|PWF Game#3: Wiggins Homers Three Times vs. UCF|
Between Jan. 21 and Feb. 1, GoHatters.com is counting down the Top 10 Games in Patricia Wilson Field history...
This was it for UCF. The Knights were moving to Conference USA after the season, and this doubleheader was their final regular season games as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Even though UCF had only been playing softball since 2002, the Knights and Hatters quickly developed an intense rivalry in softball as they had in other sports. However, the Knights were making just their first ever appearance at Patricia Wilson Field. With the teams tied in the conference standings, there was a lot to play for. It was also senior night for the Hatters.
The match-up also featured two of the top hitters in the Atlantic Sun Conference, both that year and all-time. UCF senior Stephanie Best entered the game as the nation’s home run leader with 23. Stetson junior Melissa Wiggins had 10 home runs on the season, and her 53 RBI trailed Best by just one for the conference lead.
In game one, Jania Shinhoster’s three-run home run helped lift the Knights to a 5-1 victory.
In the nightcap, the Hatters found themselves facing an early 3-0 deficit.
Stetson fought back, however, scoring a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Sherilynn Wilder.
In the third, Shawna Wiggs led off with a triple into the right field corner and Wiggins followed with a game-tying home run, her fourth hit of the doubleheader. But she was just heating up.
Wiggins homered again in the fifth, a solo shot to straight away center field, to put Stetson ahead for the first time 4-3.
Stetson carried that one-run lead into the seventh inning and looked poised to earn a split against the Knights. But UCF rallied late, scoring twice in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead.
Already 5-for-6 with two homers on the day, Wiggins stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to tie the game and to make history. No Hatter had ever hit three home runs in the same game. That was about to change.
"I remember the pitch being an outside drop ball and I can still remember scooping it off the ground," Wiggins recalled. "It was a line drive over left center. I remember looking up after I made contact and saw Stephanie Best (SS) slam her glove on the ground and I knew it went over. That was a great feeling. I knew after that we had the momentum and their was no way we were going to lose that game."
The game moved into extra innings, but it didn’t take long to get a resolution. In the bottom of the eighth, after Teri Lake walked and Lauren Whalen came in to pinch run, Wilder ripped a double into the leftcenter field gap and Whalen sprinted home with the game-winning run.
Melissa Wiggins finished the day 6-for-7 with three home runs and four RBI. Although Andrea Migliori would later hit three home runs in the same day (in a doubleheader at USF), Wiggins remains the only Hatter to hit three home runs in the same game. Therefore, Stetson's 6-5 win over UCF ranks as the No. 3 Top Game in Patricia Wilson Field history.
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