DELAND, Fla. – For the first time this season, the Stetson University softball team will play a game outside the state of Florida when they take on Mercer this weekend in Macon, Ga., during a three game set, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 15.
The Hatters (14-4, 2-1) are fresh off their series win over conference foe USC Upstate earlier this week. Stetson took two of three from the Spartans who came to DeLand, having not lost an A-Sun game in three previous contests. Head coach Frank Griffin’s squad smacked two home runs during the series at Patricia Wilson Field, scoring 10 runs and racking up 14 hits in 21 innings of play.
“It can only help,” Griffin said. “Going into conference play we go up against the previously ranked No. 25 team in the country and win two games, losing only one, so there has to be some momentum there.”
Stetson will look to take that momentum and turn it into W’s as its track record against the Bears is stellar, holding a 53-16 record against them all-time.
“We knew coming in (to the Upstate series) that we were going to have to bring our top game,” said junior shortstop Amanda Grimaldo “We are 2-1 now in the conference and when you beat a Top 25 team that’s great, but it is just a milestone. We have so many more games left.”
Mercer carries a 17-9 record into the weekend with an identical 2-1 conference mark, having taken two of three from ETSU last weekend. The Bears most recently played Florida in Gainesville, where the Gators swept the two-game set on Wednesday.
The Hatters will be attempting to win their fourth game against Mercer in their last six tries and looking for their first victory in Macon since 2007. This will be the final time these two squads meet up in the regular season as conference opponents because the Bears will be leaving the A-Sun for the Southern Conference for the 2015 season.
Saturday’s doubleheader between the two clubs starts at 1 p.m. at Sikes Field in Macon with the second game to start at approximately 3:30 p.m. The final game of the three game set is scheduled for Sunday, March 16 at 1 p.m.
In game live stats for the series will be available through Mercer’s website at: http://livestats.prestosports.com/mercer/ . Updates will also be available on the Stetson softball twitter feed as well as from Hat-Alerts, the athletic department’s official text messaging system. Post game recaps to be posted on gohatters.com.
--First meeting: 1987
--Last meeting: 2013
--Streak: Mercer W2
--The Hatters are 53-16 (.768) against Mercer in 69 previous meetings.
--Stetson and Mercer first met in the 1987 season as New South Conference opponents.
--The Hatters took the first 13 of 14 meetings between the two squads, a stretch of success starting in 1987 and lasting until the 1994 season.
--SU is 14-10 (.583) all-time in Macon vs. the Bears
--The eight runs scored against the Spartans in Wednesday’s 8-5 Stetson win were the most put up on the board against Upstate this season.
--Meredith Owen was 3-9 with two home runs, three RBI a walk and three runs scored against the Spartans.
--The 10 runs scored by Stetson during the three game set were the most scored by an opponent on USC during three consecutive games all season.