DELAND, Fla. – Down 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Stetson University softball team used back-to-back home runs, a single and a sac fly to score five runs and stun Buffalo, 6-5, Wednesday night at Patricia Wilson Field.
It was the second time this season the Hatters had gone back to back, as Jessica Griffin and Courtney Brandt’s blasts came with one out in the sixth and put Stetson within two runs of the Bulls. Demi Meza’s two RBI single and Meredith Owen’s sac fly completed the improbable comeback as UB went down, 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Early on in the contest it looked as if Buffalo might come into DeLand and steal a game, after jumping out to an early 4-0 first inning lead, on five hits and an error, but the Hatters kept the Bulls in check. During the next three innings, starter Sarah Read retired nine of 11 batters, and after Buffalo tacked one more on in the top of the third, the Hatters answered back, with an RBI single by Kayla Drury to make it 5-1.
That’s where the score stood when Owen entered the game in relief, her second such appearance in two days. The senior retired all nine Buffalo batters she faced, not allowing a hit, walk or any errors in the field. She struck out one, keeping the Bulls at five and allowing her teammates to stage one of the their largest comebacks in more than a year.
Both Griffin and Brandt smacked their second long balls of the season and Meza’s two RBI single tied the game, giving her, 20 and 21 on the season, which put her in the team lead. Owen’s sacrifice fly gave Stetson the lead and preserved her 10th win of the season.
A trio of Stetson players had multiple hit games including Brandt (3-3), Chrissy Morello (3-4) and Meza (2-4), while Morello had a team high two runs scored and Meza knocked in the most runs at two.
Stetson (18-5, 3-2) has now won three straight and five out of its last six games. The Hatters next play ETSU in Johnson City, Saturday, Mar. 22 and Sunday the 23. The Hats and Bucs will play a doubleheader, Saturday, with the first game at 1 p.m. and the second at 3:30. First pitch for Sunday’s game is slated for 11 a.m.
POST GAME NOTES
--The Hatter’s five run sixth inning was their biggest comeback since Mar. 13, 2013, when they fell behind 5-0 to Colgate, and rallied to come back and win, 8-7.
--Meredith Owen has now reached the 10 win plateau for three years in-a-row.
--Stetson has now hit back-to-back home-runs twice this year, with the first occasion coming, Mar. 7, vs. Memphis, when Owen and Amanda Grimaldo accomplished the feat.
--The Hatters have hit a total of 21 home-runs in 2014, with 19 of them coming at Patricia Wilson Field.