahead 7-0. Covenant added another in the fifth on a Kirsten Aanensen sacrifice fly.
Ricki Kuhn (3-3) picked up the loss for Brevard after going five innings and allowing eight runs, two earned, in her start. Teegan Bullock and Miller combined to go 5-for-5 with an RBI in the bottom of the order for the Tornados.
Covenant will be off until Friday, March 23 when it hosts Emory & Henry for a doubleheader. The games are makeup contests from a rain out on Feb. 17. Game one starts at 1 p.m.