College Sports

Mercer denied trip to NCAAs; Tech, UGA win tight games

Fresh off of its best A-Sun conference tournament performance ever, Mercer’s softball team awaited word Sunday night on whether it would received an at-large bid to the 64-team NCAA tournament.

The Bears got no news, which was bad news.

Mercer was not awarded an at-large bid to the tournament and will end its best season in program history at 40-19.

The brackets were released late Sunday night.

A-Sun champion Campbell, which nipped Mercer twice, faces North Carolina.

Mercer broke the school mark for wins a few weeks ago and went 3-2 in the tournament, beating Jacksonville (2-0) and Lipscomb (2-0 and 10-4) while losing to Campbell by a pair of 1-0 scores, including in the championship.

The Bears entered the tournament ahead of Campbell in the NCAA’s RPI. Mercer was 53 while Campbell was 64th. Mercer finished the tournament at No. 50 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association RPI, five spots ahead of Campbell. Lipscomb was 53rd in the NCAA and 52nd in the NFCA RPI.

Mercer’s biggest wins non-conference wins were against Auburn (No.30/33) and Troy (57/54).

The Bears played seven non-conferemce teams that made the tournament: Radford, Tennessee-MartinGeorgia Tech ,Georgia, Auburn, Jacksonville State and Florida A&M. Mercer swept Auburn and FAMU.

Of the field, only 19 won as many games as Mercer or more.

GCSU ADVANCES IN NCAASGCSU’s men’s tennis team rolled to a 5-0 win Saturday over Columbus State in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Milledgeville.The seventh-ranked Bobcats advance to take on No. 14 Abilene Christian University (26-7) on Wednesday in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 in Altamonte Springs, Fla. ACU is tied for the most wins of any team in the field, beating Washburn University 5-0 in the regional final.GCSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in doubles, keyed by the No. 3 team of Max Beliankou and Robert Angelucci, who beat Nemanja Djuric and Diego Motivar 8-3.GCSU’s other doubles teams both won 8-5, and then the Bobcats got singles wins from Francis Yoshimoto and Leo Bernardes.

HOST TEAM ELIMINATES GCSU The Georgia College & State softball team got one win on Saturday, but was eliminated by Lenoir-Rhyne in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Hickory, N.C.

GCSU pounded No. 15 USC Aiken 8-0 in five innings Saturday evening in a game delayed about five hours by weather, then lost to Lenoir-Rhyne 6-4 right after that.

GCSU’s season ends at 32-24.

Tonya Medders and Kayla Smith belted three-run homers in the win over USC Aiken, Medders getting the Bobcats going with the first-inning bomb. Smith’s shot in the fifth ended the game.

GCSU pitcher Mandy Chandler threw a one-hitter with four strikeouts.

Smith’s second-inning homer gave GCSU 1-0 lead in the second game, but L-R quickly tied it and then went ahead in the third.

TECH WINS ACC SOFTBALLSophomore Kristen Adkins tossed a complete game and held off a furious seventh inning rally as No. 21 Georgia Tech defeated No. 16 Florida State 3-1 Sunday afternoon to win the ACC tournament championship.

The Yellow Jackets (43-13) had a 3-0 lead heading to the seventh inning when Florida State (43-14) mounted a furious comeback. The Seminoles had a run in and the bases loaded with just one out when Kaleigh Rafter hit into the game-ending double play.

UGA REACHES ROUND OF 16The second-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA championships Sunday after a 4-0 win over No. 35 Boise State at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Georgia (25-2) has won 14 straight matches and now will play the Florida/Florida State winner in the round of 16 on Friday in College Station, Texas. The Bulldogs are making their 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship appearance and are 55-20 overall in the tournament, winning national titles in 1994 and 2000.

GEORGIA TECH NIPS FSUTony Plagman drove in the winning run to cap a two-run ninth-inning rally, lifting No. 8 Georgia Tech past No. 6 Florida State 6-5 Sunday at Russ Chandler Stadium to win the weekend ACC series.

The Yellow Jackets (33-12-1 overall, 16-8-1 ACC) won for the fifth time in six games, while the Seminoles, the first place team in the Atlantic Division, fell to 36-14, 19-9 in the ACC. Tech regained a percentage-points lead in the Coastal Division.

Chris House’s single began the Tech rally in the ninth against FSU closer Jimmy Marshall (3-2). Jeff Rowland followed with a walk, and Derek Dietrich got an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Marshall then walked Luke Murton to force in the tying run.

With the winning run at third, FSU head coach Mike Martin inserted Sherman Johnson as a fifth infielder, between short and second. Plagman, whose solo homer in the seventh inning brought the Jackets within a run, hit the fourth pitch from Marshall up the middle. Johnson dove to field the ball, but his throw home was too late.

UGA WINS IN NINTH INNINGMatt Cerione’s single to left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth scored Michael Demperio from second as No. 13 Georgia snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Vanderbilt Sunday at Foley Field.

With the win the Bulldogs (34-17, 15-12 SEC) clinched a berth in the SEC tournament.

Demperio was hit on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth, then stole second on an 0-1 pitch to Lyle Allen. Allen was then plunked to set up Cerione’s hit on a 3-2 count.

Cerione had two hits including hit his eighth home run of the year to left field in the bottom of the first.

MGC WINS REGIONAL, ADVANCESMiddle Georgia College beat Georgia Perimeter twice Sunday to claim the NJCAA Region XVII tournament championship.

Middle Georgia beat Georgia Perimeter 10-6 and 13-4. T.J. Rich, who hit five home runs for Middle Georgia, was named tournament MVP.

Middle Georgia advances to district tournament play this weekend at Volunteer State (Tenn.).