Softball Swept in Saturday Doubleheader by Mercer
MACON, Ga. – A lack of offensive production and some costly errors proved to be a downfall for UNCG Saturday as the Spartans were swept by Mercer to fall to 3-2 in Southern Conference play.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) received the loss in the first game, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks in her six innings of work. Kylie Bouplon (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) tossed one inning, surrendering a single hit.
The Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. The first run came home on a throwing error by Kale on a pickoff attempt. However, a Quirisa Mauga double to left-center made that fact academic as both runs were ultimately earned.
The Spartans fought back and tied the game up in the fourth. Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic), who promptly stole second. Lopez came around to score on a Sidney Grkman (Salisbury, N.C./Jesse Carson) single to center field.
Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) then drew a walk and was followed by a hit-by-pitch by Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell). Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) was up next, registering an RBI with a ground out to second base, scoring Grkman to knot the game at two runs apiece.
Mercer, though, came right back with a run in the bottom of the fourth. The Bears added three runs of insurance in the sixth and the Spartans were held off of the board the rest of the way.
Bouplon made the start in the night cap, taking the loss after throwing all six innings. The freshman allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and five walks.
This time both teams got off to hot starts offensively. Sholtes connected with every stitch of a Maxine Rodriguez offering, plowing a two-run homer to straight-away center field to put UNCG up 2-0. However, Mercer came back with a run in the bottom half to cut the Spartan lead to 2-1.
The Spartan lead wouldn’t last for long, though. After a Sholtes fielding error at first allowed Emma Andrew to come home, a Megan Lane single scored Danielle Castleberry.
The Bears extended their lead by two runs in the fifth, notching a solo home run by Mauga and a sacrifice fly by Taylor Rodgers.
That was more than enough offense for the Bears as UNCG was unable to put any more runs on the board.
The Spartans and Bears will meet up at Sikes Field again Sunday for the series finale, beginning at 1:00 p.m.