MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Faced with elimination after a tough game one loss, the Covenant softball team responded in a big way as the Lady Scots kept their season alive with a 5-1 win over Huntingdon. The host Hawks took game one 4-3 after scoring three runs in the seventh.
The doubleheader split puts the USA South Tournament first round best-of-3 series at a game apiece. The decisive game three will be played on Saturday in Montgomery at noon central time (1 p.m. EDT).
Covenant goes to 22-16 overall, while Huntingdon is now 16-24.
GAME TWO: Covenant 5, Huntingdon 1
Tyler Epes (6-2) was tremendous in her start. She threw her first complete-game of the season and scattered just six hits and one run while striking out three to go along with a single walk. Epes went five scoreless innings before allowing a run in the sixth, but that was enough for the Covenant offense to get going.
Covenant scored single runs in both the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead. Grover had a sacrifice fly in the first that scored Shade Epes, while Madyson Gibbins reached on an error in the second that brought home Madalyn Ames.
In the fourth, Jordan Brett led off with her second triple of the day and later scored on a Schmitt RBI single. After Huntingdon got a run in the sixth, Covenant answered with two runs Shade Epes drove in a run on a fielder's choice before an Erika Mast sacrifice fly that made it 5-1.
Covenant out-hit Huntingdon 10-6 in the game, led by Shade Epes and Schmitt two hits apiece.
Madison Hunt (6-5) got the loss for the Hawks, while Lindsey Selph was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
GAME ONE: Huntingdon 4, Covenant 3
Huntingdon scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to rally past Covenant for a 4-3 victory in the first game of the best-of-3 series on Friday afternoon.
Covenant trailed 1-0 through the middle innings, but took the lead in the fifth with three runs. Ames walked to leadoff the frame and was followed by a Gibbins single to put runners at first and second. After Huntingdon starter Raina Lanier retired the next two hitters, Schmitt came through with a single to center that scored Ames to tie the game at 1-1. Grover followed with a two-run single giving Covenant a 3-1 lead.
That score remained until the home half of the seventh. The host Hawks put two runners on with one out and a Covenant error allowed a run to score to cut the Lady Scots' lead to 3-2. Alex Teague tied the game for Huntingdon with an RBI ground out before Haley Riddle gave the Hawks a victory with her game-winning double to left field.
Covenant starter Carsyn Stone was able to work around jams earlier in the contest to keep the Lady Scots in it. Stone got out of a bases-loaded situation in the fourth without allowing a run and then pulled the same thing in the sixth when the Hawks loaded the bases with two outs. Stone (8-7) went 6.2 innings allowing four runs, one earned, on eight hits with three strikeouts. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Schmitt finished 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, while Grover went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Jordan Brett, Mast and Gibbins all had a hit apiece.
Lanier went the first six innings for the Hawks allowing three runs on six hits. Riddle (2-1) picked up the win after throwing a scoreless seventh. Samara Miller and MacKenzie Smelley each had two hits.
The two teams will play game three of the series on Saturday at 12 p.m. CDT (1 p.m. EDT). The winner advances to the six team, double elimination portion of the USA South Tournament on April 13-15 in LaGrange, Ga.
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