LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- It was a record-setting year for the Covenant softball program in 2017. Under first-year head coach Christine Engbers, the Lady Scots put together a tremendous season that culminated in the program's first appearance in the USA South Tournament.
Covenant tied a program record with 22 overall wins and set a mark with 21 regular season victories. The Lady Scots finished 12-10 in the USA South, the most conference wins in a single-season, and advanced to the conference tournament for the first time.
Individually, several players also produced throughout the year. Senior Jordan Brett capped her career by becoming the program's all-time hits leader during the season, to go along with several other offensive records she holds. Sophomore Carsyn Stone finished the year with a 2.13 ERA, the second-lowest earned run average in a single-season. Brett and freshman Madyson Gibbins earned All-USA South West Division honors, while junior Shannon Schmitt earned the program's first CoSIDA Academic All-District award.
The Lady Scots played 20 of their first 26 games at home and would get off to one of the best starts in the program's history. After sweeping USA South foe Agnes Scott on March 13, Covenant had begun the year 12-6 and 6-2 in league play. The Lady Scots also defeated Piedmont for the first time since 2009 when Stone tossed a three-hit shutout on April 1.
GAME OF THE YEAR:
There were several memorable moments from 2017. From the combined no-hitter in the season opener to Jordan Brett's two-run homer against Mary Baldwin that broke the program's all-time hits record, and defeating Piedmont for the first time in eight years.
There was one crucial doubleheader sweep that Covenant had during the year that solidified the Lady Scots as a threat in the conference. Covenant faced North Carolina Wesleyan on March 17 with a 12-8 overall record and 6-4 in the USA South. In game one of the doubleheader, the Lady Scots and Bishops were knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
In that sixth inning, Covenant opened the flood gates and scored seven runs to take an 8-1 victory. Brett had the biggest hit in the frame as she launched a three-run homer over the left-center field fence to break the 1-1 tie. Three batters later, Casey Grover hit a two-run homer and Covenant would score two more runs to take the seven-run lead.
In game two, Covenant fell behind 3-1 but rallied to take a 6-4 lead heading to the seventh. Joni Johnson collected her second of four saves on the year by holding the lead in the seventh for a 6-5 win and series sweep.
Covenant would win three of its next four USA South games as the Lady Scots stayed near the top of the West Division standings for the majority of the year.
Watch Brett's three-run homer below:
All-USA South Sportsmanship
NFCA All-Atlantic Region
Jordan Brett - third team
USA South Player of the Week
Jordan Brett - March 6
CoSIDA Academic All-District
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