Nashville, Tenn. – The Stetson softball team scored an all-time Atlantic Sun tournament record 14 runs on 12 hits in a 14-6 rout of FGCU Wednesday afternoon in the first day of 2013 A-Sun Championship at Draper Diamond in Nashville, Tenn.
For the second straight year, the sixth-seeded Hatters (31-20) pulled off a first-round upset to advance into the winner’s bracket. Stetson will face USC Upstate at 11 a.m. ET Thursday morning in a game broadcast live on ASun.TV.
Meredith Owen hit a three-run home run in the first inning and added a two-run double in the third inning for a career-best five RBI performance. She was also the winning pitcher despite allowing six runs on 12 hits.
“I am frustrated with myself but so happy my team backed me up,” Owen said. “I can’t take anything away from FGCU, they are a fantastic hitting team. I was impressed with the way they made adjustments in the box. My team saw me struggling and they did everything they could to help me, and I’m so appreciative.”
The Hatters took advantage of six walks and four FGCU errors to score in every inning but the second. Stetson never trailed in the game but had to fight off several rallies by the Eagles (35-17).
“There are a lot of teams in the conference that can hit, and Florida Gulf Coast is right there at the top," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "We’ve been impressing to the girls all week that we are going to get scored on (in the tournament), we just have to score more. They bought into it. They had a good day at the plate and were swinging at good pitches. Meredith had an exceptional day, and I’m just so pleased with everyone.”
Morgan Hatch also went deep for Stetson, while Jessica Griffin went 2-for-2 with three walks and a tournament record four runs scored.
“For a freshman, Jessica does an exceptional job of swinging at good pitches,” Frank Griffin said. “If they give her four balls, she is going to take her base. All you have to do is look at her on-base pct.”
Jessica Griffin raised her on-base pct. to .460 after reaching base all five times. Four of the Hatters six walks in the game came around to score.
“I think we were very patient,” Jessica Griffin said. “We saw a lot of good and bad pitches, and the fact that we were letting the bad ones go and just swinging away at the good ones really helped us.”
Mariah Fernandez went 4-for-4 to lead FGCU, and Brittany Garabedian hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth. Stetson had been swept by FGCU in the regular season.
“I was never happy with our lead,” Frank Griffin said. “Florida Gulf Coast is capable of hammering the ball, which they did. We just stayed at it, strung some hits together, took our walks, and scored 14 runs.”
Notes: The 14 runs surpassed the previous A-Sun tournament mark of 13, which was set by Stetson in 1990 vs. Mercer ... The 20 combined runs also set an A-Sun tournament record … Meredith Owen hit her 11th home run of the season, her third against FGCU, and her first career home run in the postseason ... FGCU walked Owen intentionally in the fourth inning with runners at first and second and two outs ... Morgan Hatch hit her fourth home run of the season and drove in three runs ... Stetson's 14 runs was a season-high ... The Hatters improved to 25-4 when scoring first ... Brittany Hawn extended her hitting streak to six games ... The win was the 799th career victory for Stetson coach Frank Griffin.