MACON, Ga. – The Mercer softball team will play five games over the next three days in this weekend's Georgia Bulldog Invitational. Mercer is one of five teams in the tournament and faces off against Ohio (11 a.m.) and Minnesota (1 p.m.) starting tomorrow.
Saturday's schedule shapes with the Bears squaring off against Rutgers (3 p.m.) and Cleveland State (7 p.m.) and then finishes up the tournament against No. 7 Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Bears (7-8) are winners of seven of their last nine games and have outscored their opponents 60-24 over that stretch.
MERCER AGAINST THE FIELD
MERCER vs. OHIO – 11 a.m. Saturday
This will be the second-ever meeting between the Bears and Bobcats as the two teams met last year at a tournament at Charleston Southern. Ohio took a 2-0 win over Mercer last season and limited the Bears to just two hits in the game. The Bobcats are 6-6 so far this season and are led by Chelsea Hortman who is batting .435 with two home runs and seven RBI.
Mercer vs. Minnesota – 1 p.m. Saturday
Mercer is 0-1 all-time against the Golden Gophers and is currently second in the Big 10 with a 10-3 overall record. Kaitlyn Richardson and Tyler Walker each have four home runs on the year, with Richardson leading all Minnesota players with 17 RBI and a .395 average.
Mercer vs. Rutgers – 3 p.m. Saturday
The Scarlet Knights are off to a 4-3 start in 2012 and hold a 3-0 advantage over Mercer in the all-time series. Pitcher Alyssa Landrith has made three starts with two complete-game victories (3-1 overall) to go along with her 5.78 ERA. Rutgers is currently in seventh position in the Big East and senior outfielder Brittney Lindley is the reigning Big East Player of the Week after batting .714 with three home runs and seven RBI in three games at the CenturyLink Classic last week.
Mercer vs. Cleveland St. – 7 p.m. Saturday
The Vikings sit at 1-8 with a tough start to 2012 campaign. Junior Dara Toman is leads the team in batting average (.407), hits (11), home runs (2), runs batted in (6), total bases (19) and slugging percentage (.704). Her .407 average ranks sixth in the Horizon League. Senior pitcher Megan Bashak is 1-5 in six games from the circle. Bashak has pitched three complete games and 31 innings over that span. She has a 2.03 ERA. The Vikings' offense has struggled to score averaging just 3.2 runs per game. They have scored one run or less in four of nine games.
Mercer vs. Georgia – 1 p.m. Sunday
The Bears look for their first-ever win against the seventh ranked Bulldogs of Georgia. Mercer is 0-13 all-time against UGA. The Bulldogs are 13-2 on the year (9-1 at home). The Georgia pitching staff has held their opponents to a .206 batting average while posting a 1.77 team ERA. Morgan Montemayor, Tess Sito and Erin Arevalo have combined to throw complete games in all 13 games this season. At the plate, Georgia leads the SEC in home runs with 21. Senior Kristyn Sandberg paces the Bulldog offense with a .467 average and a 1.167 slugging percentage. Georgia's Paige Wilson garnered SEC Freshman of the Week honors with seven RBIs, seven hits, three home runs and three runs scored in four games last week.