Brittany Hawn hit her first collegiate home run and Demi Meza added her ninth round-tripper of the season as Stetson completed a three-game sweep over ETSU with a 7-3 victory Sunday afternoon at a soggy Patricia Wilson Field.
The win moved the Hatters (28-18, 11-11 A-Sun) into a tie for sixth-place in the conference standings with Jacksonville, with the two teams squaring off Wednesday night at JU.
"Winning all three games was probably our only opportunity to make it to the (A-Sun) tournament," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "However, we still have to play and win some more ball games."
Kayla Drury went 3-for-3 at the plate and Meredith Owen picked up her 19th win of the season, her seventh in a row, to help lead the Hatters. Owen pitched all 21 innings for Stetson in the series, allowing just two earned runs and 13 hits. She threw over 250 pitches in a span of about 28 hours.
"Her arm is like rubber, it just keeps going and going and going," senior Jordan Cleghorn said. "She is a big part of this team and we are just thankful for her."
Likewise the Hatters were thankful to have Cleghorn on Sunday, as she delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the second inning that gave Stetson a 2-1 lead.
"I just wanted to make contact," Cleghorn said. "I knew we had runners on so I just wanted to put the ball in play."
Drury followed with an RBI single, and then Hawn stepped up a punched one over the right field fence for her first career home run.
"It was a good feeling," Hawn said. "The coaches have been working with me on trying to stop thinking when I hit. I just tried to relax in the box and let my ability take over."
Casey Horner and Bethany Cowart hit home runs for ETSU (12-32, 0-22) in the middle innings, but Demi Meza hit one for the Hatters in the bottom of the fifth inning to provide some insurance. It was Meza's first home run since hitting three in a game against Marshall 31 days ago.
"My hit finally felt solid," Meza said. "I had been pulling off on everything and coach Griffin told me I needed to keep my eyes level. So I did what he said and finally hit a home run."
Meza finished the game with a pair of extra base hits and also recorded three putouts and three assists at shortstop.
"Jordan did an awesome job of picking up all my throws," Meza said. "She probably saved me five errors this weekend, so I am really glad to have her at first base."
The teams endured a 2:05 rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning.
"It was an opportunity for Meredith to get some more rest," Griffin said about the delay. "That was her third game this weekend, and she did an outstanding job. The defense played well for her, and we hit the ball very well as a team."
The Hatters worked hard during the downpour, covering the mound and plate on two separate occasions, pulling the tarp on and off the field, and spreading turface around the infield once the rain had passed.
How difficult was it to come back and play after the delay?
"It wasn't that hard actually," Hawn said. "With everyone on this team it was really, really fun. We were just dancing and having a good time. We knew what we had to get done, and the best way to do it is to have fun."
Notes: Meredith Owen went 4-0 on the week and did not walk a batter in 28.0 innings of work. She is tied for the league-lead in wins with Kaylie Wallace (UNF) ... The Hatters have hit 39 home runs, one shy of the school single-season record ... Nine different players have hit home runs ... K.K. Woolington made a diving catch in left field in the top of the seventh inning, saving at least two runs.