DeLand, Fla. - Visiting Kennesaw State (25-20, 9-3 Atlantic Sun) handed the Stetson softball team (21-16, 6-6 Atlantic Sun) a pair of stinging 5-1 and 8-1 defeats on Senior Day at Patricia Wilson Field Saturday afternoon. Junior catcher Jordan Cleghorn (Ball Ground, Ga.) racked up four hits in the doubleheader to lead the Hatters, who stranded 22 baserunners while scoring just two runs in 14 innings.
The wins kept the Owls in first place in the conference standings while Stetson lost at home to KSU for the first time in program history. The Hatters remain narrowly holding on to A-Sun tournament qualifying position with six conference games remaining.
GAME 1 - KENNESAW STATE 5, STETSON 1
A long solo home run to left field by freshman pitcher Courtney Brandt (Dade City, Fla.) in the bottom of the third inning, her team-leading sixth longball of the season, put the Hatters ahead 1-0. Brandt and sophomore relief pitcher Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) did their best to make that slim lead stand up, but ultimately the 13 LOB stranded by the Hatters would cost them dearly.
KSU right fielder Bianca Durant snuck an RBI single through the right side of the infield with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth to tie the game 1-1 and the score remained that way into the seventh inning. A-Sun home run leader Sharon Swanson put her team on top with a solo homer with one out in the top of the seventh. The Owls didn't let up from there, putting more runners on for second baseman Kaylee Williams to end matters with a three-run home run.
For the Hatters, senior first baseman Carolyn Boyd (Germantown, Tenn.) went two for three while Cleghorn was two for four with a double. Jessica Cross earned the win with 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings; Owen took the loss.
GAME 2 - KENNESAW STATE 8, STETSON 1
Stetson again went ahead early, using two hits and a walk in the first inning against Owls pitcher Amanda Henderson to load the bases, whereupon Boyd drew another walk for an RBI and a 1-0 lead. Henderson struck out the next two batters and the Hatters would only get one runner as far as third base the rest of the afternoon. Stetson ultimately left nine more on base in the nightcap for 22 in the twinbill.
KSU scored all eight of its runs in its final three turns at bat, going ahead in the fifth on a Durant solo homer, a Carly Van Auken RBI single and back-to-back bases-loaded walks. Van Auken added a two-run single in the sixth and Lindsey Vollmer had an RBI single in the seventh for the final margin.
Henderson struck out nine to earn the complete game win; Brandt took the loss for Stetson. Cleghorn had two hits for the Hatters while Owen smacked her team-leading ninth double of the season.
Stetson heads back out on the road for its final five games of April, starting Saturday with a 1:00 pm doubleheader at A-Sun rival ETSU; the trip continues with a 1:00 pm Sunday twinbill at USC Upstate in league action. Live Stats will be linked at GoHatters.com; fans should check ASun.TV for webcasts if available.
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