|Softball Takes Two From Niagara on Friday|
Meredith Owen hit a three-run home run and Courtney Brandt added a solo shot as Stetson defeated visiting Niagara 4-1 in game one of a doubleheader Friday at Patricia Wilson Field.
Chelsea Whalley went 2-for-3 with five RBI in the nightcap as the Hatters (8-6) completed the sweep with a 8-0 victory in five innings.
"They were two good wins today," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "I thought our defense played well both ball games. We scratched out a few runs in the first game and a lot more in the second."
Brandt (1-2) picked up the win in game one after working the first 5.2 innings. She allowed just three hits and one run. Owen (7-2) nailed down the final four outs to record the save in game one and then pitched a one-hit shutout in game two for her seventh victory of the season.
"I thought Courtney did a good job in the first game, but got a little tired at the end," Griffin said. "Meredith came in and finished it off, and then pitched almost five perfect innings (in game two)."
Owen allowed just two Purple Eagles to reach base, one on a hits-batsman in the third inning and one on an infield single to lead-off the top off the fifth. It was her second shutout of the season.
Whalley was the offensive hero in game two, delivering twice with the bases loaded. In the bottom of the third, the Hatter lefty singled down the left field line to drive in a pair of runs. One inning later, Whalley slammed a 3-2 pitch into the leftcenter field gap to clear the bases.
"Chelsea is hitting more backside then she has in the past," Griffin said. "I think that is a good weapon for her. We are still trying to get her to slant her body a little more forward, even when she takes her weight back. She is seeing the ball well and I think that's they key - if you see it, it is easier to hit."
It was Whalley's second five-RBI game of the season and increased her season RBI total to 16.
"Like most lefties, I just see a lot of outside pitches," Whalley said. "We work a lot on (hitting backside) in practice so I'm glad it is paying off."
Owen was 3-for-4 on the day with four RBI. Her three-run home run came in the bottom of the first inning in game one.
Three innings later, Brandt hit the 11th home run of her career to put Stetson ahead 4-0. She collected two hits in game one, while Kayla Drury, Brittany Hawn, Owen and Whalley each added a pair of hits in game two.
"We have such a cohesive unit this year, I know if I can't do the job the girl behind me can, or the girl in front of me can," Whalley said. "We showed it the other night when we scored four runs in the seventh inning and took a ball game (against Bethune-Cookman)."
Stetson will take a few days off for spring break before returning to action next Friday at the Stetson Classic.
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