MACON, Ga. – Led by a complete game nine strikeout performance by pitcher Meredith Owen, the Stetson University softball team split a doubleheader with Mercer, Saturday in Macon.
The senior hurler scattered 10 hits during her seventh complete game of the season and had pin point control, walking none of the Bear batters she faced in a 6-1, Stetson victory in Game 1. The Hatters dropped the second game of the afternoon in extras, a 5-4 eight inning decision for Mercer.
In the first game, Owen had command of the Mercer offense from the very start, striking out the side in the first and then another batter to begin the second for four straight K’s and an eventual 1-2-3 inning, heading into the third.
That’s when the Hatters would do the majority of their scoring as they plated five runs on six hits, highlighted by a two RBI single by second baseman Demi Meza. With two on and one out, Meza made it 2-0 on her bunt which she beat out for a single, allowing another run to score. Shortstop Amanda Grimaldo then brought Meza home with an RBI double and Grimaldo later scored on a Jessica Griffin single to make it 4-0. A Courtney Brandt hit sent pitch runner Molly Shasteen around third to touch the plate and the Hatters had a commanding 5-0 lead heading to the bottom of the inning.
Staked with a five run lead, Owen went to work, looking for her eighth win in the circle this season. She struck out another five batters and gave up just one run the rest of the way, as Stetson added another run in the top of the seventh, a solo home run off the bat of Meza, her fifth of the season.
Game 2 was a pitcher’s duel early on as there were only two hits between the two teams through the first three. In the bottom of the fourth, the Bears made it 3-0 with a three run homer from third baseman Kaylynn Sloat, but Stetson battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth, thanks to a two out, four run rally.
Stetson bats awoke that inning, with three hits, highlighted by a two RBI single from Brandt, which made it 3-2. The Hatter scoring continued as a Mercer error allowed Brandt and Kayla Drury to score giving them their first lead of the game.
The Bears answered in the bottom of the inning, playing small ball, as they drew a walk off Owen, who was in relief of starter Sarah Read. Mercer then singled home the tying run to make it 4-4 after six.
Both Stetson and Mercer failed to score in the seventh, sending the contest into the eighth, the Hatters’ third extra inning contest of the season. After a scoreless Stetson half of the inning, the Bears plated the winning run, following a lead-off double for the 5-4 walk-off win.
A number of Hatters had stellar offensive days during the doubleheader, including Meza, who went 3-4 in the first game, with her solo home run to go along with three RBI and a run scored. Freshman Jessie TenBroeck went 3-6 in both games on Saturday, stealing two bases, scoring a run and drawing a pair of walks, while Brandt knocked in three RBI on three hits and scored a run during the first two games of the three game set.
With the Saturday split, Stetson is now 15-5 on the year and 3-2 in A-Sun play. Game 3 between the Bears and Hatters is scheduled for 1 p.m., Sunday in Macon.
Live stats will be available via Mercer’s website at:http://livestats.prestosports.com/mercer/ . Updates will also be available on the Stetson softball twitter feed as well as from Hat-Alerts, the athletic department’s official text messaging system. Post game recaps to be posted on gohatters.com.