Highland Heights, Ky. -- The Stetson softball team extended its winning streak to 12 on Saturday with a pair of Atlantic Sun Conference victories at Northern Kentucky.
The Hatters (27-5, 11-2 A-Sun) defeated the Norse (3-29, 1-13) by 8-0 and 12-1 margins in two run-rule shortened contests. The game one victory earned head coach Frank Griffin his 600th win at Stetson.
Also in game one, Courtney Brandt hit a three-run home run and Meredith Owen (14-3) tossed a two-hit shutout. Sarah Read (10-1) earned her 10th victory of the season in game two while Jessica Griffin went 2-for-2 with four RBI.
The Hatters jumped out to big leads in both games, scoring six in the top of the first inning in game one and four in the top of the first in game two.
"It was exciting to see them score big in the first inning of each game," Frank Griffin said. "I think that took a lot of pressure off to allow us to score even more."
Griffin also said the early leads helped take the pressure off the pitchers. Owen was in control in game one, allowing just two hits and no walks while striking out seven. Read, meanwhile, allowed just one run on five hits while striking out a pair in game two.
"You pitch with confidence, and you don't feel like you have to strikeout every batter," Griffin said about pitching with a lead. "You can let your defense do some work. It was just a good day for us offensively, defensively, and in the circle."
The Hatters combined for 20 runs and 18 hits on the day. Kayla Drury and Owen each collected three hits including a double, while Jessica Griffin drove in five runs during the doubleheader. Amanda Grimaldo, Chrissy Morello, Jessie TenBroeck, and Griffin each notched two hits apiece. TenBroeck's two hits extended her hitting streak to 14 games. Meza drove in four runs, giving her a team-high 32 RBI on the season.
Brandt's three-run home run in the top of the first of game one was the only ball to leave the park on Saturday. She now has eight home runs on the season, including seven in her last 10 games.
The Hatters have won 12 in a row for the first time since the 2004 season. The teams will wrap up their three-game series at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Notes: Stetson is now alone in second place in the conference standings, but tied with league-leader USC Upstate in the loss column ... The Hatters are 17-0 when scoring in the first inning this season ... Stetson has outscored its opponents 44-14 in first innings this season ... Owen is tied for the A-Sun lead in wins (15).