Before the start of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said he thought the team whose offense got hot would win the tournament.
The Hatters hitters certianly didn't set the world on fire, scoring just 11 runs in four games, but the team came through with clutch plate appearances and timely hits when they mattered the most.
On Wednesday, it was Demi Meza's bases-loaded, two-run double down the right field line that broke a 1-1 tie against Florida Gulf Coast.
On Thursday, Jessica Griffin drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning and Amanda Grimaldo hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth as Stetson knocked off the No. 2 seed and tournament host Lipscomb 2-0.
Friday it was Jessie TenBroeck's game-tying single and Meredith Owen's three-run home run that proved to be the difference in the 4-1 semifinal win over Mercer.
The Hatters had to wait until the bottom of the seventh Saturday for their clutch hit, but with the bases loaded and no outs, Grimaldo delivered a single to right field to capture the title for Stetson.
"I was holding my bat and looking up at the sky saying, 'Please, God, we deserve this. We have worked so hard since the fall,'" Grimaldo said. "Hearing (my teammates) in the background singing the 'I Believe' cheer when I kept fouling those balls off, I knew this is the time."
While Hatters emerged with just enough offense, the team's pitching and defensive effort ultimately won the championship for Stetson. In the four games, the Hatters were charged for just three fielding errors, but none of those baserunners came around to score. Instead, Stetson executed play after play in clutch situations to keep their opponents off the board.
"Every position was solid," head coach Frank Griffin said. "The pitching was solid. (Jessica Griffin) called a great game behind the plate. That's really what got us through the tournament, defense and pitching."