Mercer’s season ends after run to JUCO World Series
Although the Mercer County Community College softball team was hoping to do more, what should not be overlooked is the fact it accomplished a lot.
Competing in the JUCO Division I World Series for just the fifth time in the school’s history, Mercer ended up exiting the tournament in Clinton, Mississippi in two straight.
On Wednesday Mercer suffered a tough 5-4 loss in its opener to LSU Eunice, which has long been a feeder for the powerhouse University of Louisiana program and came into the tournament ranked third in the country.
Mercer could have easily won this game as it moved out to a 4-0 lead behind a tworun homer by Tatum Marshall. The Louisiana girls, however, got back in the game on a fluke play in which a blooper to the outfield ticked off the glove of diving second baseman Sophie Beretski and rolled down the right field line in the sixth inning.
Three runs scored on the play and then LSU Eunice tied it with another hit. After Mercer failed to score in the top of the seventh, LSU Eunice won it in walk-off fashion.
Mercer then met the end of the line Thursday in a 10- 0 loss to Madison of Wisconsin. Steinert graduate Kaley Wise had a threehitter going through five innings and trailed by only the score of 1-0, but the wheels fell off from there.
“I really believe if we had won that first game we would have been in pretty good shape,” said Mercer CCC coach Ryan Zegarski. “LSU Eunice was beating the team we would have played, 6-0, the last time I looked.”
Mercer ended up with a record of 37-8-1, which is the third highest number of wins in the history of the program.
“I view it 100 percent as a positive season,” said Zegarski. “A lot of these kids had great years for us. It’s a little bittersweet because you always want to win, but these girls have an awful lot to be proud of.”
Mercer will lose 11 second-year players, but already has commitments from a host of talented high school seniors from around the Trenton area.
“It will be a different kind of team next year,” said Zegarski. “Next year we will have more speed. This team had a lot of power. It was a special group that really came together.”
The Mercer County CC softball team reached the JUCO Division I World Series this season.