DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson softball team (11-9) put on an impressive display of power Wednesday at Patricia Wilson Field in its doubleheader with visiting Monmouth (5-7), socking four home runs in two games but only managing to come away with a split. The Hatters run-ruled the Hawks 9-1 in five innings in the opener before a rally fell short in a 6-4 loss in the nightcap.
GAME 1 - STETSON 9, MONMOUTH 1 (5 INNINGS)
The Hatters got started early as freshman designated player Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first, but the real damage was done by the Stetson lineup in the second inning.
Sophomore right fielder Chelsea Whalley (Calgary, Alta.) led off with her first home run of the season, a high fly to straightaway center field that just dropped over the wall to make it 2-0. Sophomore second baseman Alyssa Oddo (Covina, Calif.) then yanked a triple into the right field corner; sophomore catcher Jordan Cleghorn (Ball Ground, Ga.) and senior pinch hitter Rachel Lowe (Okeechobee, Fla.) would pick up RBI singles and another wild pitch scored a fourth run before senior third baseman Jill Semento (Umatilla, Fla.) struck the big blow with a three-run home run off the scoreboard, her second of the season to make it 8-0 Hatters.
Sophomore Camille Czarnecki (Edmonton, Alta.) would cruise in the circle from there, holding Monmouth hitless until Emily deLong's solo home run with one out in the fourth made it an 8-1 ballgame. The Hatters scored the ninth run that triggered the run-rule on a Hawk error in the bottom of the fifth.
Czarnecki picked up her sixth win of the season on a one-hitter with Knipp and Whalley each recording two-hit games for Stetson. Junior shortstop Chelsey Trotto (Lantana, Fla.) ran her perfect stolen base total to 12-12 while freshman center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) improved to 10 for 10 in stolen base attempts in her career.
Dara Palms allowed eight runs in one-plus innings to take the loss for Monmouth; deLong's home run was the second of the season for the Hawk left fielder.
GAME 2 - MONMOUTH 6, STETSON 4
Monmouth jumped on sophomore pitcher Courtney Gunby (Bishop, Ga.) early with three runs in the first and one in the second to take a 4-0 lead, but Lowe cut a huge chunk out of that with a pinch-hit three-run home run in the bottom of the second, her fourth longball of the year. The Hawks added a run in the fourth on a Hatter error and a big insurance run on a deLong RBI single in the sixth to keep Stetson at bay.
Oddo drove a Lauren Sulick pitch over the right field fence with two out in the bottom of the sixth to draw the Hatters within 6-4, but in the seventh Sulick would strand the tying runs on base with a game-ending strikeout.
Cleghorn, Morello and senior first baseman Katelyn Perna (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had two hits apiece for the Hatters with Morello stealing her 11th base in as many tries. Junior pinch runner Grace Turner (Fort Myers, Fla.) recorded her first stolen base of the year as well. Owen relieved Gunby (2-4) and allowed two runs with just one earned in 5.2 innings.
Sulick struck out four and scattered eight hits to earn the win for Monmouth to improve to 4-4 on the season. Right fielder Alicia DeSanto went three for four with a run scored; deLong, third baseman Kate Kuzma, center fielder Shannon Fitzgerald and second baseman Christine Scherr had two hits each for the Hawks.
The Hatters play their final full-field weekend tournament of the season this Friday-Sunday as Iowa, Jackson State and Liberty will be in town for the Stetson Classic at Patricia Wilson Field. Live Stats for all games and Hatter Vision for Stetson contests will be available at GoHatters.com.
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