Bears Lose Two on Day One of Seminole Classic
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Mercer softball team's early-season struggles continued after dropping two games on day one of the Florida St. Seminole Classic on Friday afternoon.
The Bears (0-6, 0-0 A-Sun) opened the tournament with a 9-3 loss against Coastal Carolina (4-1, 0-0 Big South) and then would plate just two runs in 7-2 loss to North Dakota St.(5-2, 0-0 Summit League). Mercer's senior pitcher Kassie Bailey (0-2) recorded the loss in game one while Kerri Nidiffer(0-3) picked up the loss in game two.
Coastal Carolina put up runs in six of the seven innings and tallied 10 hits against Mercer pitchers in game one. The Bears got behind early when CCU's Brooke Donovan took Bailey deep for a grand slam in the top of the second, giving the Chanticleers a 5-0 lead. Bailey finished with four and two-thirds innings pitched, allowing eight runs on nine hits.
Mercer got on the board in the bottom of the third when senior outfielder Tiffany Phillips continued her solid start to the 2012 season. Phillips drove in sophomore McKenzie Woody and Krista Kennedy off a single though the right side of the infield for her seventh and eighth RBI of the season. She also leads the team with eight hits and 16 total bases already in 2012.
The Bears would get one more run in the bottom of the fourth when senior Sara Stukes laced a double scoring Bailey from second. Stukes went 2-for-3 in the game with her second double of the season.
Molly Anderson came in to finish the game in the top of the fifth and looked strong in her outing. Anderson struck out four in two and a third innings pitched and allowed just one hit and one run.
In game two against North Dakota St., the Bears jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Bailey, who started at first base in game two, knocked in Phillips from third on a single through the left side. Mercer left two on in the first and eight total in the game.
The lead wouldn't last long for the Bears as North Dakota St. scored three in the bottom of the second. Bison starting catcher, Jenina Ortega started things off with a leadoff double. After a wild pitch moved her to third, Ortega was brought home on a sacrifice fly to left, tying the game. Three batters later, Bison third baseman Brea Konz would double, scoring two more giving the NSDU a 3-1 lead after two.
Kerri Nidiffer started game two, allowing the first three runs on three hits in an inning and two thirds. Freshman Jessica Holsinger took over inside the circle in the bottom of the second. She gave up just two more runs over the next three innings and faced a team-high 17 batters in the game. However in the bottom of the sixth, Holsinger allowed a run to score after hitting Jamie Gay with the bases loaded.
Two errors in the sixth contributed to NDSU's total of seven runs in the game.
Sophomore Kristen Bretscher recorded the final two outs of the game striking out one in the process.
Mercer continues play in the Seminole Classic tomorrow with just one game on the docket for the Bears. MU faces off against Western Carolina at 6:30 p.m. and then will play two on Sunday again against Western Carolina and Florida St.