Maryville College used a stellar defensive performance on Wednesday afternoon, as the Scots defeated Covenant, 5-2.
Diving plays, double plays and scoops at first highlighted the defensive effort, as Maryville moved to 14-0 in USA South Athletic Conference play.
Wednesday's sweep of Covenant – MC's seventh conference sweep of the season – sets up a USA South Championship bout on Saturday.
Maryville will play Piedmont College – 13-1 in conference play – as the Scots look for the second-consecutive USA South Western Division title. First pitch for the double-header is slated for 1 p.m., weather permitting.
Maryville got on the board early, as Alexus Murray singled through the left side to leadoff the game. The catcher stole second, setting up Essence Strambler for an RBI double to left. Taylor Campbell followed suit with an RBI single of her own up the middle, scoring Strambler. After one inning, Maryville led 2-0.
MC made it a 3-0 ball game in the bottom of the fourth, as Ashton Hayden singled to third and stole second. Murray scored her with an RBI single to center for the three-run lead through four.
The Scots tallied two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Reid Ballard and Sarah Gordon put runners on for Maryville. Morgan Brewer used a sacrifice fly to center to plate pinch runner Amaya Goodloe, before Casey Joliff earned the RBI with single through the left side. She scored pinch runner Grace Gordon for a 5-0 MC lead through five innings.
The Georgian Scots took advantage of an MC error, as Erika Mast reached with two outs. Faith Manning singled to short with a hard knock, as Cope Whitaker earned the RBI with a single to right-center. Mast scored the unearned run, making the score 5-1.
Again, a pair of errors proved costly in the seventh, as Covenant tallied a second unearned run. Jada Allmon reached on a throwing error, before Madyson Gibbins' single to third. A throwing error on the play allowed Allmon to score from first, making the final score 5-2.
Maryville (22-8, 14-0 USA South) was led by Murray who went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Sarah Gordon was 2-for-3, while Strambler went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Campbell was 1-for-4 with an RBI, as Joliff went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Hayden matched her batting efforts with a run, as Christen Torres and Reid Ballard added hits to MC's 11-hit attack. Brewer had an RBI, while Goodloe and Grace Gordon added runs.
MC's Joiff was also stellar in the circle for MC, pitching a complete game. The senior didn't allow a single earned run, as she gave up seven hits with four strikeouts. She moved to 4-4 on the year.
Covenant (11-20, 6-8) saw Whitaker go 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Gibbins went 2-for-4. Mast and Allmon added runs for the Georgian Scots.