March 9, 2011

Bears Get One Before Rain Halts Doubleheader

STATESBORO, Ga.  – The Mercer softball team had their fourth game in their last seven rained out on Wednesday, but not before the Bears took game one of a scheduled doubleheader over Georgia Southern, 6-1.


The rain made its way to Eagle Field in a downpour in the bottom of the seventh and soon after the official word halted the game after six innings. Game two was cancelled in its entirety due to the rain and the Bears (14-8, 0-0 A-Sun)will now be looking to make up four games because of weather-related cancellations.


Senior Kari Chambers received the win in the rain shortened game, improving her season record to 6-4. Chambers had a no-hitter going into the fourth inning, but gave up a double to Eagles pitcher Megan Smith.  


The Bears are 14-0 when scoring first this season and the trend continued on Wednesday as Mercer put two up on the board in the second and ended up winning the game.  Freshman outfielder Krista Kennedy astutely turned a would-be  bloop single into a double to start the Bears off in the top of the second.


Two batters later Kennedy scored when senior Amanda Santa Maria reached on fielder's choice and Georgia Southern's shortstop Jorie Walker made an error on the throw to second. Sophomore Sarah Santana recorded her first of two RBI in the game as she drove in junior Kassie Bailey on a double to left center on the next at bat.


In the top of the third, Mercer again put the offensive pressure on loading the bases thanks in part to a Georgia Southern error and two singles by juniors Tiffany Phillips and Kassie Bailey. Santana and Santa Maria both recorded their second RBI's of the game by drawing walks in the inning and the Bears were up 4-0 at the end of three.


Georgia Southern ended Chambers' hope for a shutout in the in the bottom of the fifth when Shelby Morrill took a pitch deep off the foul pole in right field. It would be the last hit Chambers gave up on the day.


In the top of the sixth, it was the quick feet of the Bears top of the lineup that put the game away. Senior Anna Johnson stole second after reaching on an infield single, and now leads the A-Sun with 18 stolen bases. Trying to keep pace is freshman McKenzie Woody. To her credit, Woody reached on a fielder's choice on the next play and then with Johnson on third, promptly took second to record her 11th of the year.


The two now hold the top two positions in the conference in stolen bases this year and each would later score in the sixth, giving the Bears the final runs of the day.


Mercer heads home tomorrow for a doubleheader against SoCon foe Samford. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.