Senior Editor of The Bear Zone/ Sports Columnist
Pitching makes all the difference. With Lacey Richardson and Jenni Holtz taking care of business from the circle last Thursday night, the softball team continued their successful start to the 2009 campaign with two quality wins over Southern Conference opponent Furman.
The Paladins (3-7) tallied only 6 hits in the doubleheader, falling victim of the magnificent pitching from Richardson and Holtz. On the other side, Mercer’s offense came through when necessary with a big two run shot by Page Raynor over the left-centerfield wall in game one and with timely hitting from Emi Sherrill and Jenny Goodman in the nightcap. Mercer (11-6) had its offensive struggles too with only four hits in the first game and six in the second, but the Bears made the most of their base runners, scoring seemingly at will when hitting the softball.
The second game moved along quickly, much like the first as the Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. With two outs, Amanda Santa Maria singled to left field before Holly Oglesbee struck out. Oglesbee, however, ran down to first base safely because the catcher dropped the third strike, giving Mercer two base runners. A Jenny Goodman single and a Emi Sherrill double that followed would eventually score three runners before the inning ended.
Furman would put a run across the plate in the fourth, but the effort wasn’t enough as sophomore Jenni Holtz (5-3) continued to ring up strikeouts, finishing with 10 for the game. The Paladins’ Bethany Ullrich (0-2) was handed the loss as she gave up three runs in her 2.2 innings pitched.
The Bears don’t return to Sikes Field until Spring Break where they’ll take on Austin Peay and