DECATUR, Ga.—Agnes Scott Softball saw its offense break open in a big way to earn a split with visiting Covenant College on Wednesday night at Oakhurst Park. The Scotties built up a big lead in game one and held off the Scots for a 7-4 triumph before seeing a seventh-inning rally fall just a run short in a 9-8 loss.
The Scotties move to 3-21 on the season, but earned their first USA South victory of the season and now sit at 1-7 in conference play. Covenant's record goes to 8-15 and 3-3 respectively.
Covenant was the first to break through a two-inning stalemate when Erika Mast (Marietta, Ga.) singled in a pair of runs with two outs in the third. For the Scots, two-our rallies would become a trend much to Agnes Scott's chagrin.
The Scotties halved the deficit just a few minutes later thanks to Alexei Young's (McDonough, Ga.) first career home run, a solo shot over the big wall in left.
However, it was the bottom of the fourth that fully put the game in Agnes Scott's control. Michaela Dailey (Smiths Station, Ala.) kicked off the inning with a single to the hole at short, which was quickly followed by outfield singles from KayLeigh Fitzgerald (Dalton, Ga.) and Jani Howington (Lawrenceville, Ga.). Kayla Quesenberry (Inverness, Fla.) came to the plate with the bases juiced and delivered with a double into the corner in left field to score two for Agnes' first lead of the game.
Suddenly down 7-2, Covenant tried to put rallies together in the fifth and sixth innings but was only able to add to more runs to their total as Agnes Scott held on for its first win since a series sweep of Sewanee in February.
Nine different Scotties hit safely in the opener, while Kayla Spinks (Social Circle, Ga.) corralled her second collegiate victory in the circle while striking out three.
Hits came in bunches for both sides in a series finale that saw 32 combined hits and 17 total runs.
For Covenant, a late run over the final two innings was all it needed to spoil Agnes thoughts about a resume-boosting doubleheader sweep.
Both teams scored for long stretches during the game in what would become Agnes Scott's most seesaw battle of the season.
The Scots were able to take an early lead for the second game in a row thanks to the productive bat of Mast, who drove in two runs in the second inning after Covenant tacked one on in the first.
Rivas got the Scottie offense started in the bottom half of the third with a triple to score White before scoring on a wild pitch just a few pitches later.
After Covenant added a run back onto its lead at 4-2, Agnes Scott claimed its first advantage of game two with four consecutive runs scored between the fourth and fifth innings. The rally was capped off by Young's second home run of the day, which fell in a nearly identical spot as the first.
A series of unfortunate events allowed the Scots to tie the game at six in the sixth inning. Twice the Scotties were unable to make a play to get out of the inning unscathed, leaving the door open for the visitors to stage a comeback.
Covenant took full advantage of the opportunity by scoring three unearned runs in the seventh to take back the lead. Mast was again at the forefront of the charge for Covenant with an RBI triple. All three runs in the top of the seventh came with two outs on the board.
Agnes Scott fought tooth and nail to mount a comeback of its own despite being down to its final three outs. Daily again started the rally with a single into left field, which was followed by a double off the bat of Fitzgerald. Nicole Gilkeson (Atlanta, Ga.) and Howington both knocked in runs to bring the Scotties within one.
With the game-tying run on second and down to their final out, Spinks came up to the plate in just her fifth at-bat of the season. The first-year drove a 1-1 pitch to fairly deep center, but Mast was able to put her final stamp on the game with a nice gliding grab to end the threat.
Agnes Scott notched a season-high 15 hits with Fitzgerald leading the way with a 3-for-4 evening.
Quesenberry was charged with the loss despite allowing only one earned run in five innings of relief work. Covenant's Lulu Klecan picked up her second win of the year.
Agnes Scott heads back out of conference play for the final time this season when they take a trip to Columbus, Mississippi to take on Mississippi University for Women (15-6) on Saturday. The Owls just entered provisional NCAA Division III status this week.