Softball to open home-conference play with North Texas

Live audio and stats on GBR.com

March 17, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team continues its 2011 campaign on Friday and Saturday at Blue Raider Field as they will open home-conference play against the Mean Green of North Texas. The first pitch of the scheduled Friday doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m., with Saturday's series finale to begin at 11 a.m.

The Blue Raiders enter the conference set 5-16 on the year with a 0-3 record in the Sun Belt Conference. The team is coming off a 0-7 road trip to south Florida. Although the squad took seven loses on the week, they played strong, losing four games by one run and two games by two runs.

"We are not playing bad ball," head coach Sue Nevar said. "Our ladies have played close in all their games this season. We just need to figure out what is going to take for us to get over the hump and get some W's."

In their opening conference series last Tuesday and Wednesday at FIU, MT fought valiantly, dropping the three games by a combined score of 12-8. Senior Corrie Abel continued to hit the ball well, going 4-8 in the three games with two doubles and a home run. She also worked three walks.

Abel totaled 13 bases in the three-game set and now needs just six to pass Martha Davis for most in a Middle Tennessee career. Davis' mark of 270 has stood since 2009.

Kelsey Dortch also performed well at the plate, going 4-9 against the Panthers. On the season, Dortch has a .323 average. This is the highest of her career. She is on pace to set season-bests in hits, RBIs and stolen bases.

The Mean Green is 13-11 on the season and is 1-2 in the SBC after an opening-series with Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns. As a team, UNT is batting .288 with Lesley Hirsch holding the top team average, .371. Caitlin Grimes is the leading power-hitter with a .739 slugging percentage in 46 at bats.

Historically, the two teams have played exciting contests with five of the last nine contest being decided by two runs or less. Middle Tennessee holds a 13-11 edge in the all-time series.

Live audio and statistics for Friday and Saturday's game will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com. In-game updates and highlights can be found on Twitter.com/MT_Softball.

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