Bears Set to Host Home Opener on Tuesday Against Presbyterian
MACON, Ga. – It has been nearly a month since the 2012 softball season began and the Mercer softball team has been on the road for all of it. That is until Tuesday when the team welcomes Presbyterian to Sikes Field for the 2012 home opener.
The Bears have had a grueling travel schedule since early February and come out of it one game below .500 coming into Tuesday's doubleheader against the Blue Hose. Game time tomorrow is set for 2 and 4 p.m. at Sikes Field. This season, Sikes Field will also be displaying its newest addition, a brand new Electromech scoreboard in left field. The new scoreboard is the first major improvement to the recently upgraded facility since 2004.
LAST TIME OUT
ATHENS, Ga. – On the final day of the Georgia Bulldog Classic, the Mercer softball team dropped a 2-0 decision to No. 7 and tournament host Georgia.
Coming off a notable 14-6 victory over Rutgers last night, the Bears (9-10, 0-0 A-Sun) continued their inspired play on Sunday in limiting the No. 7 ranked team in the country to just two runs on four hits. A strong outing from junior pitcher Kerri Nidiffer kept the Bears within reach throughout, but the Bears' could muster just three hits of their own in the game.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
These same two teams met less than a year ago to close out the 2011 regular season with the Bears taking a doubleheader sweep, 2-1 and 6-0 on Presbyterian's senior day. Seniors Kristin Marko and Sara Stukes each plated two RBI in the games last year with Stukes going deep in the 6-0 in game two.
This season the Blue Hose are 3-8 and have been outscored by opponents 50-33, including a 12-3 margin in the first inning. Pitcher Leslie Hensley has thrown four complete games and comes in with a 1-4 overall record and is also leading the Blue Hose at the plate five RBI and two home runs. Fellow pitcher Kensley Loudermelk has a team-low 1.83 ERA with 17 strikeouts.
-Since starting the season 0-6 the Bears have settled down and performed much better over the last 13 games. Mercer is 9-4 since then and has improved its batting average from .222 in the first six games to .293 in the last 13. The Bears are averaging over six runs per game on this latest run, an increase of over three runs per game to start the season.