By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — Coming off of two straight defeats to Russia and state ranked Newton, the Covington Lady Buccs needed a big win on Tuesday to regain some confidence.
After all, the confidence had to be shaken after surrendering a 5-1 lead on Monday in the first loss to Newton since May 3, 2011 and an uncharacteristic lackluster effort in a 13-6 loss to Russia – the first defeat to the Raiders in over a decade.
But a big win is what Covington earned on Tuesday with a 15-4 run rule victory over Twin Valley South as freshman Kenzie Long tossed the first complete game of her young high school career.
Long was stellar, limiting the Panthers to just five hits – all but one coming in the first two innings in which South plated all four of its runs. She struck out nine batters thanks to her ability to get ahead in the count. In all, Long threw 15 first pitch strikes.
The visiting Panthers scored a run in the top of the first, but Covington responded by plating six runs in the bottom of the inning. The big hit came from sophomore Chelsea Ford, who wrapped a two-run double in the gap.
A mistake in the field cost Covington in the second inning and Twin Valley South was able to take advantage of the miscue to extend the inning for three runs to cut the margin to 6-4.
After Covington scored a run in the bottom half of the second on a passed ball, Kenzie Long shut the door on Twin Valley South by allowing just one hit over three scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, Justice Warner gave Covington some huge momentum in the bottom of the third with a towering home run over the left field fence. Big hits by Lexie Long and Morgan Studebaker followed and suddenly Covington plated five runs to take a 12-4 lead into the fourth inning.
Which was the only inning where no runs crossed the plate, but Covington put the game away in the bottom of the fifth with three runs to close out the game with a 15-4 win.
The win boosts Covington’s record to 12-6 overall and 7-1 in the CCC. The Lady Buccs host Arcanum on Thursday.