Bears Head to No. 22 Auburn on Wednesday
MACON, Ga. – After a strong weekend, taking three of four games against Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson, the Mercer softball team takes a short break from Atlantic Sun conference play and heads to No. 22 Auburn for a mid-week non-conference tilt on Wednesday night.
Senior pitcher Jenni Holtz picked up her record-setting 65th career win by defeating Stetson, 3-1 in game two of Sunday's doubleheader and will look to improve her 2-1 all-time record against the Tigers on Wednesday. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch.
Head Coach Mike Raynor and the Bears have fared well against the Tigers(29-7, 9-5 SEC) in recent years holding a 3-2 overall advantage since 2008, including a two-game sweep at Auburn in 2009. Last year, Auburn was able to return the favor shutting out the Bears 4-0 at home.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Auburn comes into Wednesday's doubleheader as the No. 22 ranked team in the country. The Bears have not faced a ranked opponent all year and haven't faced a team in the Top 25 since a 10-5 loss at No. 8 Georgia Tech last season. The Tigers hold an impressive 18-1 home record and have outscored their opponents 122-29 in those games.
Offensively, the Tigers are efficient in scoring runs with seven players putting up 15 or more RBI already this season. Morgan Estell leads the Tigers with a .388 batting average, 38 hits, 5 home runs and 27 RBI.
Inside the circle, Auburn carries a trio of pitchers who maintain a sub-2.0 ERA in 2011. Lauren Schmalz leads the way with a 12-2 overall record with 107 strikeouts in 86.2 innings pitched. Angel Bunner has seen only slightly more action starting 13 games with a 9-3 record.