MACON, Ga. – The Mercer softball team sought a little redemption in Wednesday night's Atlantic Sun matchup against in-state rival Kennesaw State and that is just what the Bears earned, downing the Owls 4-2 at Sikes Field.
Mercer (18-14, 7-2 A-Sun) dropped both games of last week's doubleheader to the Owls (20-5, 4-2 A-Sun), but put together one of its more complete games on Wednesday in its first win against KSU since 2011. The win also moves the Bears' current winning streak to four games.
The Bears jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first, attacking arguably the A-Sun's leading pitcher in KSU's Amanda Henderson from the start. Junior McKenzie Woody led off the game with her first of three singles on the day. Three batters later, junior Krista Kennedy knocked in both Woody and freshman Marissa Botz with a single up the middle to give MU the early 2-0 lead.
Henderson, who was 12-0 coming into the game lasted just two innings before being pulled at the start of the third. KSU cut the Mercer lead to 2-1 in the third scoring a run off a sacrifice fly off the bat of Sharon Swanson. However, that would be as close as the Owls would get as the Bears bats responded.
Mercer scored two more in the fourth as junior Randi Rea laced a RBI double to left center to score freshman Natalie Shiver from second. Rea came around to score the Bears fourth run as freshman Kaytlin Haney connected with an RBI single up the middle. Haney finished the game going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Junior pitcher Julia Rice continued to show improvement in picking up her 10th win of the year. Rice threw her eighth complete game of the season in process in allowing just six hits and two earned runs while striking out four.
The Bears continue Atlantic Sun play this weekend as the team heads south to DeLand, Fla. to take on Stetson in a three-game set. Mercer and Stetson play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. and finish out the series on Sunday with one game at 1 p.m.