By Brandon Boyer, Staff Writer
Published in print Apr. 15, 2015
The UNCG Spartans softball team went on the road this past weekend to Georgia to play on Sikes Field at the campus of Mercer University.
Head Coach Janelle Breneman had her squad prepared to end their weekend series losing streak.
Her team had not won a weekend series since a mid February match-up against George Washington.
The Spartans took on the Mercer Bears in a clash between the hosting Southern Conference newcomers and the finest college softball players from the city of Greensboro.
After capturing their first conference win against Western Carolina last week, the Blue and Gold looked to capitalize and march up the Southern Conference table away from home this week, despite their stout opposition.
Game 1: Mercer 7-2 UNCG
In game one of a Saturday doubleheader in the Georgian heat, the Mercer Bears capitalized on their home field advantage and piled on the runs in back-to-back three run innings to put the Spartans on their heels, 7-2.
Junior Nicole Thomas was the high note on offense for UNC-Greensboro, smashing a belter over the wall in left center to tie the game up early on at 1-1.
The blast was Thomas’s team high seventh home run on the season
Come the fifth and sixth innings, however, Mercer put their stamp on the game.
With Emma Andrew of the Bears on base, Riley Carter cracked off a laser of a hit into right field for a triple, driving Andrew home from an RBI.
Carolina Taylor, Mercer’s offensive powerhouse, then drove Carter home with a two-out, two run home run to run the score up to 4-1.
In the sixth, three hits garnered three runs for the hosts following some smart base running and an error by the Spartans that gifted a run to the hosts.
Despite loading the bases up in the seventh, the Blue and Gold only managed to get one more run home following an RBI single smacked up the middle by junior Danielle Vega.
Freshman pitcher Alicia Bazonski earned her eighth loss of the season for UNC-Greensboro, falling to 7-8 overall this season. Kristen Stevens of the Bears earned her 19 win of quite a phenomenal season for her, improving to 19-6 so far this season.
Game 2: Mercer 5-8 UNCG
In game two of the doubleheader between the Spartans and the Bears, the Spartans’ bats were red hot as they smashed three home runs to secure their second win in Southern Conference play by the final score of 5-8.
Nicole Thomas fired off her eighth home run of the season to start off the game, as the junior pitcher absolutely obliterated the ball over the left center field fence to give the Blue and Gold an early 2-0 lead.
Nicole’s sister, Lindsay, joined her sister on the home run board early in the game, as the junior hit her fifth home run of the season on Saturday. The home run pushed the UNCG lead to 4-1.
Despite Mercer loading up the bases in the next inning, Thomas expertly handled herself on the bump, squashing any threat to UNCG’s lead with two strikeouts to close the half inning.
The Spartans original intent over the weekend was to play three games against the Bears of Mercer.
Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for UNC-Greensboro, washing out the rubber match of the two-day series Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans will return to the field today to take on Gardner-Webb in a doubleheader at the UNCG Softball Stadium. The first game begins at 4pm.
The second game is scheduled to begin at 6pm.
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