Spring Sports Recap: April 2- April 12
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In their third weekend of conference play, the Bears continued to shine, taking the series against The Citadel 2-1. The Bears struggled in the first game of the series, losing to the Bulldogs 4-0. Eric Nyquist, senior pitcher for the Bears, received the loss, making him 4-2 on the season. Offensively, Mercer struck out 14 times throughout the game, which was a season-high for Bulldogs’ pitcher James Reeves.
For the second game of the series, the Bears were finally swinging their bats, which powered them to a 4-3 win. Matt Meeder was the offensive star for the Bears, recording multiple hits in the winning effort. In his second SoCon start, pitcher Grant Papelian received the win after only giving up six hits and three runs in his six innings of work.
The Bears took the series in the final game by making an offensive statement against the Bulldogs with a 17-0 win. The 17 runs that the Bears recorded made up the highest number that they have recorded this season. Both Danny Edgeworth and Trey Truitt added home runs to the win while pitcher Ryan Askew took the win after six scoreless innings of pitching.
In a midweek rivalry game, the Bears faced off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Although the Bears’ three runs in the seventh inning put them ahead, their rally fell short after a couple of late hits by the Yellow Jackets. Pitcher Mitchell Wade received his first loss while Jackson Ware led the Bears offensively with multiple hits.
After four consecutive weekends of conference play, the Bears remained in first place after taking the series against the No. 2 Western Carolina Catamounts. The first game against the Catamounts was an offensive battle, but the Bears came away with an 11-8 win. Nyquist started on the mound for Mercer but allowed 6 runs in only 1.1 innings of work. From there, Morgan Pittman took over the next 5.2 innings and allowed only one run on two hits. Reliever Ben Lumsden received the win for the Bears due to his stellar performance in the last inning.
The Bears fell on the second day of the series 3-0. Papelian received the loss, which puts him at 4-2 on the season. Truitt was the only Mercer player to record a hit throughout the contest.
The Bears took the series with a 5-3 win for the final game between the teams. Mitchell Wade received the win while DJ Johnson recorded the save. Devin Bonin added a home run, and Jackson Ware recorded a double in the series finale.
The Bears will travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on the Wofford Terriers on April 17.
In its first Southern Conference road trip, the Mercer Softball Team went 2-1 against the Furman University Paladins.
The Bears opened up the series with a win for pitcher Kristen Stevens, which makes her an impressive 18-6 on the season. Caroline Taylor, Kaytlin Haney and Taylor Rogers all recorded doubles in the win. Furman added two seventh inning runs, but their rally fell short, giving the Bears a 5-2 win in the series opener.
Megan Bilgri, freshman pitcher for the Bears, added her fourth win with only one loss on the season. Bilgri was the third pitcher on the mound for the Bears, and she recorded only one hit and three strikeouts in her four innings of work. Both Riley Carter and Caroline Taylor added home runs in the 11-inning 5-3 win over the Paladins.
The Bears fell in the final game of the series 4-3. While Stevens started the game for the Bears, Bilgri recorded her second loss of the season, giving away a home run in the last outing of the game. Offensively, Quirisa Mauga recorded the only home run for the Bears while Taylor Miller added a double in the losing effort.
The Bears opened up their series against UNC-Greensboro strong with a 7-2 win, but then fell to the Spartans as they answered back with an 8-5 win.
In the first game, Stevens added another win after pitching an entire game and only allowing two runs. Offensively, Caroline Taylor led the Bears with two hits, one run and three RBIs.
The Bears were unable to take the series because of their lack of offense in the second game between the teams. The Spartans opened the game with a two-run homer, already creating a deficit for the Bears. Anna O’Neill received the loss for the Bears, putting her at 5-6 for the year. Riley Carter led the Bears offensively with two hits and three RBIs.
The deciding game of the series was cancelled due to unfit field conditions and will not be made up. The Bears return to play on April 18 against the Samford University Bulldogs in Birmingham, Ala.
Rounding out the second half of its Southern Conference schedule, the Mercer Men’s Lacrosse Team overpowered the Virginia Military Institute Keydets 17-4. With this win, the team is tied for most wins in a season, being 4-0 in Southern Conference play.
In the win, Chris Baxa recorded a career-high of four goals while Chris Rahil added three and Brian Gibson added two of his own. Eight other players also recorded goals in the win, including Whit Anderson, Scott Baird, James Fromert, Jackson Kleintz, Matt Quinn, Anssi Kaisalmi, Walker Ensor and Timmy Geran. Goalkeeper Mike Nugent snagged seven saves against the Keydets, and Kleintz posted an impressive six assists.
In the team’s fifth SoCon game, the Bears fell to the Air Force 10-7, breaking their four-game winning streak. Offensively, Timmy Gerna and Chris Baxa led the Bears with two goals apiece. Chris Rahil, Bryan Gibson and Jackson Kleintz also added goals for the Bears. Mike Nugent registered 13 saves in the loss while Justin Evans went 9-for-21 in faceoffs.
The Bears return to Five Star Stadium on April 18 to take on the Jacksonville University Dolphins for their Senior Day and the final home game of the season.
In their third straight Southern Conference loss of the season, the Bears were defeated by the Old Dominion Monarchs 24-10. Kate Leone led the Bears offensively with three goals while teammate Lindsey Zeltwanger recorded four assists as well as one goal and three ground balls. Erica Coyne also added two goals, two assists and two ground balls in the losing effort. Goalkeeper Haleigh Wurzel posted 11 saves in the loss while allowing 16 goals throughout her playing time. The Monarchs outshot the Bears 45-16 and also overpowered them in ground balls 28-13.
The Bears finally posted their first Atlantic Sun win against the Howard University Bison. In the 21-15 victory, Leone once again led the Bears offensively with a program-record of eight goals in the winning effort. She also added an assist, a ground ball and four draw controls. Both Zeltwanger and Kate Christian added five goals, two assists, two draw controls and a ground ball. Goalkeepers Wurzel and Michele Holmes tallied six saves each throughout the game.
After traveling to Jacksonville, the Bears were defeated by the JU Dolphins 21-6 for their fourth loss in SoCon play. Offensively, Kate Leone and Kate Christian led the Bears with two goals each. Teammates Lindsey Zeltwanger and Tori Blakeman also added goals for the Bears. Haleigh Wurzel tallied 17 saves in the losing effort.
The Bears return to Five Star Stadium on April 18 to take on the Stetson University Hatters.
On April 3, the Bears traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., to take on the Chattanooga Mocs in their fourth SoCon match of the season. In the matchup, the Bears swept the Mocs 7-0 in their second sweep of the second. All six single matches came out victorious, and both of the one and two seed for the doubles matches came out with wins.
In their final road match of the season, the Bears picked up their third sweep on the season, defeating The Citadel 7-0. The Bears dominated in both the singles and the doubles matches against the Bulldogs. This was the Bears’ fourth-straight SoCon win, as they moved to 11-11 on the season.
Next up, the nationally ranked ETSU Buccaneers broke Mercer’s four-game win streak with a 7-0 sweep against the Bears. In the doubles matches, the pairing of Sam Philip and Anderson Scarpa were the only team to win while all six single matches fell to the Bucs.
The next day, the Bears bounced back against the Samford Bulldogs with a 5-2 win. Oliver Snaider, Sam Philip, Arsav Mohanty and Manuel de Luis came out victorious in the singles matches while pairings Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa added wins in the doubles portion of the match.
The Bears finished the regular season with a record of 5-2 in SoCon play and 12-12 overall. The team will travel to Greenville, S.C., for the Southern Conference Tournament beginning on April 24.
On April 1, the Bears fell to the Samford Bulldogs 6-1 at Leroy Peddy Tennis Center. In the number three spot, Roxy Bartz was the only Bear to defeat the Bulldogs in both the singles and doubles matches.
The Bears then traveled to Greenville, S.C., to take on the Furman University Bulldogs. At the Mickel Tennis Center, the Bears were swept by the Bulldogs 7-0. There was not a single victor in the singles or double matches for the Bears.
The Bears’ losing streak continued as the team fell to instate rival Kennesaw State University 4-3. In the singles matches, Haley Powell, Liza Klyachkin and Laura Kelly tallied wins in the four, five and six spots while the pairing of Powell and Xandra Fougner was the only team to win for the doubles matches.
For their six-straight conference loss, the Bears fell to the UNC Greensboro Spartans 6-1. Laura Kelly was the only Bear to win a match for the singles portion of play while the pairing of Grace Korta and Roxy Bartz found a win in the number one spot for doubles play.
The Bears will conclude their regular season play against the Chattanooga Mocs in Macon on April 12.