MACON, Ga. (GoMocs.com)---After a lightning delay postponed all games until Sunday, Chattanooga (30-11, 11-3 SoCon) dropped its first SoCon series of the season to Mercer, 2-1.
The Bears clinched the first victory of the day 5-4, while the Mocs claimed the second game, 8-2. With two games accounted for, Mercer would take the series with an 8-0 triumph in the third game of the day.
Game 1: Chattanooga 4, Mercer 5 Picking up from Saturday's start, the Mocs wasted no time getting on the board. Sarah Beth Roberts led off the inning with a single to left field, advancing Sam Taylor to third. With the Mocs in scoring position, Nicole Osterman doubled to center field to drive in Taylor and Roberts but was caught out third.
The Bears cut Chattanooga's lead in half as they scored a run off of two hits in the bottom of the third.
Unyielding, the Mocs responded with loaded bases in the top of the fourth. Back at the top of the lineup Sam Taylor was the one to cash in for UTC as she singled through right center running in Jesslyn Stockard from third and Anyssa Robles from second to put Chattanooga up, 4-1.
Keeping it a close game, the Bears loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame. A sacrifice-fly from Mercer's Molly Garmany ran in Natalie Shiver from third to put the Bears only two behind UTC at 4-2.
Still hanging on, Mercer picked up a third run on three hits in the bottom of the fifth, setting the score, 4-3.
The Mocs would maintain their lead until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Bears stole the game 5-4 on a two-run homer from Shiver.
Game 2: Chattanooga 8, Mercer 2 Anyssa Robles helped the Mocs take an early 1-0 in the second inning as the junior doubled to right center, driving in Criket Blanco from second. Freshman Kailey Palazzolo followed with a single through the left side. An error by Mercer's leftfielder helped the Mocs advance around the bases, putting Palazzolo at second and running in Robles to extend Chattanooga's lead to 2-0.
However, an overextended throw from the Mocs and a single through the left side from Mercer's Carolina Taylor allowed the Bears to tie the game at two in the bottom of the third inning.
With her second at-bat, Palazzolo regained the lead for Chattanooga, 3-2, as she smacked a double to left field giving Jesslyn Stockard just enough time run home from first.
UTC cushioned its lead with four hits and three runs in the top of the fifth frame. Sam Taylor ignited the offensive outburst with a double to left center. J.J. Hamill followed up with a two-run homer, her fourth of the season. Sarah Beth Roberts continued the push with her tenth homerun of the season over the centerfield wall.
The Mocs would tack on two more runs in the top of the seventh. With bases loaded Mercer's Anna O'Neil hit Jenny Garcia sending her to first and walking in Blanco from third. Sam Taylor then blasted out a sacrifice fly to left field to run in pinch runner Amanda Ross from third.
Keeping the Bears unproductive in the bottom of the innings, Chattanooga held its lead and won the game 8-2. The lone pitcher for the Mocs in the seven frame matchup, Taylor Deason improved to 12-4, with only up two walks in 28 at bats.
Game 3: Chattanooga 0, Mercer 8 With the series on the line, Mercer took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as Bears Natalie Shiver and Kaylynn Sloat delivered homeruns over the center field and right field walls.
Limiting the Mocs on offense, the Bears extended their lead with 6 runs in the bottom of the fourth and would ultimately take the final game 8-0 in five innings.