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Blue Raiders Ride Long Ball in 8-5 Win over North Texas

April 14, 2006 · MT Media Relations
DENTON, TX. - Middle Tennessee softball (12-30-1, 2-2 SBC) had eight extra base hits, including three homeruns, as the Blue Raiders defeated North Texas (15-25, 0-4 SBC) 8-5 in the first of a three-game series with the Mean Green Friday at Denia Park.

Tied 5-5, Middle Tennessee rode the long ball to take the lead over North Texas in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, junior Shelby Stiner hit her fifth homerun of the season over the left centerfield wall to give the Blue Raiders a one-run lead. Muriel Ledbetter drew a walk to set up a Melissa Weiland two RBI homerun over the centerfield wall.

North Texas took the early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Monica Garcia led off the inning with a single was thrown out on a fielder's choice by Kristen Jonse who moved to second off a stolen base. A wild pitch by Middle Tennessee pitcher Ashley Katinas allowed Jonse to third. After Katinas walked Sarah Jones, she was replaced by Trish White who gave up an RBI single to Kadie Platt to score Jonse. North Texas' threat with runners at first and second was squelched when Blue Raider Justine Cerda turned a double play to end the inning.

It looked like the Mean Green would tack on at least one more run in their half of the third inning. With bases loaded, the Blue Raiders got the second out of the inning when second baseman Justine Cerda got a force out at home. Mean Green's Jonse aimed for the fence for North Texas but Blue Raider centerfielder Martha Davis made a running catch for the third out.

The Blue Raiders exploded for four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead from the Mean Green. Weiland led off the rally with a one out double. She scored when White hit her own double to tie the game at one. With two outs, Cerda hit an RBI single to plate White for the second Blue Raider run. Katie Mielke picked up the third extra base hit of the inning with a double that scored Cerda. A North Texas error allowed Michelle Wilkes to reach first and Mielke scored on the play.

Back-to-back doubles put North Texas in business in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jones led off with a double and then scored when Platt hit an RBI double. The Mean Green scored its second run of the inning when Susan Waters hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Platt. With a runner on second, Blue Raider pitcher White ended the North Texas threat striking out Kristina Fowler.

Two walks to start the fifth inning allowed North Texas to regain the lead. After White gave up the first walk, she was replaced by Katinas on the mound. Katinas gave up the second walk of the inning and a Blue Raider error allowed the Mean Green to tie the game. An RBI single by Platt gave North Texas the 5-4 lead.

Middle Tennessee tied the game at five with one swing of the bat as Cerda hit her first homerun of the season. Cerda hit a bomb over the left centerfield wall with a two strike count.

Katinas takes the win and improves to 4-7 on the season, breaking her career record for wins on the mound. Weiland led the Blue Raiders going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Middle Tennessee completes its series with North Texas on Saturday. The doubleheader begins at 11 a.m. at Denia Park.

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