The Stetson softball team dropped a 5-1 decision to USC Upstate Thursday morning in the second day of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship at Draper Diamond.
The Hatters (31-21) will play an elimination game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night against top-seeded North Florida, which lost 3-1 to Lipscomb Thursday afternoon.
Demi Meza went 2-for-3 and hit her 10th home run of the season to lead the Hatters. Kayla Drury added a double off of the top of the left field fence for her third hit of the tournament.
Meredith Owen (22-9) struck out three batters in six innings of work, and retired 11 batters in a row after Upstate took an early 1-0 lead. She also went 1-for-3 at the plate.
"It was a good game against a great team," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "We were in the ball game until the end, and they broke it open. It was great experience for a young squad to be able to play that caliber of ball against one the top teams in the country."
Meza's third career postseason home run tied the game in the top of the fourth, but the Spartans scored one in the fifth and three in the sixth to pull away late.
Stetson will need to win five consecutive elimination games to capture the league title.