Mercer (2-1) jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead against a Gardner-Webb (0-2) squad playing its first game since February 8.
The Bears scored just 14 seconds into the contest, with Kate Leone finding Audrey Robertson for a 1-0 lead. After another goal three minutes later, Mercer got three consecutive scores from Erica Coyne to take a 5-0 lead at the 23:52 mark – then a pair of goals from Lindsey Zeltwanger to go up 7-0 with 22:49 on the first-half clock.
Lindsey Lippert snapped the back of the net with a shot at the 20:00 mark, taking a pass from Rose to cut Mercer's lead to 7-2.
Cassidy McDowell scored an unassisted goal with 15:25 on the clock to cut the lead to 9-3, but Mercer ran off six unanswered goals over the next 10 minutes to go up 15-4 on Michaela Lucas' goal with 4:25 before the half.
Neither team would scratch again until Rose scored with 2:20 before intermission. The Bears led 15-4 at the break.
Gardner-Webb made a quick run out of the locker room, with Amanda Steinmuller netting her third goal of the season just 28 seconds into the final period.
McDowell and Steinmuller scored back-to-back goals to cut the Mercer lead to 16-7 with 23:57 to play in the game, but the Bears closed the game on a 7-0 run for the final margin.
Mercer held a 39-15 shooting advantage (31-13 on goal) and were an efficient 7-of-9 on clears.
Lindsey Zeltwanger scored seven goals and dished off six assists to lead the Bears offensively, with Kelly Hagerty and Coyne adding four goals each.
Gardner-Webb got three goals each from Steinmuller, McDowell and Rose and two assists from Steinmuller. Rose finished the day with a team-high four ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers. She also had a team-high three draw controls in the game.
Melan White started the game between the pipes and recorded seven saves in 47:01 played in goal.
Gardner-Webb will return home for its opener in Spangler Stadium on Tuesday, February 28 – hosting Saint Francis (Pa.) at 2:00 pm.