Sophomore shortstop Demi Meza (Oxnard, Calif.) tied a Stetson school-record by hitting three home runs Wednesday afternoon, but the Hatters fell 6-4 to visiting Marshall in a non-conference contest at Patricia Wilson Field.
Meza hit solo home runs in the third, fourth, and seventh innings to join Melissa Wiggins as the only Hatters to hit three round-trippers in a single game.
"It feels awesome to finally make solid contact," Meza said. "Everything I've been working on with the coaches is paying off, and it feels great to make everyone proud."
"I think she was seeing the ball very well tonight," head coach Frank Griffin said. "She hit the ball to all areas of the field. I think one was in right-center, one was in dead center, and one was in left."
The Hatters fell behind early as the Thundering Herd (15-12) scored four times in the top of the first inning.
"I think that first inning was the game-changer," Griffin said. "I think we gave up some unnecesary runs and we were playing catch-up the rest of the way."
Stetson (17-10) loaded the bases in each of the first two innings but did not manage to score until Meza's first home run leading off the third. Brittany Hawn scored the Hatters' second run of the day on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, prior to Meza's second home run.
Courtney Brandt worked the first four innings in the circle, allowing five earned runs while striking out four. Taylor Cochran pitched three scoreless innings of relief, striking out five.
The Hatters will return to conference play with a three-game series this weekend vs. Mercer. The teams will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and a single-game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Notes: Meza's three home runs came against three different pitchers ... Melissa Wiggins accomplished her three-home run feat on May 6, 2005 in a 6-5 home win over UCF ... Meza's 12 total bases also tied Wiggins' single-game school record ... Meza has hit five home runs in her last five games ... The Hatters have hit 28 home runs this season, equaling last year's total in just 27 games ... Stetson is 15-2 in its last 17 home games, with both losses coming to C-USA opponents (UCF, Marshall).