Nashville, Tenn. - The Stetson softball team (19-14, 4-4 Atlantic Sun) bounced back in a big way from a disappointing outing yesterday, sweeping host Lipscomb (23-13, 3-5 A-Sun) in a doubleheader by scores of 1-0 in eight innings and 5-3 on Saturday. The Hatters equaled their 2011 win total and swept the Lady Bison at Draper Diamond for the first time in series history.
STETSON 1, LIPSCOMB 0 (8 INNINGS) - GAME 1
Stetson sophomore hurler Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) and Lipscomb's 2010 A-Sun Pitcher of the Year Whitney Kiihnl engaged in a terrific pitching duel throughout the opener. Neither team had many major scoring chances in regulation, although Owen worked out of a two on, two out jam in the bottom of the first and Kiihnl did likewise in the top of the seventh.
The game went to extra innings still scoreless, whereupon senior shortstop Chelsey Trotto (Lantana, Fla.) singled with one out in the top of the eighth and Owen followed with a double to left field. The next batter, freshman designated player Courtney Brandt, knocked a 1-0 pitch from Kiihnl off the wall in right field to bring home Trotto with the game's only run. Owen worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the eight to nail down the win.
Owen tossed a four-hit shutout with two walks and five strikeouts and went three for four at the plate with her team-high eighth double of the season. Brandt's double was her fifth two-bagger of the season. Stetson snapped a five-game losing streak in extra-inning affairs, winning one for the first time since beating Jacksonville 2-1 in 10 innings May 6, 2010 at Patricia Wilson Field.
STETSON 5, LIPSCOMB 3 - GAME 2
The Hatters broke on top in Game 2 when Brandt led off the top of the second with an infield single; she would eventually come around to score on another infield single, this one off the bat of junior catcher Jordan Cleghorn (Ball Ground, Ga.). Lipscomb first baseman Haley Elliott drew her team level 1-1 with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
Stetson got to Lady Bison starter Ashley Anderson for three straight hits in the top of the fifth, capped off by an Owen two-run single that put the Hatters ahead 3-1. Kiihnl relieved Anderson at that point and did not allow a run until the seventh. Elliott would tie the game again with a two-out, two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth.
With one on and two out in the top of the seventh, Brandt stepped to the plate and drove Kiihnl's first offering deep over the left field foul pole for a two-run home run, her fourth of the season, and a 5-3 lead that Owen made stand up in the home half of the frame.
Owen threw four innings in relief of Brandt to earn her second win of the day, striking out two and scattering two runs on four hits. Kiihnl was tagged with the loss again. Seven of the nine Stetson starters in Game 2 had a base hit with sophomore center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) stealing her team-leading 16th base of the season.
Stetson returns home to face A-Sun foe Mercer in a 4:00 pm Thursday doubleheader at Patricia Wilson Field. Live Stats and Hatter Vision will be available at GoHatters.com.
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