FORT MYERS, FLA. - The No. 4 Kennesaw State Owls rallied to score five runs in the top of the sixth, which proved to be enough to surpass the No. 3 Stetson Hatters by a score of 5-2. Morgan Sikes grabbed the win in the circle for KSU, while Courtney Sutter, Rachel Dennis, Hillary Kartman and Noelle Winkles all notched RBIs.
It was all Stetson early, as Tori Perkins carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Brittany Hawn provided both offense and defense for the Hatters. The Green and White got to business early in the first inning, as Hawn singled to first base, beating out the two-out hit to score Kayla Drury and grab the early lead for the three seed.
The score would remain 1-0 before the third inning, in which Hawn notched yet another single, this time up the middle, to score Drury for the second time and increase the Hatter advantage. Sikes would enter in relief of starting pitcher Logan Viers to stop the bleeding for the Owls, who began to find their groove late in the game.
Perkins pitched 5.1 innings of hitless softball, before Taylor Denton found some room in left field for KSU's first hit of the evening. That would open the floodgates for the Owls, as Denton then stole second before Courtney Sutter singled her home to cut the Stetson advantage in half. Megan Veringa then slapped a hit of her own, followed by an RBI single from Rachel Dennis who scored Katie Cannington, tying the contest .
The Owls continued to be relentless in the sixth frame, as Hillary Kartman then recorded the go-ahead fielder's choice before Noelle Winkles notched a two-RBI single, adding the fifth run for Kennesaw State. Sikes would return for KSU, shutting down the Hatters, thus eliminating Stetson from the ASUN Championship.
The Owls will face No. 1 FGCU in yet another elimination game at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.
Stetson vs. Kennesaw State Softball Championship Game Notes
- Kennesaw State recorded each of its six hits in the sixth inning against Stetson as the Owls sent 10 batters to the plate.
- The Hatters stuck with freshman Perkins 24.2 of their 25 innings in the ASUN Championship as fellow freshman Brooke Hutto entered for one out in the seventh.
- With the victory, the Owls earn three wins in ASUN postseason play for the first time since 2012, when the Owls advanced to the championship final.
- Stetson ends its season with a record of 30-24. The Hatters graduate five seniors.