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Softball to host WKU at Think Pink Game

Team to wrap up 2011 home play

May 3, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's softball team will honor breast cancer survivors at its annual Think Pink Game on Wednesday at its mid-week conference contest with rival Western Kentucky.

Multiple breast cancer survivors will be recognized as they throw out the ceremonial first pitches, while Think Pink bracelets will be sold for a personal donation to raise money for Middle Tennessee Medical Center.

It is crunch-time for the Blue Raiders as they look to extend their 2011 campaign and qualify for the Sun Belt post-season tournament. Currently, MT and WKU are in a tie for the eighth and final tournament position. Although unlikely, North Texas still has a chance to garner a post-season birth if there is a sweep between the Blue Raiders and Hilltoppers.

Entering the week, Middle Tennessee holds a 17-29 record, including a 7-14 mark in the league. The Blue Raiders have been terrific in home contests, boasting a 13-7 record on the year. The team played just two games last week after having Wednesday's doubleheader with Tennessee State canceled because of heavy rain.

The Blue Raiders have done well playing at home as they boast a 13-7 record at Blue Raider Field including a 7-5 mark in Sun Belt play. As a team, Middle Tennessee has a .275 batting average when playing at Blue Raider Field as compared to a .231 average on the road. MT pitchers have also reaped the benefits, as they have amassed respectable 3.27 ERA at home. In away games, the staff is giving up 7.38 earned runs a game.

The Hilltoppers enter the week 26-25. As a team, WKU is hitting .280, while slugging .423. Karavin Dew holds the top team average, .385. In 51 games this season, Western Kentucky is scoring just over four runs a game.

In 2009, Middle Tennessee took two of three games from WKU. The two wins came on the final day of the regular season and it sent the Blue Raiders to the conference tournament. Kaycee Popham led MT, going eight for 10 over the series with two doubles and five RBIs.

Middle Tennessee and WKU have split the all-time series 20-20, with the Blue Raider holding a 7-6 mark at home. Head Coach Sue Nevar is 4-4 in her career verses Western Kentucky.

"This may be one of the most important single games we play all season," Nevar said. "We need to play well on Wednesday not only to pick up a win against a conference-rival in a tight league race. Admission is free and we are hoping for a nice crowd."

Live audio and statistics for Wednesday's contest with WKU can be found GoBlueRaiders.com, with post-game coverage and interviews available at Twitter.com/MT_Softball.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.