Mercer Cluster

Softball slumps in A-Sun play

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's struggles on the diamond recently have brought the team's record back to 17-13 midway through the 2011 campaign.

(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's struggles on the diamond recently have brought the team's record back to 17-13 midway through the 2011 campaign.

Garret McDowell

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(photo courtesy of MercerBears.com) Mercer's struggles on the diamond recently have brought the team's record back to 17-13 midway through the 2011 campaign.

After the cancellation of the doubleheader with Florida A&M, the Mercer Bears went on an Atlantic Sun road trip to take on conference rivals Campbell, Jacksonville, and North Florida to start A-Sun play. The start of the A-Sun slate has not gone quite as well as the Bears and their senior stars would have hoped. Recent setbacks have the team hovering around the .500 mark halfway into the 2011 season. Series losses against Campbell and Jacksonville in conjunction with a doubleheader split against the UNF Osprey have Mercer near the bottom of the A-Sun as April approaches.

Softball: 17-13 overall,
1-5 Atlantic Sun

Campbell 0-2

Despite outhitting the Camels in their conference opener, the Mercer Bears dropped both games in their doubleheader. This will be the last time the two teams are slated to play regularly in conference play, as Campbell heads for the Big South conference next season. They lost 3-2 and 6-3. Sara Stukes performed well, going 4-for-7. Kari Chambers and Jenni Holtz each picked up losses, and they went to 7-5 and 8-5 respectively on the year. Kassie Bailey performed well in relief.

Jacksonville 0-2

Despite having a week off before the doubleheader versus the Dolphins of Jacksonville, the Mercer Bears did not perform well at all, failing to muster any offense at the plate with no runs, even as Jenni Holtz had eight superb innings before finally getting scored on in the bottom of the ninth. The Bears were blown out 7-0 in the first game, and then lost 1-0 in the nightcap. Kristin Marko went 3-for-5 in the doubleheader, including the only hit in the first game. Jacksonville’s ace pitcher Sarah Sigrest won both games against the Bears, facing 37 batters.

North Florida 1-1

An eight run sixth inning in game one led to the Mercer Bears righting the ship, halting a losing streak that stretched back to March 10. They won 9-3, but they dropped the second game 3-2, despite holding a lead into the sixth inning. This was the first conference win on the year for the Bears, and Jenni Holtz recorded her ninth win of her senior season, facing 36 batters along the way. McKenzie Woody went 4-for-8, helping spark a lot of offense at the top of the order. Amanda Santa Maria went 3-for-6. The Bears were just unable to muster enough late in the second game.

The Bears next see action with doubleheaders versus Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson at home on April 2 and 3. After this, they travel to Auburn and Florida State. The Bears look to build momentum for the middle of their conference schedule.

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Softball slumps in A-Sun play