DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson softball team (12-7) split its two games Friday at Patricia Wilson Field in the Stetson Classic, shutting out Northern Colorado (9-8) 6-0 before falling 4-1 in the nightcap to Ball State (12-6). Sophomore pitcher Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) went the distance in both games, striking out 13 batters on the day, while junior catcher Jordan Cleghorn (Ball Ground, Ga.) belted her second home run of the season.
STETSON 6, NORTHERN COLORADO 0
The Hatters got to Bears starting pitcher Kelci Cheney for three runs each in the bottom of the second and third frames to pull out to an insurmountable lead. With one on and two out in the bottom of the second, junior right fielder Chelsea Whalley (Calgary, Alta.) kept the inning alive with a single through the left side of the infield, allowing Cleghorn to come to the plate and smash a 2-1 pitch out of the park to straightaway center field for a three-run home run.
Stetson plated three more runs in the third on an RBI single by senior left fielder Brittany Knipp (Land O'Lakes, Fla.) and a two-run single to left by Whalley. That was more than enough offense for Owen, who supplemented her 3-for-4 day at the plate by striking out seven Northern Colorado batters and scattering two hits and two walks for her sixth win and second shutout of the season.
Knipp finished with two hits and a stolen base to join Owen and Whalley in the multi-hit column; senior shortstop Chelsey Trotto (Lantana, Fla.) picked up her seventh stolen base of 2012.
BALL STATE 4, STETSON 1
Ball State jumped ahead early as first baseman Taylor Rager delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the first and Cardinals pitcher Kim Mazzapica made that lead stand up all evening. She held the Hatters hitless until Trott's infield single to lead off the fourth; BSU added two insurance runs on a Jennifer Gilbert RBI double and Hanne Stuedemann RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Stetson tried to rally in the sixth as freshman infielder Demi Meza (Oxnard, Calif.) extended her hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single into right center that scored sophomore center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.). However, Mazzapica induced a lineout with the bases loaded to end the threat and the Hatters would not score in the seventh.
Owen struck out six in yet another complete game effort for the Hatters, her fourth straight; she has pitched all of Stetson's last 31 innings. Mazzapica allowed one run on six hits and a walk, fanning three, to pick up the victory as Ball State extended its winning streak to six games.
Whalley again had two hits for the Hatters, including her third double of the season.
Stetson will sit out Saturday's action at the Stetson Classic but return to Patricia Wilson Field for a 10:00 am Sunday re-match with Ball State. Live Stats and Hatter Vision will be available at GoHatters.com.
FACEBOOK - Stetson Athletics (facebook.com/stetsonhatters); TWITTER - @StetsonSID (twitter.com/stetsonsid)