DeLand, Fla. - Sophomore pitcher Courtney Gunby (Bishop, Ga.) moved into a tie for second in school history with her fourth career save, third of the season, in a 3-1 win for the Stetson softball team over visiting Belmont in the opener of an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader at Patricia Wilson Field on Thursday. The Hatters dropped the nightcap 10-5 and are now 17-24 overall and 3-9 in A-Sun action.
Freshman pitcher Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) started Game 1 and struck out four with just one run allowed in four innings to earn her sixth win of the season; Gunby relieved her to start the fifth inning and shut the Bruins out on two hits the rest of the way. With four career saves, she tied Melanie McElhaney '03 for second in school history in that category; Blake Hoorelbeke '04 holds the record with five. Rhonda Kesslar '00 and recently graduated Hatter great Amanda Lindsey '10 are the other two Stetson pitchers with three career saves.
The Hatters scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the second as a fielding error led to two runs crossing home plate; senior third baseman Jill Semento (Umatilla, Fla.) added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 3-0 Stetson. Belmont got a run back in the fourth on a Hannah Irwin RBI single but Gunby would work out of a two-on, nobody out jam in the sixth and enable the Hatters to pick up the win. Semento finished with two base hits and sophomore designated player Tara Formisano (Ridgefield, Conn.) doubled for her first career extra-base hit.
Belmont pounded out 10 runs on 13 hits and took advantage of four Stetson errors to take the nightcap 10-5 and split the A-Sun twinbill. The Bruins scored five runs, all charged as unearned against sophomore starter Camille Czarnecki (Edmonton, Alta.) in the top of the first to seize control and never look back. Gunby relieved her with two out in the first and went the distance; she tossed 149 pitches on the day in a marathon effort.
Freshman center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) had a two-run single in the second and three more Stetson runs scored in the fifth on sophomore catcher Jordan Cleghorn's (Ball Ground, Ga.) RBI sacrifice fly and senior right fielder Rachel Lowe's (Okeechobee, Fla.) two-run double, but it was not enough to catch the Bruins. Ashley Byers hit a two-run homer and went four for five with four RBI on the game to lead her team.
Morello kept pace with the A-Sun and national freshmen leaders with her 25th stolen base of the year while junior shortstop Chelsey Trotto (Lantana, Fla.) swiped two bags and now has 19 on the season. Devon Schmidt earned the win for Belmont with 5.1 innings of solid relief of starter Mia Vierra.
Stetson will celebrate Senior Day for upperclasswomen Lowe, Semento, Katelyn Perna (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jesse Tucker (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.) at 2 p.m. Saturday prior to its A-Sun doubleheader against defending champion Lipscomb at Patricia Wilson Field. Live Stats and Hatter Vision will be available at GoHatters.com.
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