Softball splits with FGCU, Auburn, sweeps rival Stetson in recent Atlantic Sun play

%28Alex+Lockwood+%2F+Cluster+Staff%29+Mercer%E2%80%99s+softball+team+has+been+slowly+improving+throughout+the+season%2C+keeping+their+record+above+the+.500+mark+with+a+pair+of+big+wins+over+the+Stetson+Hatters.
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Softball splits with FGCU, Auburn, sweeps rival Stetson in recent Atlantic Sun play

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Mercer’s softball team has been slowly improving throughout the season, keeping their record above the .500 mark with a pair of big wins over the Stetson Hatters.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Mercer’s softball team has been slowly improving throughout the season, keeping their record above the .500 mark with a pair of big wins over the Stetson Hatters.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Mercer’s softball team has been slowly improving throughout the season, keeping their record above the .500 mark with a pair of big wins over the Stetson Hatters.

(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Mercer’s softball team has been slowly improving throughout the season, keeping their record above the .500 mark with a pair of big wins over the Stetson Hatters.

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(Alex Lockwood / Cluster Staff) Mercer’s softball team has been slowly improving throughout the season, keeping their record above the .500 mark with a pair of big wins over the Stetson Hatters.

The Mercer Bears softball team entered April on a sour note, having lost five of six, but they have turned it around, going 4-4 this month already with games still ahead against ACC and Atlantic Sun foes. They currently have a three-game losing streak as of April 12.

Mercer Bears Softball: 21-17 overall, 4-6 Atlantic Sun

Mercer 1-1 FGCU

Mercer lost their second match in a row, but they split the series by winning the second game of the doubleheader. This was a great end to an up-and-down start of the season. A walkoff win in game two by Sara Stukes helped jumpstart the Bears for the season and the rest of conference play. Kari Chambers picked up the win.

Mercer 2-0 Stetson

At home in a series that they needed to win, the Bears won each game, but they were close. They won 3-2 and 3-0. Jenni Holtz’s tenth win on the season was her 65th career victory, making her the winningest pitcher in Mercer history and 10th in Atlantic Sun’s recordbooks. Game One saw a late rally by the Bears capitulated by Kassie Bailey’s walkoff home run. Game Two was just a masterful pitching display by the Bears’ leader Holtz.

Mercer 1-1 Auburn

Mercer traveled to Auburn, Ala., and upset SEC power Auburn 3-0 in the first game, splitting the series after a tough afternoon loss. Auburn was ranked No. 22 in the country at the time. Coach Mike Raynor and the Bears defeated a ranked opponent for the first time this season, and they are 4-3 against Auburn since 2007. This is the second time this season that the Bears knocked off a SEC opponent (Mississippi State, the other). The second game saw errors that were uncommon as the Bears spurred a rally by the Tiger bats.

Mercer 0-2 Florida State

Mercer’s brutal non-conference schedule took a turn for the worse as a close 5-4 loss punctuated the efforts of the Bears against non-conference foes this entire season. Jenni Holtz became the first pitcher in Mercer history to record 900 strikeouts. In addition, she is  the third pitcher in Atlantic Sun history to reach that milestone. Mercer dropped a three-run lead against the Seminoles, as the senior pitcher was unable to keep the home team from scoring, including a three-run home run that tied the game. In the second game, Kari Chambers only allowed three runs, but a lack of finishing crippled the Bears. Seven base runners were left stranded for the Bears.

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