MACON, Ga.--The Mercer softball team sealed a 2-1 extra inning victory over Eastern Kentucky in the championship game of the Holiday Inn Classic at Bear Field as Stephanie Barrett singled in Jennifer Dolan to score the final run in the bottom of the eighth.
Mercer had reached the championship game after defeating Eastern Kentucky in Game Six 1-0 and then defeating Radford in Game Seven 6-1. Eastern Kentucky had beaten Austin Peay State University in Game Eight to earn its way to the championship.
In the championship, Mercer scored first when Stacy Nagel smacked a solo home run, her third of the tournament and her sixth of the season, to put the Bears on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth.
The Colonels tied the game in the top of the fifth when Elise Burch doubled and then scored on an error by pitcher Chris Mattice. Mattice didn't get rattled, however, as she pitched all eight innings and earned the win. She allowed six hits and no earned runs while striking out two. Offensively, Nagel, Barrett, Crystal Pardue and Jennifer Fraser each had one hit for Mercer.
Mercer began the day with a 1-0 win over Eastern Kentucky which put the Bears at 3-0 and secured a #1 seed as they advanced to the elimination portion of the tournament. The only run of the game came on an RBI single from Kristin Bissell in the top of the third. Kristi Montgomery was outstanding on the mound as she was able to hold EKU scoreless despite giving up seven hits. She stranded eight runners on base and struck out three in improving to 3-4 on the year.
As the #1 seed, Mercer took on the #4 seed, Radford University, which was 0-3 at the tournament heading into the game.
The Bears broke open a 1-1 game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Amy Parbon led the inning off with a double and came around to score on a single by Nikki Bowey. Crystal Pardue scored later in the inning on an RBI double from Jennifer Fraser.
Mercer busted the game wide open with three more tallies in the fifth. Melissa Lett opened the frame with a two-bagger and scored on a single by Stephanie Barrett. Barrett then came around to score on a single from Stacy Nagel and Nagel was pushed across on a base hit from Bowey.
Fraser also got the job done on the mound. The sophomore hurler allowed six hits and one run in the complete game victory. She didn't walk a batter and she fanned one. Offensively, eight different players had at least one hit while Bowey led the attack as she finished 2 for 3 with 2 RBI.