DELAND, Fla. – Winners of seven in a row and nine of its last 10, the Stetson University softball team will host conference rival Florida Gulf Coast, in a three game set this weekend at Patricia Wilson Field. The Hatters (22-5, 6-2) have not lost since Mar. 15, and during that stretch have outscored their opponents by a blistering 59-18 pace, averaging close to eight and a half runs per contest.
Stetson’s hottest bat of late belongs to leftfielder Courtney Brandt, who earned A-Sun Player of the Week honors for her .500, five home run, 14 RBI, performance that lasted four games and put her in second place on the team in long balls (six) and RBI (20).
The Hatters enter the weekend tied for second place in the A-Sun standings with Mercer and just two games off the pace of USC Upstate who holds a 10-2 conference mark before their weekend series with Lipscomb. The last time a Stetson team won seven straight was in Mar. 2013, when the Hatters reeled off nine consecutive wins from the first of the month to the 13th vs. Niagara, Farleigh Dickinson, Valparaiso and Colgate.
When it comes to conference rankings, head coach Frank Griffin’s squad is near the top in both hitting and pitching as well as fielding. Stetson is second in in the A-Sun in batting average (.326), ERA (1.83) and fielding percentage (.966). Meredith Owen is tops in the conference in ERA with her miniscule 0.64 average, while freshman Jessie TenBroeck is fourth in the A-Sun in batting at .402.
This weekend will mark the first time both Stetson and FGCU have met in a three game A-Sun series in DeLand since Gulf Coast joined the conference in 2007. The two schools have met a total of 17 times and first played in a three game set last year in Fort Myers. Stetson is 7-1 at home vs. the Eagles all-time.
The Hatters and Eagles renew their rivalry Saturday, Mar. 29, with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Patricia Wilson Field. The second game will get underway at approximately 3:30 p.m. The third and final game of the series takes place Sunday the 30th also at 1 p.m.
Tickets start at just $5 per day and can be purchased online at www.gohatters.com/tix or at the Patricia Wilson Field box office. Stetson students, faculty, and staff are free with a valid ID. Subscription based live video of the Stetson games will be available on HatterVision. Live stats, the Stetson softball twitter feed, and the Hat-Alerts text messaging system will provide in-game updates as well.
--FGCU vs. Stetson
--Sat., Mar. 29 (Gm 1 – 1 p.m.)
--Sat., Mar. 29 (Gm 2 – 3:30 p.m.)
--Sun., Mar. 30 (Gm 3 – 1 p.m.)
--FGCU leads series 9-8
--Streak: Stetson W1
--First Meeting: 2008
--Last Meeting: 2013
--Stetson has banged out 70 hits during its last five games, with an average of 14 percontest, the Hatters have reached 16 hits twice during that stretch of time.
--The Hatters have outscored their opponents 43-7 during the last five games, averaging more than eight runs a contest.
--Stetson has not played a seven inning game since Mar. 19 vs. Buffalo, the Hatters last four games have ended in either five or six innings.
--After not hitting a home run in her previous 187 at bats, sophomore Kayla Drury has now hit two in her last eight trips to the plate.
--Stetson has now hit 29 home runs in 27 games, that’s an average of 1.07 per contest.
--Frank Griffin is just four wins shy of 600 as Stetson’s head coach and has averaged nearly 34 wins per season during his previous 17 at the helm of the Hatter program.