Holtz's Historic Day Highlights Key Sweep of Stetson
MACON, Ga. – Senior Jenni Holtz became Mercer softball's winngest pitcher after finishing off the sweep of Stetson in Sunday's Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Sikes Field.
Holtz picked up her record-setting 65th career win by giving up just one earned run and striking seven batters in six innings of work on Sunday. The Bears held onto the 3-1 game-two win, while picking up a pivotal 3-2 extra-inning victory in game one.
The Tracy, Calif. native surpassed Katie Rosentreter for the all-time lead and solidifies herself as one of the most successful pitchers in Mercer history. Holtz also moves into sole possession of 10th place all-time in Atlantic Sun history with her 65th win.
Mercer's offense gave Holtz some early run support in game two as senior Amanda Santa Maria and freshman Randi Rea both recorded doubles to plate three runs in bottom of the first. The runs turned out to be all the Bears would need as Holtz and the MU defense stood up to a late-inning Stetson threat. Santa Maria finished game two going 2-for-2 with two RBI, pushing her season total to 14.
Fellow senior pitcher Kari Chambers relieved Holtz in the seventh and picked up her first-career save after retiring the final three batters of the game. Chambers also picked up the complete game win in game one.
Somewhat overshadowed by Holtz' accomplishment was an impressive late-inning comeback by the Bears in game one. Coming into Sunday's games, Mercer had been just 1-10 this season when trailing after five innings. Against the Hatters, the Bears fortune's would change thanks to two clutch home runs.
With the Bears down to their final out in the seventh, junior Sarah Santana was able to tie the ballgame with her second home run of the season. Chambers was able to keep the Hatters scoreless in the eighth and finished game one with 10 strikeouts and zero earned runs.
Junior Kassie Bailey led off for the Bears in the bottom half of the eighth and saw just three pitches before launching the walkoff home run to left center. The clutch home run was the first for Bailey in a Bears uniform. She pushed her average over .300 by going 3-for-4 in game one with a double and the home run.
The Bears are on a three-game winning streak and will take a brief rest from conference play as the team heads to Auburn this Wednesday. The doubleheader is set for a 5 p.m. first pitch.