The two winningest pitchers in the Atlantic Sun Conference squared off Wednesday evening and treated the Patricia Wilson Field crowd to a terrific pitchers' duel.
UNF scored a single run in the top of the second inning and made the lead hold up in a 1-0 victory over Stetson in the Hatters' regular season finale.
Stetson (30-20, 13-13 A-Sun) will head into next week's conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. as the no. 6 seed. UNF (40-13, 18-6) will battle for the A-Sun regular season championship at home this weekend vs. FGCU.
Stetson's Meredith Owen and UNF's Kaylie Wallace entered Wednesday's game tied with each other for the league-lead in wins with 21. Both pitchers threw seven strong innings in a briskly-paced game, but pinch-hitter Lauren Pollack's sacrifice fly in the top of the second inning proved to be the only run of the contest.
"We outhit (UNF) 6-4, but we didn't string our hits together," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "We didn't get the one long ball that we get most games. You have to give (Wallace) credit, she is a great pitcher. She might be the best pitcher in the conference. Certainly two of the best pitchers in the conference were facing each other tonight, and that's how you get a 1-0 game."
Owen (21-8) suffered her first loss in 10 starts, despite allowing just four hits. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. Sixty-three of her 96 pitches went for strikes.
Wallace (22-5) struck out four en route to her second shutout of the Hatters this season. Griffin said his team had a more aggressive approach at the plate this time around than when the teams met two weeks ago.
Owen and Jessica Griffin each had two hits to lead Stetson, while Brittany Hawn and Courtney Brandt chipped in one hit apiece.
Stetson knows it will open the conference tournament at 6:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night, but the Hatters won't learn their first-round opponent until Saturday evening following the conclusion of the A-Sun regular season.