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Bert Propels Furman Softball To Walk-Off Win, Series Victory Versus Mercer

Lindsey Bert
Lindsey Bert

Furman 4, Mercer 3 (10 inn.)

Mercer 1, Furman 0

Greenville, S.C. -- Junior Lindsey Bert held Mercer to one earned run over 12 innings of work and delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning in game one as Furman secured a doubleheader split with the Bears and captured the series victory, two-games-to-one, on Saturday at Pepsi Stadium.

The Paladins, who won by a 4-3 score  in game one, moved to 23-17 overall and 7-2 in Southern Conference play with the doubleheader split. Mercer, 1-0 winners in game two, moved to 20-26 overall and 6-6 in the SoCon.

Furman 4, Mercer 3 (10 inn.)

Bert worked five innings of effective relief and lined a walk-off single through the right side in the bottom of the 10th inning of game one to give Furman a 4-3 victory and the series win.

Trailing 3-2 after Mercer's Taylor Rodgers drove in Quirisa Mauga, the international tiebreaker runner, in the top of the 10th, Furman rallied in the bottom of the frame. Sarah Windham executed the sacrifice bunt to move Emma Ogburn to third base. Caroline Cash hit a bouncer off the end of the bat back to the circle that was misplayed, allowing Ogburn to score the tying run. Courtney Jacobs reached on a throwing error when she bunted towards third base to put runners at first and second with one out. After Casey Bigham popped up, Bert lined a single through the right side to score Cash with the winning run.

Bert limited Mercer to just one unearned run on four hits over five innings of relief to improve to 13-8. She fanned seven batters and allowed only one walk. Paladin starter Emily Demonte gave up just two runs on six hits in five innings, while walking one batter and fanning five. Mercer's Megan Bilgri (8-7), who surrendered two unearned runs on one hits in 2.2 innings of relief, took the loss for the Bears.

Three singles loaded the bases for Mercer in the top of the third before Mauga was plunked with a pitch to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Brittany Houston lined a double off the base of the left field wall to start a Paladin rally. Following a fly out and strikeout, Cash lined a triple into the right field corner to plate the tying run, and the junior from Spartanburg, S.C., put Furman in front when Jacobs looped a two-out, RBI single to left-center that allowed her to score from second base.

Mercer tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning on Danielle Castleberry's line drive double off the glove of Windham, who had dove towards the third base line. The Bears worked out of trouble and stranded Furman runners in the sixth and seventh innings. Bert fanned back-to-back Bears in the top of the ninth to strand a pair of runners and set up her own heroics in the 10th.

Cash went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs and an RBI, while Taylor Vahle finished 2-for-4 at the plate for the Paladins. Taylor Miller and Caroline Taylor each collected two hits for Mercer.

Mercer 1, Furman 0

Mercer avoided the sweep as Bilgri tossed a three-hit shutout and retired 19 of the final 20 batters she faced to lead the Bears to a 1-0 victory in the final game of the three-game weekend series.

Bilgri improved to 9-7 in the circle, while no allowing a walk and fanning one batter in seven innings or work.

The loss spoiled an outstanding start for Bert (13-9), who gave up only a run on four hits over seven innings and fanned 10 batters without issuing a walk. The Tallahasse, Fla., native notched her 500th career strikeout in the loss and moved into fourth on Furman's career strikeouts ledger with 506.

Mercer got the lone run it would need in the top of the second. Mauga reached on a leadoff single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt.  After Rodgers singled to move Mauga to third base, Emma Andrew lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score the game's lone run.

Furman got a leadoff double from Cash and a single from AnnaRose Borrelli in the bottom of the first, but failed to score. Houston's fifth-inning single was the only Paladin safety the rest of the way.

Bert finished the weekend series 2-1 with a 0.37 ERA. She allowed just an earned run on 10 hits in 19 innings in the circle, while she walked four batters and struck out 29.

The Paladins return to action on Wednesday, April 19, when they host the South Carolina State Bulldogs in a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Pepsi Stadium. Admission is free.

Fans can watch Wednesday's twinbill on YouTube and follow live statistics via s by logging onto FurmanPaladins.com.




Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information