JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Thanks to a combined seven RBI off the bat of leftfielder Courtney Brandt, the Stetson University softball team took both games of a doubleheader with ETSU, Saturday, 12-3 and 11-3. Brandt went a combined 2-6 with a grand slam, a two run homer and two runs scored to go along with her seven RBI, five of which came in Game 1, a career high.
The Hatters finished off the Bucs in just five innings in the first game and six in the second, to extend their win streak to five in-a-row, heading into the series finale.
In the first game, Stetson quickly grabbed momentum, plating eight runs in their first trip to the plate. The rally started with a simple one out bunt single by Chrissy Morello and would continue with two singles, a walk and a hit batter, making it 3-0, with the bases loaded and Brandt coming to the plate. The Stetson left fielder smacked an offering from ETSU starter Taylor Carter over the fence for the grandest of long balls to make it 7-0. The Hatters were not quite done with their scoring as the put one more across the plate in the first frame off of a Jessie TenBroeck RBI double.
Stetson tacked on two more in the fourth and the fifth to put it out of reach, giving Owen the win and the Hatters their highest offensive output since their 12-4 drubbing of Princeton, Mar. 28.
The second game of the afternoon began like the first, with Stetson scoring in its first trip to bat, with an RBI single by Demi Meza. The Hatters continued to tack on runs throughout the contest, with at least one runner crossing the plate in every inning.
Brandt walloped her second home run of the day in the second inning, a two-run shot to make it 3-1, after ETSU scored a run in the bottom of the first. An Owen two-run shot in the fifth and a Kayla Drury solo home run in the sixth gave the Hatters enough to close out their conference rivals in six. Once again Owen secured the win in the circle, her team leading 12th of the season.
Besides Brandt’s seven RBI, a number of her Stetson battery mates had multiple RBI days, including Meza, who went 4-7 with 4 RBI as well as Amanda Grimaldo (3-6, 3 RBI) and Owen (3-5, 3 RBI). Catcher Jessica Griffin (2-6, 2 RBI) and Drury (5-7, 2 RBI) also joined the hit parade as Stetson won its seventh game in eight tries and improved its A-Sun record to 5-2.
Owen pitched all six innings in the second game, striking out nine and finished the day with a total of 11 batters fanned in 7.2 innings, while walking just one. She gave up six hits and one earned run during her day’s work in the circle.
During its day of dominance, Stetson scored in nine out of its 11 innings played vs. the Buccaneers, putting up crooked numbers in five of those frames. The most runs scored in one inning by Hatter hitters on Saturday, came in the first inning of Game 1, when SU put an eight spot up on the board. SU outscored ETSU 21-6 in both games and outhit them 29-10 on their home diamond.
Having already won the series, Stetson (20-5), will look for the sweep, Sunday vs. ETSU. Game time is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Johnson City.
POST GAME NOTES
--Stetson has now scored a dozen runs in a game three times this season (12-0 vs. Rhode Island), Feb. 7, (12-4 vs. Princeton) Feb. 28 and (12-3 vs. ETSU, Mar. 22).
--The Hatters have now won 20 or more games in a season 25 times, and for the 17th time under Head Coach Frank Griffin during his 18 seasons.
--Courtney Brandt hit her 17th and 18th career home runs Saturday, putting her in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time career HR list, just one behind teammate Demi Meza, who has 19.
--The 16 hits by Stetson in Game 2 vs. ETSU marked the first time since Feb. 18 2012 that they have collected 15+ hits in a contest. That day they knocked out 15 against Bethune-Cookman in an 11-3 win.