Spartanburg, S.C. - Freshman third baseman Demi Meza (Oxnard, Calif.) hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning and freshman pitcher Courtney Brandt (Dade City, Fla.) made that stand up all night with a four-hit shutout as the sixth-seeded Stetson softball team (25-20) defeated third-seeded host USC Upstate (39-12) 1-0 in the opener of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Championships.
The Hatters only got two base hits off Second Team All-Atlantic Sun pitcher Hannah Alexander, but with one out in the top of the second, Meza lifted a 2-2 pitch deep to right field and over the fence for the only run of the ballgame.
Brandt kept the Spartans off-balance all evening despite recording just one strikeout in seven innings. She consistently kept the ball away from USC Upstate's right-handed power hitters, forcing 16 groundouts. Seven of those went to senior second baseman Alyssa Oddo (Covina, Calif.).
The Spartans hit two deep fly balls in the bottom of the sixth but neither did damage; a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh kept the home team alive until Brandt induced designated player Haley Sheehan to swing at her first pitch and ground out to shortstop for the final out.
Stetson advances to play A-Sun regular season co-champion Kennesaw State, the #2 seed, at 10:00 am tomorrow at Cyrill Stadium. Live Stats will be available at GoHatters.com with free video at ASun.TV.
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