The KSU softball team opened their 2012-2013 Atlantic Sun Conference play in spectacular fashion, defeating the Mercer Bears twice in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 13 at Bailey Park.
“You are never going to be dissatisfied with two conference wins,” said KSU head coach Scott Whitlock. “I thought we pitched very well today, we played solid defense and we got timely hits. Swanson had some big knocks and that last inning Bianca came up there and really set the table for us.”
Despite leading at the top of the third inning in the second game, Mercer could not hold onto their 1-run lead, as Sharon Swansons stepped up the plate in the fourth inning, smacking her second home run of the day and sixth of the season. Heading into the seventh inning, the Owls were able to load the bases on a pair of hits and a walk. Sara Sikes delivered a walk-off single to center field, driving in Bianca Durant from third.
KSU senior Abbey Mixon added to her stellar record, pitching her fifth complete game and moving to a 7-2 mark on the year. She had five strikeouts and only allowed four hits and one earned run.
The second game was a much closer contest as the Owls came out swinging in the first game of the doubleheader. After Missy Perkowski found her way onto first base with a solid single, Swanson hit a two-run homer to put the Owls up 2-0 in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, the Owls sealed the deal, as Sikes drove in pinch-runner Kara Chambers with a single up the middle.
Amanda Henderson commanded the mound in game one, throwing her eighth complete game and fourth shutout of the season. Her incredible record of 10-0 was improved upon, as she allowed only three hits, and recorded eight strikeouts.
With the pair of wins, the Owls moved to 18-3 on the season and 2-0 in conference play, while Mercer falls to 14-14 and 3-2 in league play. The Owls will look to build on their first conference series and look for a road victory against fellow A-Sun rival Lipscomb.