Lookout Mountain, GA- After making a run to the championship game of the 2015 USCAA Softball National Championship Tournament, the softball began their campaign for the 2016 season hoping to make a return trip to the game. The dash began on the road with a doubleheader against the Scots of Covenant College, a NCAA Division III opponent.
The top of the first inning looked like it was going to be over quickly for Berea until Morgan McClure, with two outs already on the board, hit an infield single. Mercedes Stanfield continued the offense for the Mountaineers as she reached on a fielder's choice as McClure reached second on a muffed throw by the shortstop. McClure and Stanfield each got into scoring position by stealing a base but the offense stalled when the next batter for Berea flied out to left field. Covenant struck in the bottom of the first as they scored their first run and took a 1-0 lead heading into the second inning. Berea's bats were unable to put a run on the board in the second or third inning and went into the top of the fourth down 2-0 after the Scots scored a run in the bottom of the third inning. The offense for Berea came alive in the top of the fourth though as McClure blasted a ball over the left field fence to cut Covenant's lead to just one. After reaching base via a single, Stanfield added the second run for the Mountaineers off of Kourtney Parker's double down the left field line.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning, the defenses picked up for both teams as neither team scored in the final innings of regulation, forcing the game to go to extra innings. McClure's double to center field resulted in her second RBI of the game in the top of the eighth inning, allowing Chelsey Parsons to score and giving Berea a one run lead but the Scots responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth to extend the game to a ninth inning and make the score 3-3. In the ninth inning, Berea would not be able to add a run to their score and fell in the bottom of the ninth when Covenant's sacrifice fly gave them the first win of the doubleheader 4-3.
McClure led the way at the plate for the Mountaineers, going 3-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs. She also added a stolen base. On the mound for Berea was Katelyn Blair, who pitched a complete game while giving up seven hits, four runs (two earned), striking out four and walking two. The offense scored three runs on seven hits.
After seeing the first two batters record outs in the second game, McClure got to first base on a fielding error, but was stranded onbase as the next batter was unable to reach base. The Scots broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the first inning as they scored seven runs to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Parker looked as though she was going to get the offense going for Berea with her double to center field, but she was left on base as the next three batters all recorded outs. The score remained 7-0 until the bottom of the sixth when Covenant added an eighth run to the board to end the game and give the Scots the doubleheader sweep, winning the second game 8-0.
Taylor Flowers took her first loss of the season on the mound, pitching four innings and giving up eight hits, seven runs (all earned), and walked three batters. Jacquelyne Howard came in for relief to pitch one inning, giving up three hits, one earned run while walking two batters. The team finished with three hits for the game, coming from McClure and Parker, who each had doubles, and Lillian Setters. The sweep moves the team's record to 0-2 to begin the season.