The Stetson softball team heads to Nashville, Tenn. this weekend for what it hopes is the first of two trips to the Music City.
The Hatters (29-18, 11-11 A-Sun) will face Lipscomb (28-21, 14-7) in their final three-game series in the regular season beginning Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Lady Bisons will also be hosting the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship in two weeks.
Stetson has positioned itself to clinch a postseason berth this weekend as the Hatters magic number to finish ahead of Mercer is two, and their magic number to finish above Jacksonville is three. Stetson would have to finish ahead of both the Bears and the Dolphins to assure itself of no worse than a sixth-place finish in conference play.
Saturday's doubleheader and Sunday's series finale (2:00 p.m. ET) can be seen for free on ASun.TV.
With a great deal of attention on team's pitching and defense of late, Stetson has quietly had one of its best seasons of hitting the long ball in school history. The Hatters enter the weekend with 39 home runs, just one shy of the school-record of 40 set in 2004.
In the past decade, Patricia Wilson Field has been the home to such sluggers as Andrea Migliori (57 career home runs), Melissa Wiggins (42), Blake Hoorelbeke (23) and Amanda Lindsey (23). Oddly enough, this year's club currently does not have a single player in double-digits in home runs. Instead, the Hatters have been producing throughout the line-up as nine different players have gone deep during the season. Demi Meza and Meredith Owen lead the team with nine round-trippers each, Chelsea Whalley has added six and Courtney Brandt has knocked out five. Jessica Griffin (3), Morgan Hatch (3), Jordan Cleghorn (2), Brittany Hawn (1) and Chrissy Morello (1) round out the list.
"It makes it difficult for our opponents because there isn't one person they can pitch around, like a 'Migliori'," Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. "Everyone is capable of hitting a home run and they have shown it quite a few times."
A few notes about the Hatters home runs in 2013:
- Stetson has hit two grand slams (Whalley, Owen), the most team grand slams in a season since 2007
- The Hatters as a team have hit two or more home runs in the same game nine times this season
- Two Hatters have had multi-home run games - Whalley hit two against Colgate on Mar. 13 and Demi Meza tied a school-record with three against Marshall on Mar. 20
- Whalley and Brandt hit back-to-back home runs on Mar. 13 vs. Colgate
- 32 of the 39 home runs have been hit at home
- Five players currently have double-digit career home run totals: Owen - 16, Brandt - 13, Meza - 13, Whalley - 10, Cleghorn - 10.
Also of note, Frank Griffin enters the weekend with 797 career coaching wins, just three shy of 800. He is in his 24th season overall, and his 17th year with Stetson.