When Florida Gulf Coast broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning, the Hatters showed no signs of panic.
Instead, Stetson responded with a four-run bottom of the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double by Demi Meza, en route to a 4-1 victory over the Eagles in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Championship Wednesday afternoon at Draper Diamond.
The Hatters (35-12) pounded out 11 hits in the game to advance to play tournament host Lipscomb at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
"They have been that way all year," head coach Frank Griffin said about his team's comeback effort. "I felt like the bottom of our line-up really helped us out today. I was really impressed with how well we hit, considering we haven't seen live pitching in a week."
Jessie TenBroeck added three singles and Amanda Grimaldo registered a pair of hits, including a lead-off double that ignited the four-run fifth inning.
"I owe it all to my team and my coaches," Grimaldo said. "I had been struggling offensively lately and they had my back. They have worked extra with me in the cages so I am very thankful for that."
Courtney Brandt followed with a line drive off the first baseman's glove that allowed Grimaldo to score the tying run. Back-to-back singles by TenBroeck and Chrissy Morello loaded the bases for Meza. The Hatter junior took an outside pitch from FGCU starter Shelby Morgan and ripped a line drive down the right field line to score a pair of runs.
"(Morgan) kept pitching me outside and coach (Krazeise) told me to go towards first base, and that's what I did," Meza said. "We were not down what-so-ever (with FGCU ahead) and we knew we had to score to win."
Jessica Griffin added a run-scoring single later in the inning to add an insurance marker.
Meredith Owen (23-7) made the lead stand up, going the distance for her 23rd win of the year, She allowed just one run on three hits. She did not walk a batter and struck out six.
"She gave up just three hits, one was a long ball, but just three hits and that is amazing," Frank Griffin said.
Brittney Garabedian's solo shot accounted for the only run for FGCU (31-25-1).
The win was Stetson's 12th come-from-behind victory this season.
Notes: Stetson won its A-Sun tournament opener for the third year in a row ... The Hatters improved to 4-0 vs. FGCU this season ... Amanda Grimaldo recorded four putouts and five assists at shortstop ... Chrissy Morello recorded her 198th career hit ... Jessica Griffin improved to 9-for-15 (.600) with the bases loaded ... Demi Meza improved to 5-for-9 (.556) with the bases loaded ... Stetson improved to 26-3 when scoring four runs or more.