GoBlueRaiders.com THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

Softball Notebook

June 14, 2012 ·

OFFSEASON UPDATE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- All is quiet around the MT softball program as summer is in full swing.

Some of the team is busy taking summer classes while others are at home right now enjoying some time off. Meanwhile assistant coaches Megan Rhodes Smith and Kassie Stanfill are busy preparing for next season as well as hosting summer camps.

And speaking of camps, we encourage you to check out all the camps that are being offered this summer. Both Smith and Stanfill will be leading clinics over the next couple of months. You can find all the camp information at the MT Softball page here.

Also, the search for our new head coach is ongoing. Whenever the news becomes official of who will be the new leader of the MT softball program we will of course pass it along immediately.

Finally, with the summer comes staff changes here at Middle Tennessee. So unfortunately this will be the last post of the summer and possibly ever as we see people leave and others come aboard. So we ask that you continue to follow MT softball via GoBlueRaiders.com and our Facebook and Twitter pages in the mean time.

We hope everyone's summer is off to a great start! Before we know it the 2013 season will be right around the corner! Have a great summer, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


COACH NEVAR RETIRES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- MT softball coach Sue Nevar made her retirement official this week, stepping down after leading the Blue Raider for five seasons. You can read the official story here.

Obviously everyone in and around the MT softball program is sad to see Coach retire and we wish her nothing but the best in the future.

While she would not let us in on exactly what she is going to do next, she did say that she plans on staying in the Murfreesboro area. We will have to wait and see what she decides to do next, but our bet is that it will have something to do with softball.

Now the Blue Raider softball program will begin looking for a new head coach. We will not speculate in any way on who that new coach will be but we will let you know as soon as the hiring becomes official. It certainly will be exciting as we will begin a new era of MT softball!

In other news, the softball program will still be hosting several camps this summer, so we encourage everyone who knows someone that plays softball to look into the camps that will be offered. You can find all the information on the left side of the MT Softball page here on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Finally, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day weekend! Please remember all of those that died for this country as you celebrate this weekend. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


THE OFFSEASON BEGINS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders have now been away from the diamond for more than a week now which means the offseason is in full swing.

Most, if not all, of the team has gone home to spend time with their families and friends for a few weeks. Many will then return to campus for the start of summer classes which begin in June.

It goes without saying that everyone on the team will be working hard this summer individually to improve their skills. Even though many members of the team will be taking summer classes, the summer provides lots of time for individual improvement.

It is still hard to believe that the 2012 season is complete. It seems like the season just began! The good news, though, is that the beginning of the 2013 season (2013, really?!?!) will be here before we know it!

Please continue to follow the teams' social media pages (Facebook - MTSU Softball; Twitter - @MT_Softball) during the summer. We will continue to post photos and videos periodically as the team is away from competition. Also, be sure to check back here to the Notebook as we plan on providing weekly updates as well as any news and notes.

Have a great day, Blue Raider fans! Hopefully the weather wherever you are is as good as it is in Murfreesboro today! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


WESTERN KENTUCKY RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team's 2012 season came to a disappointing end this past weekend as the squad dropped a pair of games on Saturday to Western Kentucky. The Blue Raiders fell 4-0 in the opener before losing 10-1 in six innings in Game 2. You can find the game recaps and box scores along with updated statistics here.

Middle Tennessee finished the season 5-18 in the Sun Belt which put them tied with Florida Atlantic for eighth place. However, due to the Owls holding the tiebreaker, they received the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament, leaving the Blue Raiders out of this year's field.

Unfortunately MT simply did not take care of business against the Lady Toppers. After tallying eight runs on 12 hits against the Lady Toppers less than two weeks prior, the Blue Raiders were only able to post a single run on the board over the course of the two games Saturday.

Caty Jutson kept the squad in the game in the opener, holding Western Kentucky to four runs over the course of seven innings. The Blue Raider defense also did its part as the team recorded just a single error in Game 1 while making a few nice plays in the field.

The second game was a different story as Western Kentucky took an early 2-0 lead in the first and extended its lead to 6-0 in the third. The Blue Raiders never really threatened en route to the 10-1 defeat.

Obviously the team is upset over how the season came to a close, but the Blue Raiders can look back with pride at how they represented MT this season.

In related news, the squad held its postseason banquet on Sunday at the Jackson House on the MTSU campus. Players, coaches and parents shared many laughs and some tears as the Blue Raiders recapped the 2012 season.

Be sure to check GoBlueRaiders.com on Tuesday for the official 2012 Season in Review. In addition, we will have much more on the 2012 campaign and even take a look at the 2013 season over the course of the next few weeks.

Also, be sure to continue to follow the team on Facebook (MTSU Softball) and Twitter (@MT_Softball) as we will continue to post photos and video while the team is away from the diamond.

On behalf of the entire MT Softball program, thank you fans for all the support you provided in 2012. The team certainly appreciates every single person who came out to Blue Raider Field this year as well as all of you who followed this team from afar!

Have a great day, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


WESTERN KENTUCKY PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team closes out its 2012 home schedule on Saturday as MT hosts rival Western Kentucky for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT. You can read the official game preview here.

Saturday's doubleheader certainly is an important one as the Blue Raiders enter the weekend tied with Florida Atlantic for the eighth and final spot in next week's Sun Belt Tournament. The Owls play FIU in a two-game home-and-home series this weekend. The two teams play Friday at 5 p.m. CT in Boca Raton before facing off in Miami on Saturday at 5 p.m. Stay tuned to MT's social media pages for updates throughout the weekend on the happenings in South Florida.

Getting back to what is really important, though, MT will be honoring its five seniors on Saturday. Caty Jutson, Kaycee Popham, Abbey Sanders, Kelsey Woodruff and Natalie Ysais will all be recognized prior to the opener. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 12:35 p.m., so be sure to be in your seat early so that you do not miss out on seeing these wonderful Blue Raiders honored.

MT will also be celebrating Pink Day this weekend. Bethany Jones' mother who is currently battling the awful disease will throw out the first pitch prior to Game 2 to help celebrate the day.

Obviously, we cannot encourage everyone enough to come out and support the Blue Raiders this weekend. With Saturday being Senior Day and Pink Day in addition to what is on the line for MT, it would really mean a lot to the squad if there was a huge crowd on hand. Oh and did we mention the opponent is Western Kentucky?? So, if there is any way possible, come out and see some great softball on Cinco de Mayo!

Finally, please check out the 2012 Blue Raider Senior Profiles here. There are not enough good things that can be said about this year's seniors. It has been a pleasure to see them perform with pride in the Blue Raider blue!

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! We hope to see you out at Blue Raider Field on Saturday for what will be a special day! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FLORIDA ATLANTIC RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team went down to Boca Raton tied with Florida Atlantic in the Sun Belt standings, and the team returned to Murfreesboro still tied as the squads split what became a two-game series. You can read the recap of Saturday's doubleheader and find recaps of other games as well here.

Saturday did not get off to a very good start for MT. Despite getting a home run from Nina Dever in the top of the first, the Blue Raiders quickly fell behind 4-1 in the bottom of the inning. The Owls continued to tack on runs over the next four innings as they went on to a 9-1 win in five innings.

Middle Tennessee's offense just could not seem to get on track in the first game and it felt like the game just got away early. It did not feel like MT played a bad game by any means, certainly not defensively, but FAU just kept adding on and before you knew it they had built an eight-run lead in the fifth.

But boy did the squad respond in Game 2. After both teams' pitchers dominated early, MT broke out with three runs in the fourth before posting four-run innings in both the sixth and seventh innings. Kaycee Popham and Kelsey Woodruff both hit monster two-run homers to help MT take a commanding 11-2 advantage as the Blue Raiders eventually came away with an 11-4 win.

Caty Jutson was dominant in the circle once again, allowing only two earned runs while going the distance. It was great to see her follow up Tuesday night's outing with another solid performance. Let's hope she can keep it going!

While we were able to avoid the rain Saturday night, we were not as lucky on Sunday. The rain began falling some time in the middle of the night Saturday and never let up long through when the Blue Raiders left to come back home to Murfreesboro.

With the rain out, the MT and FAU remain tied in the standings. Now it will all come down to this weekend as the Blue Raiders host Western Kentucky for a doubleheader while the Owls have a home-and-home with FIU. It is definitely safe to say we will be Blue Raiders and Panthers fans this weekend!

We hope everyone enjoyed more behind-the scenes pictures throughout the weekend. Be on the lookout for the photo gallery from this past weekend in Boca Raton which will be posted to Facebook on Tuesday.

On Friday, we will preview the huge doubleheader with Western Kentucky. This weekend also happens to be Senior Day and Pink Day. We will have much more on both of these later this week.

Have a great few days, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


WKU-UTM RECAP/FAU PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Congratulations to the MT softball team for a couple of huge wins to get this huge week started on a great note! You can find the game recaps of both midweek contests along with updated stats on the schedule/results page here.

The Blue Raiders began the week with a huge 8-4 win against the rival Lady Toppers of Western Kentucky. Kayla Toney returned to the lineup and went 2-4 with a home run and three runs knocked in. Kelsey Woodruff also added a two-run blast as the MT offense broke out with 12 hits on the evening.

Caty Jutson led the way in the circle for the squad, tossing six innings of one-run ball in relief of Caitlin McClure to pick up the win.

The Blue Raiders carried their momentum back to Murfreesboro and defeated UT-Martin 4-3 on Wednesday. Shelby Stinnett pitched her eighth complete game of the season, giving up just three runs over her seven innings. Natalie Ysais provided the big offensive boost with her fourth-inning two-run blast which gave MT its lead back, one it would hold on to en route to the 4-3 win.

Now the squad heads down to Boca Raton for its biggest series of the season. The Blue Raiders are currently one half game behind Florida Atlantic for the eighth and final spot in the Sun Belt Tournament. MT really needs to take two-of-three this weekend. While the Owls are no slouch, if the Blue Raiders play like they have the last two or three games, they should certainly be able to take care of business this weekend.

Here's to a great weekend in South Florida. Let's hope the Blue Raiders can keep things rolling and come home with a big series win - or dare we even say sweep!

Be sure to follow the team on Facebook and Twitter as we will once again provide behind-the-scenes pictures and video throughout the weekend. And if any of you have any ideas or suggestions on how to enhance your connection with the team, please let us know via the teams' social media pages. We are always on the lookout for new ideas!

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Have a great rest of the week and weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


TROY RECAP/WKU, UT-MARTIN PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team endured another tough Sun Belt weekend on the road as the squad dropped all three games this past weekend at Troy. You can find the game recaps of all three games along with updated stats on the schedule/results page here.

The weekend began with Saturday's doubleheader in which the Blue Raiders fell by 5-4 and 8-3 scores. The opener saw MT fall behind 5-0 before scoring two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Unfortunately, the comeback came up a run short as the squad could not get that one additional key hit it needed to come all the way back.

In the second game, the Blue Raiders took a 3-1 lead into the fifth where Troy posted five runs to take a 6-3 advantage. Caty Jutson pitched well before hitting the wall in the fifth as the Trojans were able to take control of the game. They added another two runs in the sixth to put the game away.

Sunday's game was without question the most gut-wrenching of the three as the team once again had a 3-1 lead before Troy tied it in the sixth. MT seemed to be on the way to victory following Kelsey Woodruff's two-run shot in the eighth to put the squad up 5-3, but the Trojans once again responded with a two-run long ball of their own to retie the game. The home team then won it in the 10th via four singles, the last bringing home the winning run.

It seems as if we say it every week, but this time is right on the edge of getting over the hump. Everyone knows that once it all comes together, MT is going to be tough to deal with. Let's hope it begins this week against Western Kentucky and UT-Martin. After all, if the Blue Raiders can put it all together and get hot, anything can happen.

This week's midweek contests will not be easy ones, though. Western Kentucky has quietly put together a nice season and playing them on the road is going to be a tough challenge. The Hilltoppers have knocked off some good nonconference opponents including Murray State, Jacksonville State and Belmont. They come in following taking two-of-three at ULM and also knocked off Troy twice earlier this month in their three-game series with the Trojans. Be sure to check GoBlueRaiders.com later Monday for the official midweek preview.

UT-Martin meanwhile boasts a record of 33-15, 20-3 in the OVC. That 20-3 mark in the OVC definitely stands out as the conference is certainly a good one. Among the Skyhawks' notable wins are victories against Kansas, Belmont and a three-game sweep of Southeast Missouri.

This is definitely the most important week of the season for MT as the series with Florida Atlantic looms in the near future. The Blue Raiders need to focus on this pair of games, however, before turning their attention to the Owls. Here's to a couple of big victories to get the week off to a great start.

Check back here Thursday for a recap of the two contests and a preview of the series with FAU. Have a great few days, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FIU RECAP/TROY PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Despite losing the series two games to one, spirits are high around the Blue Raider softball team after Wednesday's thrilling 2-1 victory over FIU. You can find the game recaps of all three games along with updated stats on the schedule/results page here.

The FIU series began with a couple of tough losses to the Panthers. MT starting pitchers Caty Jutson and Shelby Stinnett were dominant in the circle on Tuesday as they both tossed complete games. Unfortunately the Blue Raider bats were quiet as FIU limited the squad to just one run over the course of the doubleheader, leading to a pair of MT defeats.

While many teams would have undoubtedly come out with a lackluster effort in Wednesday's series finale, that was not the case with this group of Blue Raiders. It was evident from the start that they badly wanted the win as they fought and scrapped all game long. And in the end their tremendous effort paid off as Kristi Marquez lined a one-out single to left in the bottom of the ninth to give MT the huge 2-1 win.

Now the team will head down to Troy for an extremely important three-game Sun Belt series. Nothing would be better than for the Blue Raiders to come home with a series victory over the Trojans. However, it will not be easy as Troy is a very talented team and will not be taking MT lightly as they look to improve their position in the Sun Belt.

Hopefully the Blue Raiders will be able to put it all together this weekend. In addition to the strong pitching performances against the Panthers earlier this week, the squad was very solid defensively as it committed just two errors over the three-game series. MT just needs to begin getting more clutch hitting like Marquez provided on Wednesday and the team will be in business.

Be sure to look for the official series preview on Friday which will be found on GoBlueRaiders.com. And be sure to check back here on Monday for the series recap and a preview of the the Blue Raiders' midweek meetings with Western Kentucky and UT-Martin.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders


UL-LAFAYETTE RECAP/FIU PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team had another tough series this past weekend as the squad lost all three games to No. 7 UL-Lafayette. You can find the game recaps along with the updated statistics on the 2012 schedule/results page here.

Saturday was a very hard day for the Blue Raiders as the squad fell in five innings to the Ragin' Cajuns in both games of their doubleheader. Natalie Ysais' solo home run in Game 2 provided the only run the team could collect on the day.

Sunday was a different story, however. Despite going down 4-3, the team showed great pride, toughness and resiliency. It was clear from the start that MT was ready to compete with UL-Lafayette and they showed they could certainly do just that.

Even after falling behind three different times, the Blue Raiders responded to tie the game. Nina Dever, Kaycee Popham and Kelsey Woodruff each blasted home runs in the contest as the offense showed what it is capable of.

Meanwhile Caty Jutson limited the Ragin' Cajuns to just four runs in her seven innings pitched after not allowing an earned run in Saturday's second game. If Jutson can pitch like she did this past weekend, then this team is certainly capable of going on a run.

The defense also had a great day on Sunday. After committing seven errors in Saturday's Game 2, the Blue Raiders responded with none on Sunday. In addition, the team made a few great plays to save potential Ragin' Cajun runs in the game.

While the team is obviously disappointed with the outcome of the series, Sunday's game should provide lots of confidence. Hopefully now the team can put it all together as they host FIU this week in a pivotal three-game series beginning Tuesday. You can read the official series preview You can read the official game preview here.

FIU currently sits in third place in the Sun Belt with a 10-6 conference record. Last week they took one of three games from UL-Lafayette and earlier this year they knocked off No. 23 Oregon State. The Panthers are certainly a quality team, so this series has the makings of a great one.

We encourage you to come out to Blue Raider Field this week for some great softball. The rain will be gone by Tuesday and Wednesday is supposed to be a perfect day.

Check back here on Thursday as we recap the FIU series and look ahead to this weekend's contests with Troy. Have a great day, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


MT HOSTS NO. 7 UL-LAFAYETTE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team faces its toughest challenge of the 2012 season as the squad prepares to meet No. 7 UL-Lafayette this weekend in a three-game Sun Belt series. You can read the official game preview here.

The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and will face off at noon on Sunday.

The Ragin’ Cajuns once again have a very good team this season as they enter this weekend’s series with a 35-2 record including a 10-2 mark in conference play. Their two defeats have come on the road to Troy by a 9-4 margin and this past weekend at FIU where they were knocked off 2-1.

The Blue Raiders will certainly have to be on top of their game this weekend in order to pick up a series victory. But as the team has shown this year, the squad is capable of doing just that. And despite the losses earlier this week, the Blue Raiders seem to be very confident heading into the weekend.

Saturday is going to be a very busy day on the Middle Tennessee campus. In addition to the MT/ULL series, there are several other sporting events taking place including the football spring game which is set to begin at 1 p.m. The volleyball and soccer teams will also be in action this weekend, so the excitement level is going to be extremely high.

The weather is going to be great both on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to come on out and enjoy some great softball! As always, admission is free, so you have no excuses not to be at Blue Raider Field this weekend! Have a great Friday, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


MURRAY STATE/SE MISSOURI RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- It was a tough road trip for the MT softball team as the squad dropped all four games on Tuesday and Wednesday. You can find the official game recaps as well as updated statistics on the team's schedule page here.

The Blue Raiders recorded a combined 18 hits in their doubleheader with Murray State on Tuesday but could only get six runs on the board. The squad simply could not come up with key, timely hits against the Racers.

MT was also done in by errors and mental mistakes which do not show up in the box score. The team committed seven errors on the day including six in the second game alone.

The Blue Raiders were much improved defensively on Wednesday as they made just one error all day. However, the offense was only able to tally a total of 12 hits over the course of the two games while the Redhawks banged out 23 knocks.

The story continues to be the fact that the team cannot combine all three facets together at the same time. They have proven they can hit, pitch and play defense at a high level. Hopefully the team can play well in all three areas this weekend as the team welcomes UL-Lafayette to town for a three-game series.

In other news, be sure to check out the first story in our alumni series as we highlight former Blue Raider Ashlie Way. You can see the story here.

Also, congratulations to Kristi Marquez for being inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma - the student-athlete honor society. You can read the story here. Great job, Kristi!

Check back here on Friday as we will have more on this weekend's series against the Cajuns. Hopefully we can pack out Blue Raider Field and make this a weekend to remember. Have a great day, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


MT TRAVELS TO FACE MURRAY STATE AND SE MISSOURI

MURRAY, Ky. -- The Blue Raider softball team hits the road again following their season-long eight-day layoff as they head to face Murray State on Tuesday and Southeast Missouri on Wednesday. You can read the official story here.

Tuesday's doubleheader against Murray State will begin at 2 p.m. CT while the twin bill on Wednesday vs. SE Missouri is set for 3 p.m.

It will be interesting to see how the team comes out after such a long break from play. While it is always nice to get rest, you always have to worry about a little bit of rust after a break like this. Hopefully the squad will come out and put some runs on the board early against the Racers.

Both Murray State and Southeast Missouri are worthy opponents, so MT needs to be focused and ready to go this week. The Racers and Redhawks have both faced several opponents that the Blue Raiders have also faced. Of course, MT played Murray State earlier this year at the Tennessee Classic with the Racers coming away with a 6-4 win. You can get all the info on Murray State here while Southeast Missouri info can be seen here.

Check back here on Thursday as we recap the doubleheaders and look ahead to this weekend's series with UL-Lafayette. Have a great day, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SAMFORD DOUBLEHEADER POSTPONED/RANDOM TID-BITS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team's break from the diamond will begin a little sooner than expected as Thursday's doubleheader against Samford has been postponed due to weather. You can read the official story here.

It appears as if the teams will be able to make up the doubleheader in early May, but nothing is official yet. Once we get word of an official make-up date, it will be announced via Facebook, Twitter and GoBlueRaiders.com.

MT will now enjoy the next few days off before they begin a busy stretch beginning with a trip to face Murray State on Tuesday and Southeast Missouri on Wednesday (both are doubleheaders). The Blue Raiders will then return home to meet UL-Lafayette in a three-game Sun Belt series next weekend.

In other news, in our last update we mentioned the "April Alumni" series that we are about to begin. Each Monday this month, we will post a story highlighting a former Blue Raider. So, be sure to check GoBlueRaiders.com for our first story. We could tell you who we will highlight, but we want to make it a surprise!

Over the next few weeks, we will also be posting videos to Facebook and Twitter of a little challenge the team did entitled "Blue Raider Battles." MT divided into two teams (freshman/sophomores vs. juniors/seniors) and took part in a series of competitions. Some of the competitions were quite fun to see. The first video will be posted on Thursday, so be sure to tell your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else you encounter to be on the lookout!

Check back here on Monday as we preview the start of a busy week for MT with its pair of midweek road doubleheaders. Have a great Easter weekend, everyone! We hope you all get to have a nice weekend with family and a great celebration of the holiday. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SOUTH ALABAMA SERIES RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team had a tough weekend in Mobile as the squad lost all three games to the Jaguars. You can read the official recaps of the games as well as find updated statistics on the team's schedule and results page here.

It was simply one of those weekends where it seemed like things just were not meant to be for the Blue Raiders. The squad held leads in both games on Saturday including leading 3-2 in the second game entering the bottom of the seventh before the Jaguars scored twice to win.

MT pounded out 18 hits over the course of the doubleheader on Saturday, but unfortunately could only put a total of five runs up on the board. Despite an uncharacteristic showing on Sunday, the offense is certainly hitting the ball well right now. The team just needs to come up with a few more big hits and things will undoubtedly turn around in a hurry.

Again, with the exception of Sunday's game, the pitching staff continues to toss the ball well. They limited a very good hitting South Alabama team to seven runs on Saturday which is great to see.

All in all, the team just needs to remain confident because they are playing well and the wins will come if they keep playing like they are. All they need to do is eliminate a few mistakes that seem to cost them at inopportune times.

In other news, we hope everyone enjoyed more behind-the-scenes looks at the team during the road trip. It was certainly an interesting trip as the team did not arrive in Mobile until around 8 p.m. on Friday night as opposed to the 4 p.m. scheduled arrival time.

And then the power went out at the hotel on Sunday morning. Luckily, that only affected some of us as most of the team was still sleeping at the time. But boy was it hot for a couple of hours there!

The Blue Raiders have Monday off before returning to practice Tuesday in preparation for a midweek doubleheader at Samford on Thursday.

Be sure to check back here on Wednesday as we preview the meeting with the Bulldogs. Also, be on the lookout as we are going to begin our "April Alumni" feature this week. We will have more on that in our next update.

Have a great week, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


JACKSONVILLE STATE RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team captured a split in Tuesday's doubleheader with Jacksonville State. You can read the official recap of the doubleheader here. and find the box scores and updates stats linked off the schedule and results page here.

While the Blue Raiders obviously would have loved to come away with a doubleheader sweep, the team certainly has to be happy with how they played overall against the Gamecocks. A few mental mistakes and errors early in Game 1 ended up costing them the game. The good thing is the mistakes they made are easily correctable, so there is reason for the squad to be very confident heading into Mobile.

MT continues to hit the ball extremely well as the team totaled 17 runs on 27 hits over the course of the two games. Possibly the best sign is that everyone is contributing on offense, as evidenced by nine different players getting a hit in Game 2 against JSU.

Meanwhile the pitching staff continues to perform as well. Shelby Stinnett posted another solid outing on Tuesday as she pitched all five innings in Game 2, allowing just two earned runs. The sophomore has really helped the Blue Raiders this season with her consistency in the circle recently.

Caty Jutson pitched well but was plagued by a bit of bad luck for the second time in three days as three of the four runs she gave up against the Gamecocks were unearned. Kailey McDougald made another appearance in the circle in Game 1 and battled through 4.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs. She certainly pitched well enough for MT to come away with the win, but unfortunately the squad came up just a bit short.

Now the team will turn its attention to South Alabama as it continues its road swing with a trip to Mobile this weekend.

Check back here on Thursday as we preview this weekend's series between the Blue Raiders and Jaguars. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


ULM SERIES RECAP/JSU PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team took two-of-three games this past weekend from ULM to capture the squad's first Sun Belt series of the year and finish off the homestand with a 4-1 record. You can find the official game recaps as well as updated stats via the team's schedule here.

The series victory was a big one, to say the least. The Blue Raiders now sit at 11-14 overall and 2-4 in league play.

The offense came alive this weekend after a down day against Evansville earlier in the week. MT pounded out 26 hits over the weekend and only left 20 runners on base during the series which is much improved from last weekend.

The Blue Raiders are now getting contributions from everyone in the lineup which is a great thing to see. It seems a different player steps up for the team every day. The squad is also getting key hits which was not happening earlier this year. If MT can continue to put runners on base and get timely hitting like they did this past weekend, there is no telling how good the offense can become.

Caty Jutson and Shelby Stinnett followed up their performances in the circle earlier this week with two more dazzling displays. Jutson threw a complete game shutout on Saturday and Stinnett tossed another complete-game victory on Sunday.

Hopefully the duo can keep up their fabulous play this week as the squad begins an 11-game road swing at Jacksonville State on Tuesday. You can read the official doubleheader preview here.

The Gamecocks are a very good team that could give MT trouble if the Blue Raiders do not come out focused and ready to play. Most of their losses came very early in the season as they have won 10 of their last 12 games. In addition to being 8-2 in conference, they also beat Georgia Tech who as of last week was just outside the Top 25.

Live stats will be provided courtesy of Jacksonville State and can be accessed here. And of course we will have updates via Facebook and Twitter as well.

Check back here on Wednesday as we recap the doubleheader and begin looking ahead to South Alabama this weekend. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


EVANSVILLE RECAP/ULM PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team swept its midweek doubleheader from Evansville on Wednesday afternoon. The squad won the first game 5-2 before knocking off the Purple Aces 1-0 in Game 2. You can see the official recap of the day here.

MT pitchers Caty Jutson and Shelby Stinnett were the stars of the afternoon as both pitched spectacularly. Jutson relieved Jordyn Fisherback in the first inning of Game 1 and went on to pitch 6.1 innings without giving up a single run and just two hits to help lead the team to the 5-2 win.

Stinnett followed in Game 2 with a performance that was just as good if not better (you can decide for yourself which was better – we will choose to call it a tie). She tossed a complete-game shutout, holding Evansville to just six hits.

We would be remiss not to mention the performance of Evansville pitcher Emily Morris in Game 2. She limited MT to just one hit for the game. Unfortunately for her, the Purple Aces could not provide any offense for her and she ended up getting the loss.

Now the Blue Raiders turn their attention to this weekend’s series with ULM. The Warhawks come to town with a record of 14-11, 2-4 in the Sun Belt after taking two of three from Troy in a midweek conference series last week. You can read the official series preview here.

Unfortunately the weather forecast for Saturday is not good. Hopefully the rain will hold off in time for both games to be played. As always, stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter as well as GoBlueRaiders.com on Saturday for any news on the status of the games. Sunday’s forecast meanwhile looks terrific, so that is certainly great news.

We encourage everyone to come out to Blue Raider Field to support the team and take in some good Sun Belt softball. This is a big series for the team and it would be great to have a big crowd for the first home weekend series of the season. Check back here on Monday as we recap the series and look ahead to Jacksonville State on Tuesday. Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


EVANSVILLE PREVIEW

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team returns home this week for a five-game homestand beginning with a doubleheader on Wednesday against Evansville. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. with the second game following approximately 30 minutes after its conclusion. You can see the official doubleheader preview here.

Evansville is a team much like MT and other Sun Belt teams. They are not spectacular or fancy in any area, but they can hit, pitch and play solid defense just like everyone in our league. And while their record is only 7-14, five of their losses have been by only a run, so they are certainly not a bad team by any means.

The Blue Raiders would love a doubleheader sweep on Wednesday heading into this weekend's conference series with UL-Monroe. While the team's confidence is not lacking, a couple of wins would really be nice.

The weather is once again expected to be perfect on Wednesday, so we encourage everyone to come out and support the Blue Raiders on what should be a perfect day for softball.

Also be advised of the parking situation this year while construction is going on. Fans are encouraged to arrive to campus early and park in the gravel lot on the corner of MTSU Blvd and Rutherford Blvd. There are entrances to the lot via both streets. Parking will not be available in the lot adjacent to the softball field.

If you are unable to make it out for the games, live stats will be provided. Unfortunately we will not have radio due to the men's basketball game Wednesday night.

On Friday, we will have a short recap of the doubleheader and preview this weekend's series with UL-Monrore.

Have a great day, everyone! We hope to see a bunch of you out at Blue Raider Field on Wednesday. As always, Go Blue Raiders!


NORTH TEXAS SERIES RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team had a tough few days this past weekend in Denton, Texas.

The squad lost all three game to the Mean Green and consequently dropped its record to 7-13 overall, 0-3 in Sun Belt play.

Despite the losses, there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend. While frustrating, MT had the lead late in Games 2 and 3 of the weekend before surrendering big innings to North Texas. The team easily could have come away with wins in those games had they caught a break here or there.

MT recorded 27 hits on the weekend, a number good enough to win lots of series. Unfortunately, the squad left 26 runners on base over the three games which cost them dearly. If the Blue Raiders can start getting a few big hits, things should turn around in a hurry offensively.

The team received a great outing in the circle from Jordyn Fisherback on Sunday. If she can continue to pitch like she did, it would be a huge lift to the pitching staff.

Defensively, MT recorded just two errors all weekend and made some terrific plays in the field. The team's defense appears to be a strength so far this season.

All in all, while the wins did not come this weekend, there were plenty of positives. Hopefully a midweek sweep of Evansville will get the team right back on track.

In other news, we hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the road trip to Denton this weekend. We are thinking about doing that for the remaining road trips as well. Let us know via comments on Facebook and Twitter if you liked it. And of course we always encourage your feedback on anything and everything we do or any ideas you have, so don't be shy!

We hope to have our road trip video complete some time either Monday or Tuesday. Once it is done, it will be posted to Facebook and Twitter.

On Tuesday we will look ahead to the midweek doubleheader against Evansville. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS BEGIN CONFERENCE PLAY AT NORTH TEXAS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team will open up its 2012 conference schedule this weekend when they head to face North Texas for a three-game series.

The two squads will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. CT with a single game set for noon on Sunday.

The Blue Raiders are coming off a doubleheader split with Eastern Illinois on Wednesday afternoon. After dropping a tough one 2-1 to begin the day, MT responded and came back to salvage Game 2. You can read the official doubleheader recap here.

Nina Dever was the hero of the day on Wednesday as she tallied the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh to score Nina Davenport from second base. Meanwhile Laura Dukes continued her impressive play of late with a solo homer to lead off the seventh and spark the rally.

Caty Jutson provided MT with another solid outing in the circle on Wednesday as she threw a complete game, allowing just two earned runs and five hits in the contest.

The squad will look to carry its momentum from the second game into Denton this weekend. This is certainly an important series as the Blue Raiders hope to get off to a great start in Sun Belt play.

North Texas is currently 8-14 overall this year and 0-3 in league play. Despite their record, they have played well as of late. Two of their three losses last weekend at UL-Lafayette came by one run and they fell to No. 15 Baylor 2-1 in 11 innings earlier this week. You can find all of your Mean Green info here.

Be on the lookout for the official series preview on GoBlueRaiders.com on Friday. Also, be sure to check back here on Monday as we will have a recap of the three-game set.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


MT OPENS 2012 HOME SCHEDULE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team will begin its 2012 home debut on Wednesday when the squad welcomes Eastern Illinois to town for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. You can read the official game preview here.

MT enters play on Wednesday following a nice weekend at the Lady Bison Classic in Nashville in which the squad went 3-1 in its four tournament contest. The Blue Raiders will look to carry the momentum they gained into the midweek doubleheader.

Meanwhile Eastern Illinois headed into its Tuesday doubleheader against Savannah State and Alabama A&M with a 5-9 record on the year. The Panthers were swept in a three-game series last weekend at Jacksonville State.

EIU has been up and down all season as the team has hit the ball very well at times and has enjoyed some nice pitching performances. However, the Panthers have been unable to find consistency which has plagued them early in 2012. They are certainly better than their record indicates and will present MT with a tough challenge on Wednesday. You can get all your EIU softball info here.

Live statistics and online streaming radio will be available for Wednesday’s doubleheader which can be accessed here. Periodic updates will also be provided via the Middle Tennessee softball social media pages on Twitter @MT_Softball and on Facebook at the MTSU Softball page.

We encourage everyone to come out and support the Blue Raiders on Wednesday. The weather is expected to be great, so it should be a nice day for softball!

On Thursday, we will have a recap of the doubleheader and look ahead to this weekend’s conference-opening series. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


LADY BISON CLASSIC RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team wrapped up play on Sunday in the Lady Bison Classic, going 1-1 on the day to conclude the tournament with a 3-1 record.

It was certainly a very successful weekend for the squad as the Blue Raiders came from behind in both of its games on Saturday, knocking off Drake 2-1 before defeating Eastern Michigan 6-5.

Freshman Laura Dukes was the offensive hero of the day as she collected both game-winning RBIs. Against Drake, she delivered a monstrous solo home run in the top of the seventh to break a 1-1 tie as MT went on to win 2-1. Later that night, she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and the game tied at 5-5, giving the Blue Raiders a 6-5 victory over Eastern Michigan.

Meanwhile Jordyn Fisherback had a marvelous outing in the circle against Drake. She tossed all seven innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run in helping lead the team to the win.

On Sunday, MT received a complete-game shutout from Shelby Stinnett against Alabama State. She scattered six hits over her seven innings as the Blue Raiders came away with a 3-0 win. Kayla Toney and Kaycee Popham each tallied long balls to lead the offensive charge.

While the team was tripped up by Lipscomb 8-6 in the final game of the tournament, there were many positives to take away from the contest. MT showed great character as it came back to take a 6-5 lead after falling behind 5-1 early in the game. Also, the Blue Raiders tallied six runs in five innings against Lipscomb starter Whitney Kiihnl after being held scoreless over five innings against her earlier this year.

All in all, this was certainly a great weekend for the team as it wrapped up its preconference tournament schedule.

The Blue Raiders will open up their 2012 home schedule on Wednesday when they host Eastern Illinois for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT. We encourage everyone to come out and support MT in its home opener. The weather is expected to be very nice, so you have no excuses!

On Tuesday, we will take a closer look at this week's doubleheader against Eastern Illinois. Also, be on the lookout for a couple of videos from this past weekend which will be posted to the team's Facebook (MTSU Softball) and Twitter (@MT_Softball) pages.

Have a great day, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


LADY BISON CLASSIC PREVIEW

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The MT softball team is fresh and ready to go this weekend as they will take part in the Lady Bison Classic this weekend in Nashville.

You can read the official tournament preview here.

This will be the final preconference tournament in which the Blue Raiders will compete. MT will open up its home schedule on Wednesday when the squad welcomes Eastern Illinois to Murfreesboro for a doubleheader beginning at 1pm.

We encourage everyone in the Murfreesboro area to make the short trip to Nashville this weekend. There should be some good competition among the teams and the weather is expected to be great on Saturday and hopefully the rain will hold off on Sunday.

On Monday, we will recap this weekend’s tournament and begin looking ahead to MT’s doubleheader against Eastern Illinois.

Have a terrific weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


TENNESSEE CLASSIC RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team lost three official games as well as an exhibition contest this past weekend at the Tennessee Classic. You can read the official recaps of all the games here.

Despite the losses, the Blue Raiders can take away many positives from the tournament. With the exception of the Louisville game, the squad had its chances in each game, especially against Tennessee and Murray State.

MT continues to hit the ball well as the Blue Raiders are fourth in the Sun Belt in team batting average. The team is led by Kayla Toney who is tops in the entire conference with a .485 average with two home runs, four RBIs and 11 runs scored. First baseman Kaycee Popham trails not far behind in the conference standings, coming in at fifth. She is batting .412 with a pair of home runs and nine runs driven in.

In addition to the team's high batting average, the Blue Raiders are also fielding the ball well. MT currently holds a .959 fielding percentage, good enough for third in the conference. Four Blue Raiders have fielding percentages of 1.000 while Popham leads the team with a whopping 89 put-outs. She continues to climb the Blue Raider all-time list in the category.

We encourage you to check out all things MT softball on the Softball page here on GoBlueRaiders.com. You can find the schedule/results, roster, up-to-date stats and even see how other teams are doing by looking at the Sun Belt standings and Top 25 polls which are released each Tuesday.

Also, be sure you are following us on Twitter (@MT_Softball) and Facebook (MTSU Softball).

Be on the lookout for a few videos coming later this week. They will be posted on the team's Facebook page and linked on Twitter. We think you will really enjoy them.

On Thursday, we will take a look ahead to this weekend's Lady Bisons Classic in Nashville. MT will play Drake and Eastern Michigan on Saturday before facing Alabama State and Lipscomb on Sunday.

Have a great week, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


TENNESSEE CLASSIC PREVIEW

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Good morning from Knoxville! The Blue Raiders will open up play in the Tennessee Classic today when the face No. 17 Louisville at 11:30 a.m. CT.

You can read the official tournament preview here.

The tournament schedule was adjusted again on Friday afternoon. Middle Tennessee will now play Murray State on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT after meeting the Dutch National Team at 11:30 a.m. The squad is still set to close out play against Tennessee on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

The weather is likely to be an issue all weekend, so we may have some delays/postponements. We will keep you updated via Twitter and Facebook as news becomes available.

Be sure to check back here on Monday for a complete tournament recap. Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


COUGAR CLASSIC RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Congratulations to the MT softball team for a great weekend at the Cougar Classic! The team posted wins over Wagner, Virginia Tech and College of Charleston to go 3-1 on the weekend.

The team had an unfortunate beginning to the tournament as they had to wait until Friday night to play their first game. And of course as you probably know, the rain decided to ruin the night early as the Blue Raiders and Cougars were in the second inning.

The team refused to be affected, though, as they came out and defeated Wagner 6-3 on Saturday before knocking off Virginia Tech 7-4 and College of Charleston 4-2 on Sunday to pick up three wins on the weekend.

It truly was a team effort all the way around. The Blue Raiders received great performances from a number of players offensively including Kaycee Popham, Kayla Toney, Kelsey Woodruff, Nina Dever, Kristi Marquez and Samantha Nieves. Honestly, we could list the entire team because everyone contributed this past weekend.

The Blue Raider pitchers also had a great weekend. Caitlin McClure led the staff with an impressive performance on Sunday against College of Charleston.

Despite not hitting any home runs this weekend, the team improved its batting average to a solid .293. The team's slugging percentage continues to be high as it currently stands at .437.

Meanwhile the Blue Raider pitchers are currently holding their opponents to a .298 average. The staff has only allowed six doubles, two triples and two home runs so far in 2012.

We encourage everyone to check out the updated 2012 team statistics which can be found here. And of course you can always find all the game recaps and box scores on the 2012 schedule page here.

In other news, we promise we will post the pictures and video from last week's practice. Tomorrow should be the day, so check Facebook (MTSU Softball) tomorrow afternoon and they should be up. We really apologize for the delay.

Have a great start to your week, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS HEAD TO COUGAR CLASSIC

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Happy Friday, everyone! The Blue Raider softball team opens up play today in the College of Charleston Cougar Classic.

MT will face the host Cougars at 3 p.m. CT before playing again at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined. You can see the official preview story here.

On Saturday, the squad will play Wagner at 3 p.m. followed by a tilt with Lipscomb at 5 p.m. The Blue Raiders will conclude play in the tournament with a matchup against Virginia Tech on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Live statistics will be available courtesy of College of Charleston at CofCsports.com. You can find them here. We will provide periodic in-game updates via Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you have not seen it, be sure to check out a new edition of "The Drill" which features Coach Nevar discussing this weekend's tournament as well as other topics with the voice of the Blue Raiders, Chip Walters. You can view the video here. But be sure your volume is down because the video pops right up!

Also, be sure to check Facebook (MTSU Softball) on Saturday for a short video and some pics from practice this past week.

On Monday, we will have a complete recap of this weekend's action. Have a great weekend, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


CHARLOTTE CLASSIC RECAP

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team dropped four games this weekend at the Charlotte Classic to open their 2012 season.

It was certainly a frustrating weekend as Middle Tennessee had great opportunities to win three of its four games as the squad led in all but one contest. It came down to a few big innings which cost the squad.

Despite the setbacks, however, MT can take many positives from the tournament. The Blue Raiders crushed five home runs over the weekend. Conversely, the pitching staff did not allow a single home run from the opponents.

Kaycee Popham led the team at the plate with a .455 average to go along with a home run and three runs batted in. Kayla Toney also had a nice weekend, batting .444 with a home run, a pair of RBIs and four runs scored. She also went 3-3 in stolen bases.

Meanwhile Samantha Nieves performed well in her Blue Raider debut. She hit .308 over the weekend with four RBIs and two doubles.

The Blue Raiders will look to rebound this weekend when they head to the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. MT will meet College of Charleston, Wagner, Lipscomb and Virginia Tech in the five-team tournament.

Be on the lookout later this week as we will have pictures and video of practice this week. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SOFTBALL NOTEBOOK 2012 AGENDA

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Here is what you can expect from the Softball Notebook in 2012 now that the season is under way.

First of all, we apologize for the infrequent updates this past weekend. Our plans as the season goes along are to provide pre-series/tournament news and information on Thursdays with post-series/tournament recaps on Mondays. Obviously, this will not be the case every single week, but you can plan on this format for most of the season.

In addition, we will post other relevant news and information during the week that we think you will enjoy. Once we begin our video series of this year's squad, we will be sure to alert everyone in advance so you can know when to find it on the team's Facebook page. The same will be done for other videos and pictures as well.

We hope you are excited as we are about this season! It should be a fun ride! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


LET'S PLAY BALL!

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Middle Tennessee softball team begins its 2012 season today at the Charlotte Classic.

The squad will open the tournament with a contest against Kansas at 9 a.m. CT before facing Stony Brook at 3 p.m. Live statistics will be provided for both games courtesy of Charlotte and can be accessed via Charlotte49ers.com.

We will have periodic in-game updates on both Facebook (MTSU Softball) and Twitter (@MT_Softball). A full recap of the day's games will be on GoBlueRaiders.com (GBR) following the Stony Brook game.

We will also have a quick recap of the day's action right here in the Softball Notebook. Have a great opening day, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 0

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we come to the realization that we are all out of numbers! So, we have officially come to the end of the softball jersey number countdown.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey through Blue Raider softball history. Many great players and tremendous people have been a part of this program and we are proud of each one of them.

With that said, let the 2012 season officially begin!


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 1

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders take the field and open the 2012 season tomorrow! And so today we reach Day 1 of our jersey number countdown! We spotlight former Blue Raiders Erica Buhl and Martha Davis.


1

Erica Buhl - Outfielder – Tucson, Ariz. – Santa Rita HS

Erica Buhl was a Blue Raider outfielder from 2000-03. She batted .221 as a freshman with 10 RBIs, six doubles and one homerun while walking 14 times and scoring 22 runs. A native of Tucson, Ariz., she hit .260 with 16 RBIs, six doubles, one triple, 11 walks and two homeruns while also scoring 29 runs for the 2001 Blue Raider team. Buhl followed that up by notching a .258 average at the plate with seven RBIs, two doubles, one triple and one homerun in 2002. She had a career year as a senior, hitting .299 with 26 runs batted in, seven doubles, one triple and three homeruns while also walking 11 times and scoring 30 runs. Following her senior season, she was rewarded by being named Second Team All-Sun Belt.


Martha Davis - Infielder/Outfielder – Signal Mountain, Tenn. – Red Bank HS

Martha Davis was an infielder and outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 2006-09. She began her four-year career by hitting .244 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 17 RBIs. As a sophomore, she upped her average to .313 while hitting 14 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 31 runs batted in. She also walked 18 times, scored 26 runs and went 6-7 in the stolen base category in her best season at Middle Tennessee. After a strong showing at the conference tournament, she was voted to the All-Tournament team and later was named Second Team All-Sun Belt. In 2008, Davis batted .237 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 28 RBIs while walking 14 times. A native of Signal Mountain, Tenn., she hit .296 with six doubles, one triple and six home runs to close out her successful career in Murfreesboro.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 2

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We are now just two days away from Middle Tennessee opening up its 2012 season at the Charlotte Classic. So, today we take a look back at some former players who wore the No. 2 during their Blue Raider careers! These players include Charlotte Peay, Kandra Singleton and Michelle Wilkes.


2

Charlotte Peay - Catcher/Outfielder – Milton, Tenn. – Oakland HS

Charlotte Peay was a four-year catcher/outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 1994-97. As a freshman, she hit .256 with 29 RBIs and 11 runs scored. The Milton, Tenn., product followed that up by batting .268 with seven doubles and six walks drawn. In 1996, she recorded an average of .267 while scoring 25 runs and leading the team with 14 walks. She capped her career by hitting .271 at the plate with 19 RBIs and a team-leading 18 walks.


Kandra Singleton - Utility Player – Clarksville, Tenn. – Northwest HS

Kandra Singleton was a utility player for the Blue Raiders from 2008-11. She appeared in 26 games as a defensive replacement and pinch runner in 2008, scoring nine runs and recoding one stolen base. The following season she hit .214 with a triple, four RBIs, five walks, 12 runs scored and nine stolen bases. In 2010, Singleton batted .209 at the plate with a double, three RBIs, five walks and 10 runs scored. A native of Clarksville, Tenn., she tallied a .235 average as a senior while scoring 13 runs and adding two stolen bases.


Michelle Wilkes – Utility Player – Bartlett, Tenn. – St. Benedict of Auburndale

Michelle Wilkes was a utility player for Middle Tennessee from 2003-06. She opened her career by scoring four runs for the 2003 team. The following season she crossed the plate 15 times while going 5-6 in stolen bases. The Bartlett, Tenn., product saw action in 23 games her junior year, scoring another four runs while swiping two bases. Wilkes closed her career with her best season as a Blue Raider, hitting .226 in 45 games played while scoring 11 runs and stealing six bases.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 3

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We cannot begin today without wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! So, to everyone, especially all you former Blue Raiders out there, we hope you have a special day today! With that, we have come upon Day 3 of our countdown! Today we highlight former Middle Tennessee softball players Kerry Allen, Jamie Estepa, Jennifer Grybash, Katie McCraw and Cortney Mitchell.


3

Kerry Allen - Outfielder – Fair Oaks, Calif. – Sacramento City JC

Kerry Allen was a Middle Tennessee outfielder from 1999-00. She appeared in 58 games as a junior in 1999, batting .307 with 35 RBIs, seven doubles, six triples and two homeruns. She also scored 35 runs while walking 10 times and stealing nine bases on her way to a Second Team All-OVC selection. The Sacramento City (Calif.) College transfer then hit .250 at the plate in 2000 while knocking home 16 runs with six doubles and a triple.


Jamie Estepa - Catcher – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood HS

Jamie Estepa was a three-year catcher for Middle Tennessee from 1994-96. She hit .316 with 36 RBIs and two homeruns her first season in Murfreesboro. After a big week in Clarksville, Tenn., she was voted to the OVC All-Tournament team. Estepa was also honored by being tabbed to the All-OVC Second Team. She followed that up by batting .360 with six doubles and one home run in 1995 en route to another Second Team All-OVC selection. The Brentwood, Tenn., native capped her career by hitting .245 with eight walks and seven runs scored.


Jennifer Grybash – Infielder – Hendersonville, Tenn. – Maryville College

Jennifer Grybash was an infielder for the 2004 and ’05 Blue Raider squads. A transfer from Maryville College, she was primarily a defensive specialist and pinch runner in 2004, scoring five runs and stealing three bases in 35 games played. The following year Grybash batted .335 with 12 doubles and 10 RBIs while walking eight times, scoring 16 runs and swiping nine bases. She also was named an Honorable Mention selection to the CoSIDA District IV Academic All-District Team in 2005.


Cortney Mitchell - Infielder – Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Arkansas

Cortney Mitchell was a Blue Raider infielder from 2003-04. A transfer from Arkansas, she is one of the most decorated players in Middle Tennessee history. Mitchell began her Blue Raider career by hitting .409 with 27 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 2003. After the season, she was named Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year in addition to earning a spot on the All-Sun Belt First Team. She followed that up with an even better season in 2004 as Mitchell batted .436 with 24 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs and 41 runs batted in. She also walked 21 times, scored 48 runs and went 12-15 in stolen bases in perhaps the greatest individual season in Middle Tennessee history. Mitchell was honored after the season by being named the Sun Belt Player of the Year – the only Blue Raider to ever receive the honor. She consequently also earned a First Team All-Sun Belt selection for a second time . Among holding many Middle Tennessee school records, the standout third baseman finished as the NCAA Statistical Champion in both 2003 and ’04 with the most doubles in each season.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 4

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- On this Monday we reach Day 4 of our jersey number countdown. The former Blue Raiders we will look at today include Carisa Chavez, Whitney Darlington, Lisa Sherman and current Middle Tennessee outfielder Nina Davenport.


4

Carisa Chavez - Catcher/Utility Player – Poway, Calif. – Palomar College

Carisa Chavez was a catcher and utility player for Middle Tennessee in 1999 and ’00. A transfer from Palomar (Calif.) College, she recorded a .248 average at the plate with nine RBIs, two doubles, two triples and a homerun as a junior. In 178 plate appearances, Chavez batted .270 with 25 RBIs, six doubles, 11 walks, 18 runs and eight more stolen bases en route to a Second Team All-OVC selection in 2000.


Whitney Darlington - Utility Player – Tullahoma, Tenn. – Motlow State

Whitney Darlington was a utility player for the 2007 and ’08 Middle Tennessee teams. She batted .331 with 12 doubles, two triples, eight home runs for the 2007 team while also scoring 29 runs and going 19-25 in the stolen base category. The Motlow State transfer then hit .244 with four doubles, three triples, two home runs and 12 runs batted in while walking 12 times and scoring 18 runs as a senior.


Lisa Sherman – Second Baseman – Loomis, Calif. – Sacramento City JC

Lisa Sherman was a Middle Tennessee second baseman in 2001 and ’02. The Sacramento City Junior College transfer hit .278 with 13 RBIs while walking 11 times and scoring 26 runs in her first season in Murfreesboro. She followed that up with another productive season in 2002, batting .257 with 19 runs batted in and 14 walks.


Nina Davenport - Outfielder – Chattanooga, Tenn. – Baylor Prep School

Nina Davenport is an outfielder for the Blue Raiders. Appearing in 11 games as a defensive replacement and pinch runner, the Chattanooga, Tenn., native scored three runs for the 2010 Middle Tennessee squad. She then batted .289 with two doubles, three triples, nine runs batted in, 14 walks and 28 runs while going 10-12 in the stolen base category to help lead the Blue Raiders in 2011. The former Baylor Prep Raider is currently majoring in exercise science.


GAME WEEK IS HERE!

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- It is now officially game week! The Blue Raiders will begin their 2012 season on Friday at the Charlotte Classic.

MT will play Kansas at 9 a.m. CT before facing Stony Brook at 3 p.m. The next day features a matchup against host Charlotte at 11 a.m. as well as a rematch with either Kansas or Stony Brook. The consolation and championship games will be played on Sunday afternoon.

We have decided to not to a position-by-position preview of the team. After all, this team is just that. A TEAM! So, be on the lookout for the team preview coming later this week to GoBlueRaiders.com.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We have now reached Day 5 of our jersey number countdown! So, let’s take a look at the former Middle Tennessee softball players who suited up with the No. 5. These players include Jennifer Fine, Candis Littrell, Melanie Manley and Katie Mielke.


5

Jennifer Fine – Pitcher/Outfielder – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood HS

Jennifer Fine was a pitcher and outfielder for the 1994 and ’95 Blue Raider squads. She hit .357 at the plate with 33 RBIs and 20 runs scored in 1994. In the circle that season, she went 9-6 with a 2.14 ERA in 111.1 innings and was consequently tabbed Second Team All-OVC after the year. The Brentwood, Tenn., product concluded her career by playing in 50 games the following season, batting .298 with seven doubles and 21 RBIs.


Candis Littrell - Infielder – Columbia, Tenn. – Columbia Academy

Candis Littrell was a Middle Tennessee infielder for the 2004 and ’05 Blue Raider teams. A product of Columbia, Tenn., she hit .254 with seven RBIs, five doubles and a home run in 2004. The following year she hit .154 with a double, triple, home run and two runs batted in to conclude her Middle Tennessee career.


Melanie Manley - Catcher – Pinson, Ala. – Hewitt-Trussville HS

Melanie Manley was a Blue Raider catcher from 1997-00. She began her career by batting .261 with 17 RBIs, 11 doubles, 26 runs and 13 stolen bases. As a sophomore in 1998, Manley batted .325 at the plate with 16 runs batted in, three doubles, one triple, 21 runs and nine stolen bases. She was tabbed Honorable Mention All-OVC after the season for her efforts. The former Hewitt-Trussville High School standout posted a .309 average her junior season while knocking in 16 runs with 11 doubles. She also scored 40 runs and went 19-23 in the stolen base department en route to another postseason honor, this time being named Second Team All-OVC. Her final season saw her bat .269 with 16 more RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple, 18 walks and 22 runs scored.


Katie Mielke - Catcher/Utility Player – Lombard, Ill. – Illinois State

Katie Mielke was a catcher and utility player for Middle Tennessee from 2006-08. She opened her career by batting .265 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Following the season, she was rewarded by being named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. The following season she posted a .256 average at the plate with 11 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 27 runs batted in. A transfer from Illinois State, Mielke concluded her successful stay in Murfreesboro by batting .285 with five doubles, two triples and five home runs. She also walked 14 times and went 9-10 in stolen bases.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 6

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- With just 6 days until the beginning of the 2012 season, today we look at the former Blue Raiders to wear the jersey No. 6. They include Corrie Abel, Crystal Bobo, Leah Grothause and Kandal Walker.


6

Corrie Abel – Outfielder – Shorewood, Ill. – Joliet West HS

Corrie Abel was an outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 2007-11. She opened her career as a Blue Raider by batting .357 with six doubles, one triple, a home run and eight runs batted in while also scoring 22 runs and swiping 13 bases. The following season she upped her average at the plate to .381 while hitting five doubles, three triples, four home runs and knocking in 26 runs. In addition, she walked 16 times, scored 31 runs and went a perfect 7-7 in stolen bases en route to a Second Team All-Sun Belt selection. Her 2009 season saw her hit .310 with a double, one triple and four RBIs in 15 games before missing a significant part of the season due to injury. Abel came back in 2010 to hit .347 with eight doubles and 11 RBIs while walking 11 times and scoring 23 runs. She wrapped up what will go down as one of the best careers in Blue Raider history by posting a .387 average at the plate with 17 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 20 runs batted in and 21 walks.


Crystal Bobo – Pitcher – Antioch, Tenn. – Tennessee

Crystal Bobo pitched for Middle Tennessee in 2004 and ’05. She went 15-11 with a 2.21 ERA with 11 complete games and two saves in 170.2 innings pitched in 2004. After a big week at the conference tournament, she was named to the All-Tournament team and was then honored as the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year at the conclusion of the season. The Tennessee transfer then posted a 3-3 record in 2005 with a 3.65 ERA and two shutouts in 39.1 innings for the 2005 squad.


Leah Grothause - Catcher/Designated Player – Naples, Fla. – Gulf Coast HS

Leah Grothause was a catcher and designated player for Middle Tennessee from 2002-05. She began her career by batting .284 with eight runs batted in for the 2002 team. The following year she hit .283 with 20 RBIs, nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine walks. A native of Naples, Fla., she posted a .305 batting average in 2004 with 26 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and two home runs. She also scored 24 runs and went 10-12 in the stolen base category. Her postseason honors included a spot on the Sun Belt All-Tournament Team as well as a selection on the All-Sun Belt First Team. Grothause hit .288 with seven runs batted in as a senior for the 2005 team. She also was an honorable mention selection to the prestigious CoSIDA District IV Academic All-District Team.


Kandal Walker - Infielder/Outfielder – Hurricane Mills, Tenn. – Columbia State

Kandal Walker was an infielder/outfielder from 1996-97. The transfer from Columbia State Community College did not wait long to make an impact in Murfreesboro as she hit .375 with 38 RBIs, seven doubles and five triples as a junior in 1996. She also scored 27 runs and stole 15 bases in her first season as a Blue Raider. Following her magnificent season she was honored with a spot on the All-OVC Second Team. Walker then hit .272 while tallying 40 hits, eight doubles and 10 walks as a senior to close out her career.


Blue Raiders open 2012 one week from today!

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team will open up the 2012 season at the Charlotte Classic in just seven short days!

The Blue Raiders will face Kansas at 9 a.m. CT to begin the day with a game against Stony Brook at 3 p.m. You can see the complete 2012 schedule here.

After fall practice and roughly a month of preseason practice, the team is certainly ready to begin play. This is an exciting time as everyone around the program is filled with excitement and anticipation for the new year.

Beginning Monday, we will begin previewing the Blue Raiders position-by-position. We will take a look at the outfield, infield and pitchers/catchers and then turn the attention to the Charlotte Classic.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! This will be the last without softball for a while, so be sure to take advantage of it so you can begin focusing on softball beginning next week! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 7

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders will open up their season in just 7 days! So, today we will highlight the former Middle Tennessee softball players that wore No. 7! They include Beth Arnold, Mandy Biggar, Jennifer Dorais, Kelsey Dortch, Holly Griffith and Courtney Wallace.


7

Beth Arnold – Second Baseman – Lascassas, Tenn. – Oakland HS

Beth Arnold was a second baseman on the inaugural 1993 Blue Raider squad. A native of Lascassas, Tenn., she appeared in 13 games for Middle Tennessee, collecting a pair of hits and recording one stolen base.


Mandy Biggar – Outfielder – Adams, Tenn. – Clarksville HS

Mandy Biggar was an outfielder on the 1995 and ’96 Blue Raider teams. She primarily was a defensive replacement and came off the bench as a pinch runner for the 1995 squad. In 33 games, the Adams, Tenn., native scored 14 runs and was a perfect 7-7 in stolen bases. Biggar played in 22 games the following season, crossing the plate six times while swiping four bases.


Jennifer Dorais - Infielder/Pitcher – West Sacramento, Calif. – Hiram Johnson West HS

Jennifer Dorais was an infielder and pitcher for Middle Tennessee from 2003-06. She began her four-year career by hitting .213 with 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored while going 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in the circle in 2003. The next year she batted .283 while scoring eight runs and stealing three bases. She also made eight appearances as a pitcher, going 3-2 with a 3.28 earned run average. A native of Sacramento, Calif., Dorais hit .268 in 2005, knocking in eight runs and going 6-7 in stolen bases. In the circle, she pitched 83.1 innings and racked up seven complete games. She wrapped up her career in Murfreesboro by batting .164 with four RBIs, scoring seven runs and walking twice for the 2006 team.


Kelsey Dortch - Outfielder – Milan, Tenn. – Milan HS

Kelsey Dortch played in the outfield for Middle Tennessee from 2008-11. She started her four-year career by seeing action in 28 games primarily as a defensive replacement and pinch runner, scoring five runs while adding a stolen base. In 2009, she hit .267 at the plate with 10 doubles, three home runs, 12 RBIs and 20 runs scored while going 12-12 in stolen bases. As a junior she hit .222 with seven doubles, one triple, four homeruns, 16 runs batted in and 21 runs scored. A native of Milan, Tenn., Dortch completed her career by hitting .267 with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 12 walks and 22 runs while going 18-21 in stolen bases.


Holly Griffith - First Baseman – Chattanooga, Tenn. – Chattanooga State CC

Holly Griffith was a first baseman for the 1996 Middle Tennessee squad. The Chattanooga State Community College transfer appeared in 58 games in her only season as a Blue Raider, hitting .301 with 29 RBIs, seven doubles, three triples and two homeruns. She also scored 22 runs, walked nine times and collected six stolen bases en route to being named Honorable Mention All-OVC.


Courtney Wallace - Pitcher/Outfielder – Yuma, Ariz. – Cibola HS

Courtney Wallace was a pitcher and outfielder at Middle Tennessee from 1998-01. She opened her career by batting .288 with 16 RBIs, 11 doubles, two triples and 25 runs scored. In the circle she made 30 appearances, posting a 2.49 ERA with 14 complete games and two shutouts in 152 innings pitched. She was honored after the season with a selection to the All-OVC Second Team. Wallace upped her batting average to .298 her sophomore season while knocking home 27 runs with 11 doubles, 19 walks and 26 runs. She went 18-11 as a pitcher, tallying a 2.41 ERA in 214.2 innings pitched with 27 complete games and seven shutouts. Wallace once again received all-conference honors at the conclusion of the year, this time being named to the first team. Her junior season saw her bat .224 at the plate with eight RBIs, four doubles, one triple, and a homerun. She made just six appearances in the circle as a junior, collecting a 2.39 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched. The Yuma, Ariz., product wrapped up her career in Murfreesboro by hitting .253 with 13 RBIs, three doubles, a triple and a homerun.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 8

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we reach Day 8 of our jersey number countdown! So, let’s review our Blue Raider softball history by looking at some former No. 8s. They include Rachel Actkinson, Lindsay Azevedo, Mandy Baird and Caitlin McLure.


8

Rachel Actkinson – Infielder – Hixson, Tenn. – Red Bank HS

Rachel Actkinson was an infielder for Middle Tennessee from 1996-99. After receiving a medical redshirt for the 1996 season, she hit .313 at the plate in 1997 with 14 RBIs, 12 doubles, six walks and 10 stolen bases. At the conclusion of the season she was named Honorable Mention All-OVC for her efforts. Actkinson followed up that season by batting .283 and knocking in 26 runs with 10 doubles, eight walks and 14 stolen bases as part of the 1998 squad en route to another honorable mention selection. The Hixson, Texas, product polished off her career by posting career-highs in batting average (.328), hits (59), runs (38) and walks (21). Actkinson also tallied two homeruns while posting 14 doubles in her magnificent final season and was rewarded by being tabbed First Team All-OVC.


Lindsay Azevedo – Catcher – Concord, Calif. – Diablo Valley JC

Lindsay Azevedo was a catcher for the Blue Raiders on the 2001 and ’02 squads. She produced immediately for the 2001 team, hitting .285 with 35 RBIs, four home runs and 22 walks on her way to being named First Team All-Sun Belt. The Diablo Valley Junior College transfer concluded her Middle Tennessee career by batting .260 with 18 RBIs, three home runs while walking 23 times.


Mandy Baird - First Baseman – Dickson, Tenn. – Dickson County HS

Mandy Baird played first base for the Blue Raiders from 1993-95. The Dickson, Tenn., product led the 1993 team in hitting with a .318 average and stole a team-high six bases. She batted .294 the following season while leading the squad with 20 walks drawn and 19 stolen bases and was honored following the season with a selection to the All-OVC Second Team. In her final campaign in 1995, she appeared in 48 games and amassed 30 hits and knocked in 15 runs and was a perfect 9-for-9 in the stolen base category.


Caitlin McLure - Outfielder – Anaheim, Calif. – Troy

Caitlin McLure played in the outfield for the Blue Raiders from 2007-10. In 2007, she batted .289 with three doubles and five runs batted in while walking 19 times, scoring 30 runs and swiping 15 bases. McLure then hit .226 with four doubles, two triples, six RBIs, 22 walks and nine stolen bases as a junior. The Troy transfer completed her career in Murfreesboro by batting .267 with three doubles, one triple, 12 RBIs, 11 walks and 19 runs scored while going a perfect 26-26 in the stolen base category.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 9

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The countdown has dipped into the single digits! Today we reach Day 9 of the Middle Tennessee softball jersey number countdown. Mabern Barnes, Andrea Edwards, Kirsten Patterson, Liz Polfus and Katie Tompkins are highlighted today!


9

Mabern Barnes – Infielder – Petersburg, Tenn. – Lincoln County HS

Mabern Barnes was an infielder for the 2006 Blue Raiders. A native of Petersburg, Tenn., she did not see playing time in her one season at Middle Tennessee. Barnes, however, was honored as an NFCA All-Academic Scholar for her work in the classroom.


Andrea Edwards – Pitcher – Murfreesboro – Oakland HS

Andrea Edwards was a pitcher from 1993-95. She started 31 games in 1993 and collected 28 complete games with six shutouts and a 1.59 ERA. As a junior in 1994, she appeared in 18 games and went 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA. The Murfreesboro native concluded her career by going 14-8 while posting a 2.60 ERA with 19 complete games and six shutouts. She was rewarded for her accomplishments by being named Honorable Mention All-OVC following her senior season.


Kirsten Patterson - First Baseman – Anthem, Ariz. – Boulder Creek

Kirsten Patterson played first base for the 2009 Blue Raiders. A native of Anthem, Ariz., Patterson appeared in three games in her one season at Middle Tennessee.


Liz Polfus – Outfielder – Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Oak Ridge HS

Liz Polfus was a Blue Raider outfielder in 2001. The Oak Ridge, Tenn., product was primarily a pinch runner, seeing action in 24 games and scoring 11 runs while going a perfect 2-2 in the stolen base category.


Katie Tompkins - Outfielder – Commerce, Okla. – Neosho CC

Katie Tompkins played in the outfield for the 2003 and ’04 Blue Raider teams. The Neosho Community College transfer scored eight runs while playing primarily as a defensive specialist and pinch runner in 2003. The following year she hit .273 with 10 RBIs while scoring 33 runs, walking 14 times and going 9-11 in stolen bases.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 10

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we come upon Day 10 of our jersey number countdown. So, let’s take a look back at the former Blue Raiders to wear the No. 10 – Stephanie Gobble, Jamie Polsteen, Jennifer Polsteen, Trish White and current Blue Raider first baseman Kaycee Popham.


10

Stephanie Gobble – Outfielder – Lawrenceburg, Tenn. – Lawrenceburg County HS

Stephanie Gobble was a senior outfielder on the inaugural 1993 Blue Raider team. A product of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., she hit .244 and knocked in six runs while crossing the plate five times. In the field, she recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.


Jamie Polsteen – Outfielder – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood HS

Jamie Polsteen was an outfielder for the Blue Raiders from 1995-98. She began her career by hitting .232 with 24 runs scored and going 14-17 in the stolen base category. She followed that up by raising her batting average to .286 while knocking in 13 runs on 48 hits and stealing 17 bases en route to being selected to the All-OVC Second Team. Like many of her teammates, her best season came as a junior in 1997 in which the Brentwood, Tenn., product batted .293 with 11 RBIs and 27 runs scored. She also stole a career-high 25 bases during her third season in Murfreesboro. Her career concluded with another solid season as she tallied a .254 batting average while walking a career-high 12 times and stealing 13 bases.


Jennifer Polsteen - Outfielder – Brentwood, Tenn. – UAB

Jennifer Polsteen was an outfielder for Middle Tennessee in 2001 and ’02. She played in 47 games in her first season as a Blue Raider, scoring 13 runs and going 8-11 in stolen bases. The following season the UAB transfer scored 10 runs while playing in 39 games as a defensive specialist and pinch runner.


Trish White – Pitcher/Outfielder – Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Friendship Christian

Trish White pitched and played in the outfield for Middle Tennessee from 2004-06. She went 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 15 appearances as a pitcher in 2004 while also scoring six runs and walking four times in 17 games as a position player. White made 20 appearances in the circle the following season, posting a 3.38 ERA in 99.1 innings pitched. At the plate, she hit .308 with 14 RBIs and scored 14 runs. She was rewarded following the season by earning a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., product completed her Blue Raider career in 2006 by notching a 3.67 ERA in 127.2 innings while batting .260 with 10 RBIs.


Kaycee Popham - First Baseman – Silver Creek, Ga. – Rockmart HS

Kaycee Popham is currently a first baseman for Middle Tennessee. She began her career by collecting 14 hits with three doubles, one home run, five RBIs and three stolen bases for the 2009 team. The following year she hit .265 at the plate with three doubles, one triple, three home runs, 18 RBIs and 12 runs scored. As a junior, Popham batted .246 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBIs while scoring 12 runs. The former Rockmart Yellow Jacket is currently majoring in nursing.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 11

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Day 11 of our countdown is upon us! Today we highlight a group of five former Blue Raiders who wore No. 11. They include Brittney Banania, Brandy Davis, Pierrecia Lyons, Janel Mehuron and Ashlie Way.


11

Brittney Banania – Infielder – San Pedro, Calif. – San Pedro HS

Brittney Banania was a Blue Raider infielder from 2008-11. She started her four-year Blue Raider career by batting .254 with six doubles, six RBIs, 13 walks and 20 runs scored. As a sophomore she hit an even .200 with a triple, six runs batted in, 14 walks, 16 runs and six stolen bases. A product of San Pedro, Calif., she batted .246 in 2010 with three doubles, 14 RBIs, seven walks and nine runs scored. Banania capped her Middle Tennessee career by hitting .246 at the plate with a double, nine runs batted in, 14 walks and 20 runs scored.


Brandy Davis – Pitcher/Outfielder – Dayton, Ohio – Cleveland State

Brandy Davis was a pitcher and outfielder for the 2003 and ’04 Middle Tennessee teams. In 2003, she appeared in 27 games, scoring eight runs and going 5-6 in the stolen base category. The Cleveland State transfer finished her career by playing in 38 games for the 2004 squad, hitting .226 with seven RBIs and a home run while scoring 10 runs.


Pierrecia Lyons - Third Baseman – Murfreesboro – Oakland HS

Pierrecia Lyons played third base for Middle Tennessee from 1995-98. In 36 games as a freshman, she hit .238 and knocked in seven runs. She followed that up as a sophomore by collecting 27 hits and 14 RBIs while scoring 17 runs. The Murfreesboro native had her best year as a junior on the 1997 squad as she hit .304 with 29 RBIs, 13 doubles and a homerun while crossing the plate 19 times. Following the season she was rewarded with a spot on the All-OVC Second Team. Lyons concluded her career as a Blue Raider by batting .255, knocking in 22 runs, blasting another homerun and scoring 13 times.


Janel Mehuron – Shortstop – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood HS

Janel Mehuron played shortstop for the 1993 Blue Raiders. She finished second on the squad with a .264 batting average while hitting two homeruns and knocking in 11 RBIs. The Brentwood, Tenn., native led the team with 10 walks and was a perfect 2-for-2 in the stolen base column.


Ashlie Way - Infielder – San Marcos, Calif. – La Costa Canyon HS

Ashlie Way was a Blue Raider infielder from 1999-02. She opened her career by posting a .220 batting average with six RBIs and five runs scored. In just 10 games in 2000, Way collected seven hits in 17 at-bats and delivering three runs batted in. The defensive specialist then hit .195 her junior season with 9 RBIs, three doubles and four homeruns while walking 10 times and scoring nine runs. A native of San Marcos, Calif., she made just 48 plate appearances in 49 games as a senior, amassing six hits and two runs batted in.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 12

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- On this Super Sunday, we reach Day 12 of our countdown! So, today we honor the former No. 12s in Blue Raider history. Mandy Biggar, Jill Booth, Tamara Davis, Kellie Head, Ashley Katinas, Kip Phillips and current Middle Tennessee infielder Kristi Marquez.


12

Mandy Biggar – Outfielder – Adams, Tenn. - Clarksville HS

Mandy Biggar was an outfielder on the 1995 and ’96 Blue Raider teams. She primarily was a defensive replacement and came off the bench as a pinch runner for the 1995 squad. In 33 games, the Adams, Tenn., native scored 14 runs and was a perfect 7-7 in stolen bases. Biggar played in 22 games the following season, crossing the plate six times while swiping four bases.


Jill Booth – Pitcher/Outfielder – Nashville, Tenn. - Ezell-Harding HS

Jill Booth was a pitcher and outfielder for the 1994 and ’95 Blue Raider squads. She went 20-11 in the circle in 1994 with a 1.68 ERA in 196.1 innings pitched. The Nashville native also produced at the plate that season, hitting .281 with 17 RBIs and 19 walks. She finished the season with a great week at the OVC Tournament in Clarksville, Tenn., and was named MVP of the tournament. The honors continued as she was named to the conference's second team at the conclusion of the year. The following season Booth recorded a 13-13 record with a 2.53 ERA in 178 innings. In 45 plate appearances, she hit .267 and drove in a pair of runs for the Blue Raiders. She was recognized once again after the year, earning a second-consecutive berth on the All-OVC Second Team.


Tamara Davis - Infielder – Carmichael, Calif. - El Camino HS

Tamara Davis played first base and catcher for Middle Tennessee from 1997-00. In 40 games as a freshman, she tallied 18 hits, 4 RBIs, five walks and scored six runs. She followed that up by posting a .264 batting average in 1998 with 14 RBIs, three doubles, three walks and 14 runs scored. The Carmichael, Calif., product then hit .253 with 26 RBIs, seven doubles, a triple and a homerun as a junior. She wrapped up her career by posting a .242 average at the plate while knocking in 17 runs and scoring 16 times and earned a spot on the OVC All-Tournament team for her efforts at the conference tournament in Murfreesboro.


Kellie Head – Pitcher – Paris, Texas - Paris HS

Kellie Head pitched for the 2008 and ’09 Middle Tennessee squads. Coming to Murfreesboro by way of Paris, Texas, she made 19 appearances in 2008, tallying six wins with 10 complete games in 82.1 innings pitched. The following season she appeared in 18 games in the circle, collecting two wins and two shutouts in 61.1 innings.


Ashley Katinas - Pitcher – St. Louis, Mo. - Marquette

Ashley Katinas pitched for Middle Tennessee from 2005-’06. Making 18 appearances in 2005, she posted a 5.25 ERA with 10 complete games in 92 innings pitched for the 2005 team. The St. Louis, Mo., native made 27 appearances the following season, picking up a save while completing four games in 85.1 innings pitched.


Kip Phillips - Outfielder – Tucson, Ariz. - Catalina Foothills HS

Kip Phillips was an outfielder from 2000-03. As a freshman, she posted a .266 average at the plate with 10 RBIs, eight walks and 12 stolen bases. She followed that up by hitting .288 with 14 RBIs, five doubles and three triples in 2001. She also swiped 22 bases while scoring 32 runs that season. The Tucson, Ariz., product made 132 plate appearances the following season, batting .212 with three runs batted in and 13 runs scored. Her best season came in her last as she hit .283 with 9 RBIs, 16 walks, 28 runs and 16 stolen bases.


Kristi Marquez - Third Baseman - Del Ray Beach, Fla. - Boca Raton HS

Kristi Marquez is a third baseman for Middle Tennessee. A native of Delray Beach, Fla., she racked up 20 hits, five doubles, seven RBIs, 11 walks and 11 runs scored as a freshman in 2010. She followed that up by collecting 16 hits, three doubles, three runs batted in, 10 walks and 10 runs scored as a sophomore. Marquez is currently majoring in exercise science.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 13

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The countdown has now reached Day 13! So, today we take a peek back at those Blue Raiders who wore the lucky (or unlucky) No. 13! They are Brenda Bessinger, Justine Cerda, Liz Davis, Amanda Kendall and Tilly Steele.


13

Brenda Bessinger – Outfielder – Hendersonville, Tenn. – Beech HS

Brenda Bessinger was an outfielder from 1994-97. In 49 games as a freshman, she hit .245 with six doubles and 10 RBIs while drawing 12 walks and five stolen bases. The Hendersonville, Tenn., product played in 46 games her following season, recording 21 hits and scoring eight runs. She batted .250 in 28 plate appearances as a junior before finishing her career by hitting .294 at the plate while scoring seven runs and swiping three bases.


Justine Cerda – Infielder – Grants Pass, Ore. – Grants Pass HS

Justine Cerda was an infielder for Middle Tennessee from 2006-08. Cerda opened her career by hitting .216 with six doubles, a home run and knocking in 12 runs for the 2006 team. A product of Grants Pass, Ore., she upped her average to .259 in 2007 while hitting eight doubles, two home runs and brining in 28 runs. Her final season saw her bat .293 with three doubles, one triple, four home runs and 26 RBIs.


Liz Davis - Infielder – Murfreesboro – Motlow State

Liz Davis was a Blue Raider infielder for the 2004 and ’05 teams. She batted .227 with four doubles, a home run and nine runs batted in as part of the 2004 squad. The Murfreesboro native and Motlow State transfer then hit .264 with six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs while also walking 10 times and scoring 11 runs to close out her Middle Tennessee career.


Amanda Kendall – Pitcher – Largo, Fla. – Seminole HS

Amanda Kendall was a Middle Tennessee pitcher from 1998-01. As a freshman, she made six plate appearances and collected two hits with a run batted in. She also went 14-12 with a 2.15 ERA as a pitcher, completing 18 games with five shutouts in 163 innings. After sitting out the 1999 season due to injury, she returned to make 15 appearances in 2000, posting a 2.05 ERA with five complete games and three shutouts in 61.1 innings pitched. The Largo, Fla., native made seven appearances as a junior in 2001, notching a 1.03 ERA with four complete games and three shutouts in 40.2 innings. Kendall finished her career by pitching 45.1 innings in 2002, posting a 4.79 ERA with three complete games, one shutout and one save.


Tilly Steele - Outfielder/Catcher – Decherd, Tenn. – Franklin County HS

Tilly Steele was an outfielder and catcher from Decherd, Tenn., for the 1993 Blue Raider team. She did not record any statistics during her one season in Murfreesboro.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 14

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Amazingly we are only two weeks away from the start of the 2012 season! Day 14 of our jersey number countdown is upon us! So, let’s take a look at former Middle Tennessee players Erica Bradley, Jessica Ives, Candis Littrell, Jennifer Martinez, Jaclyn Story, and Jenny West as well as current Blue Raider Kelsey Woodruff.


14

Erica Bradley – Outfielder – Bardstown, Ky. – Nelson County HS

Erica Bradley was an outfielder on the 1993 team. In 31 games, the Bardstown, Ky., native racked up 12 hits and 6 RBIs. She also was one of only a pair of Blue Raiders to notch a homerun during the inaugural season.


Jessica Ives – Infielder – Chattanooga, Tenn. – Boyd-Buchanan HS

Jessica Ives was a Blue Raider infielder from 2007-10. She began her four-year career by collecting eight hits, a double, three RBIs and five walks as a freshman. In 2008, she tallied nine hits with one double, three home runs, eight RBIs and seven walks. A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Ives recorded seven hits, a double, one home run, five RBIs, eight walks and three stolen bases for the 2009 squad. In 43 games during her final season, she posted 23 hits with five doubles, two home runs, eight runs batted in and 22 walks.


Candis Littrell - Infielder – Columbia, Tenn. – Columbia Academy

Candis Littrell was a Middle Tennessee infielder for the 2004 and ’05 Blue Raider teams. A product of Columbia, Tenn., she hit .254 with seven RBIs, five doubles and a home run in 2004. The following year she hit .154 with a double, triple, home run and two runs batted in to conclude her Middle Tennessee career.


Jennifer Martinez – Pitcher – Fairfield, Calif. – Fairfield HS

Jennifer Martinez pitched for the Blue Raiders from 1999-02. As a freshman, she went 20-11 with a 1.40 ERA in 33 appearances while collecting 25 complete games and seven shutouts and tallying 273 strikeouts. At the plate, she had 19 at-bats, hitting .211 with 1 RBI, four walks and two runs scored. Not surprisingly, Martinez collected several honors following the season including being named OVC Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year as well as First Team All-OVC. In 2000, she notched a 20-12 record with a 1.40 ERA in 200.2 innings, amassing nine shutouts and striking out 229 batters while walking just 32. She was once again named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year at the conclusion of the season, becoming the first player in OVC history to garner the honor twice. The Fairfield, Calif., native was also again tabbed First Team All-OVC and claimed the OVC Tournament MVP award. She continued her brilliant career in 2001 by going 18-13 in the circle, posting a 1.22 ERA in 206.1 innings, completing 26 games with 11 shutouts. Martinez also had a great year at the plate as she batted .329 with 36 RBIs, 20 doubles, one triple and two homeruns en route to being selected to the Sun Belt’s First Team. The standout pitcher concluded her career by tallying a record of 16-14 with a 1.86 ERA. In 199.2 innings, she threw 22 complete games with seven shutouts and struck out 204 compared to just 37 walks. She also made 151 plate appearances as a senior, hitting .272 with 26 RBIs, nine doubles and three home runs. After the year Martinez collected yet another honor, this time being named Second Team All-Sun Belt. One of the most decorated players in Middle Tennessee history, Martinez joined former Blue Raider Cortney Mitchell on the Sun Belt’s 30th Anniversary Team.


Jaclyn Story - Pitcher – Smyrna, Tenn. – Smyrna HS

Jaclyn Story was a pitcher on the 1997 and ’98 Blue Raider squads. A native of Smyrna, Tenn., she started 56 games for the 1997 squad, racking up 48 complete games and 11 shutouts while posting a 3.08 ERA in a remarkable 359.1 innings pitched. She was rewarded for her efforts by being named Second Team All-OVC at the conclusion of the season. Story finished her career by making 10 appearances in 1998, tallying a 1.70 ERA in 49.1 innings pitched while collecting six complete games and two shutouts.


Jenny West - First Baseman – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood Academy

Jenny West played first base for the Blue Raiders in 1994 and ’95. She hit .301 as a freshman while knocking in 13 runs and drawing eight walks. The Brentwood, Tenn., native accumulated 29 hits with 12 RBIs and nine walks while leading the team with an unusually high eight hit-by-pitches.


Kelsey Woodruff - Infielder – Christiana, Tenn. – Motlow State

Kelsey Woodruff is senior infielder for Middle Tennessee. The Motlow State transfer batted .257 with two doubles, five home runs, 16 RBIs and eight walks in 2011. A graduate of Riverdale High School, Woodruff is majoring in liberal arts.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 15

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We celebrate this Groundhog Day by spotlighting all the former Blue Raiders to wear the No. 15. So let’s meet Kacey Cardiff, Jessi Couch, Tamara Davis, Danielle DeCamino, Whitney Padgett, Kristine Reed and Kim Whelan.


15

Kacey Cardiff – Catcher – Gladeville, Tenn. – Mt. Juliet HS

Kacey Cardiff played catcher for the 1994 Blue Raiders. In 28 games, the Gladeville, Tenn., native amassed 11 hits and drove in six runs while walking eight times.


Jessi Couch – Catcher – Lebanon, Tenn. – Austin Peay

Jessi Couch caught for the Blue Raiders in 2010 and ’11. A transfer from Austin Peay, she tallied 21 hits, three doubles, four home runs, 13 RBIs and 11 walks for the 2010 Middle Tennessee team. She then collected 11 hits with one double, a home run, three RBIs and eight walks in 2011.


Tamara Davis - Infielder – Carmichael, Calif. – El Camino HS

Tamara Davis played first base and catcher for Middle Tennessee from 1997-00. In 40 games as a freshman, she tallied 18 hits, 4 RBIs, five walks and scored six runs. She followed that up by posting a .264 batting average in 1998 with 14 RBIs, three doubles, three walks and 14 runs scored. The Carmichael, Calif., product then hit .253 with 26 RBIs, seven doubles, a triple and a homerun as a junior. She wrapped up her career by posting a .242 average at the plate while knocking in 17 runs and scoring 16 times.


Danni DeCamino – Infielder – Downey, Calif. – Warren HS

Danni DeCamino was an infielder for Middle Tennessee from 2002-04. She hit .261 with seven doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs to open her Blue Raider career in 2002. The next season DeCamino batted .271 while hitting six doubles and six home runs and 28 RBIs. The Downey, Calif., product completed her career in 2004 by batting .200 with three doubles, a home run and nine runs batted in.


Whittney Padgett - Infielder – Chatsworth, Ga. – Motlow State

Whittney Padgett was an infielder on the 2008 Middle Tennessee team. A transfer from Motlow State, she tallied 25 hits with four doubles, a triple, three home runs, 17 RBIs and 11 walks in her lone season in Murfreesboro.


Kristine Reed - Infielder/Outfielder – Cannon, Ga. – Woodstock HS

Kristine Reed played in the infield and outfield for Middle Tennessee from 2005-07. She amassed eight hits with three runs batted in while walking four times and going 2-2 in stolen bases for the 2005 team. The following season she posted a .214 batting average, hitting eight doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs. The Canton, Ga., product closed her career by collecting nine hits with three doubles and three runs batted in for the 2007 Blue Raider squad.


Kim Whelan - Infielder – Brentwood, Tenn. – Brentwood HS

Kim Whelan was a second baseman and catcher on the 1995 Blue Raider softball team. The Brentwood, Tenn., native played in 16 games in her one year as a Blue Raider. She collected three hits, two walks, scored four times and was a perfect 1-1 in stolen bases.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 16

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The calendar turned to February today which means the 2012 season begins this month! We are just 16 days from the Blue Raiders facing Kansas in the Charlotte Classic. So, today we look at everyone who wore No. 16 – Amy Candioto, Shay Haskell, Brittany Herald, Erica Miller, Kristin Rawlins and current Blue Raider Kailey McDougald.


16

Amy Candioto – Pitcher – Portland, Ore. – Central Michigan

Amy Candioto pitched for the 2007 and ’08 Middle Tennessee teams. Coming to Middle Tennessee by way of Central Michigan, she went 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 40 innings for the 2007 squad. A member of the 2008 team, Candioto did not see any action the following season.


Shay Haskell – Infielder/Outfielder – Penryn, Calif. – Del Oro HS

Shay Haskell was an infielder and outfielder for the Blue Raiders from 1997-00. She appeared in 39 games as a freshman and hit .333 with 20 RBIs, five doubles in one homerun. The Penryn, Calif., native then batted .296 with 24 RBIs, 12 doubles, one triple and a homerun for the 1998 team. After a bit of a down season in 1999 in which she hit only .183 at the plate with seven RBIs, Haskell concluded her career by posting a .274 average with 17 RBIs, seven doubles and three homeruns. She also walked 17 times and scored 18 runs for the 2000 squad.


Brittany Herald - Pitcher/Infielder – Old Hickory, Tenn. – Ezell Harding HS

Brittany Herald was an infielder and pitcher for the 2004 Blue Raider squad. A product of Old Hickory, Tenn., she hit .374 with 16 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 42 RBIs in 2004. She also walked 12 times and scored 18 runs. In the circle, she made 14 appearances, notching a 4-2 record with a 2.49 ERA.


Erica Miller – Pitcher – Murfreesboro – Alabama-Huntsville

Erica Miller was a pitcher for the 2003 Blue Raiders. A transfer from Alabama-Huntsville and a Murfreesboro native, she did not see any playing time in her lone season at Middle Tennessee.


Kristin Rawlins - Third Baseman – Powell, Tenn. – Powell HS

Kristin Rawlins was a third baseman for the Blue Raiders from 1993-96. As a freshman, she tallied 17 hits and knocked in 11 RBIs with two doubles and a triple. She started all 56 games as a sophomore in 1994, recording 28 hits and 12 RBIs while stealing five bases. She hit .280 in 1995 while driving in five runs and scoring nine runs. In her senior campaign, the Powell, Tenn., native posted 11 hits and brought in eight runs in 31 games played.


Kailey McDougald - Infielder – Boca Raton, Fla. – Boca Raton HS

Kailey McDougald is a junior infielder for the Middle Tennessee team. As a freshman in 2010, she appeared in one game for the Blue Raiders. The Boca Raton, Fla., native saw action in two games during her sophomore campaign, collecting a sacrifice hit in one plate appearance. A member of the National Honor Society while in high school, McDougald is currently majoring in biology.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 17

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today is Day 17 of our jersey number countdown! We celebrate the history of Blue Raider softball by looking back at all the former No. 17s. Jessica Boyce, Leora Brannon, Laura Brockman, Stacy Gafford and Melissa Stepp take the stage today!


17

Jessica Boyce – Outfielder - Murfreesboro – Riverdale HS

Jessica Boyce was an outfielder on the 2005 Blue Raiders. The Murfreesboro native appeared in 33 games in her lone season, scoring one run with a hit and two walks.


Leora Brannon – Pitcher/Infielder – Winchester, Va. – James Wood HS

Leora Brannon was a pitcher and infielder for the Blue Raiders in 2003 and ’04. The Winchester, Va., native made 12 appearances in the circle in 2003, picking up a save in 11.1 innings pitched. At the plate, she recorded a walk in one of her two plate appearances. Brannon made only four appearances as a pitcher in 2004, pitching just 1.2 innings.


Laura Brockman - Outfielder – Suwanee, Ga. – North Gwinnett

Laura Brockman was a Middle Tennessee outfielder from 1999-02. A native of Suwanee, Ga., she posted a .341 average at the plate as a freshman while knocking in 25 runs with six doubles and six homeruns on her way to making the All-OVC First Team. She followed that up by hitting .282 with 30 RBIs, five doubles, two triples and an eye-opening nine homeruns as a sophomore in 2000. She capped her season in style with a nice week at the OVC Tournament and hence was named to the All-Tournament team for the second-consecutive year. The honors continued to flow in as she was once again recognized by the conference following the season, this time being selected to the league’s second team. Brockman had just 68 at-bats the following season, hitting .206 at the plate with six RBIs, three doubles and two homeruns. She wrapped up her career by tallying a .208 batting average in 50 games in 2002, collecting 19 RBIs, 11 walks, six doubles and six more home runs.


Stacy Gafford – Infielder – Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Davidson Academy

Stacy Gafford was an infielder for the 1994 team from Goodlettsville, Tenn. In just one season in Murfreesboro, she led the team in several offensive categories including batting average (.358), hits (64), doubles (15) and runs scored (42). She also tied for the team lead with a pair of homeruns and five triples. Gafford ended her season in style with a big week at the OVC Tournament in Clarksville, Tenn., in which she was named to the All-Tournament team.


Melissa Stepp - Outfielder – Nashville – Overton HS

Melissa Stepp was an outfielder from Nashville on the 1993 Middle Tennessee team. She amassed 13 hits and scored eight times while driving in one run and belting a pair of doubles.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 18

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- It is now Day 18 of our jersey number countdown. So, today we highlight the former Blue Raiders who wore the No. 18. These players are Muriel Ledbetter, Steffi Silva and Melissa Webb as well as current Blue Raider Shelby Stinnett.


18

Muriel Ledbetter – Pitcher/Infielder - Collierville, Tenn. – Collierville HS

Muriel Ledbetter was an outfielder and pitcher for the Blue Raiders from 2003-07. She started her career by going 3-4 with a 4.63 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched for the 2003 Middle Tennessee team. She also made 71 plate appearances, posting a .282 average while walking 29 times and scoring 16 runs. In 2004, she saw limited action in the circle, recording a save in just six innings pitched. At the plate, meanwhile, Ledbetter hit .319 with 20 RBIs, 12 doubles and two home runs. She was consequently named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team following the year. After sitting out the 2005 season due to injury, the Collierville, Tenn., native returned to hit .327 with 32 RBIs, a whopping 11 home runs and 30 walks for the 2006 squad en route to being named second team all-conference for the second time. Ledbetter also was named to the CoSIDA District IV Academic All-District team in ’06. In her final season, she batted .260 with 13 runs batted in while walking 19 times and swiping four bases.


Steffi Silva – Shortstop – Livermore, Calif. – Granada HS

Steffi Silva played shortstop for Middle Tennessee from 1999-02. In 60 games as a freshman, she hit .296 at the plate with 23 RBIs, four doubles and two triples. She also scored 36 runs and stole 15 bases en route to earning a spot on the All-OVC Second Team. Silva followed that up by posting a .274 batting average in 2000 with 15 RBIs, two doubles, one triple, 26 runs and eight stolen bases. Following the season, she was once again voted second team all-conference. The Livermore, Calif., product saw action in 64 games in 2001, batting .268 with 20 RBIs, four doubles, one triple and 10 stolen bases. She closed her Blue Raider career by hitting .173 at the plate in 2002 with two runs batted in while swiping seven bases and scoring 13 runs.


Melissa Webb – Outfielder - Clarksville, Tenn. – Montgomery Central HS

Melissa Webb was a four-year outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 1994-97. In 52 games as a freshman, she scored 17 runs and stole three bases while walking 12 times at the plate. She scored 12 runs while stealing two bases her following season before amassing 24 hits with 15 RBIs and five stolen bases as a junior. The Clarksville, Tenn., product ended her career by hitting .313 with 13 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.


Shelby Stinnett – Pitcher/Infielder – Chapel Hill, Tenn. – Forrest HS

Shelby Stinnett is a pitcher and infielder for the Blue Raiders. A product of Chapel Hill, Tenn., she appeared in two games for Middle Tennessee in 2011 and also made seven appearances in the circle, amassing 16.2 innings pitched for the squad.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 19

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We have entered the teens in our jersey number countdown! Day 19 takes a look back at former Middle Tennessee players Karesse Brown, Allison Cheatham, Kelly Cormier and Liz Davis.


19

Karesse Brown – Pitcher - Nashville, Tenn. – M.L. King HS

Karesse Brown was a pitcher on the 1993 Middle Tennessee team. Hailing from Nashville, she saw action in four games, pitching a total of 9.1 innings. In her only start, she rattled off a complete game.


Allison Cheatham – Outfielder - Murfreesboro – Oakland HS

Allison Cheatham was a four-year outfielder from 1995-98 and perhaps the most-decorated Blue Raider in program history. She immediately made an impact in her first year with the squad, hitting .291 with 10 RBIs as a freshman and earning a spot on the All-OVC First Team. She then batted .276 with 13 RBIs and 25 runs scored as a sophomore en route to being named Second Team All-OVC. Amazingly, she continued to get better, as her career year came in 1997 as a junior. The former Oakland High School star batted .374 and knocked in 32 runs while stealing 20 bases. Following the season, she was once again named second team all-conference. As a senior she posted a .286 average and collected 11 RBIs while swiping another 20 bases and was once again recognized by the conference, this time receiving Honorable Mention All-OVC honors.


Kelly Cormier – Infielder/Outfielder - Sebring, Fla. – Sebring HS

Kelly Cormier played infielder and outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 2000-03. She tallied one hit in just three plate appearances for the 2000 squad. She followed that up by batting .253 with seven RBIs, six doubles, three walks and three runs scored as a sophomore. The Sebring, Fla., native then posted a .180 batting average as a junior, tallying two runs batted in, four walks and two runs scored.


Liz Davis – Infielder - Murfreesboro – Motlow State

Liz Davis was a Blue Raider infielder for the 2004 and ’05 teams. She batted .227 with four doubles, a home run and nine runs batted in as part of the 2004 squad. The Murfreesboro native and Motlow State transfer then hit .264 with six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs while also walking 10 times and scoring 11 runs to close out her Middle Tennessee career.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 20

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We have reached Day 20 of our jersey number countdown! So, today we highlight all of our former Blue Raider who wore the No. 20. They are Stephanie Cox, Angie Huebner, Leslie Morton, Audrey Peters, Janele Robinson and Kim Seator.


20

Stephanie Cox – Second Baseman - Bartlett, Tenn. – St. Benedict HS

Stephanie Cox played second base for the 1998 and ’99 Blue Raider teams. A product of Bartlett, Tenn., she played in 54 games for the 1998 team, hitting .171 with four RBIs, 12 walks, 14 runs and eight stolen bases. In 1999 Cox made 47 plate appearances, posting a .277 average with three runs batted in while scoring 13 runs and swiping seven bases.


Angie Huebner - Catcher – Evansville, Ind. – Tennessee State

Angie Huebner was a catcher for the 2004 Middle Tennessee team. A transfer from Tennessee State, she batted .295 with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 32 RBIs in her only season as a Blue Raider.


Leslie Morton - Third Baseman – Nashville, Tenn. – Hillsboro HS

Leslie Morton was a third baseman on the 1993 team. Hailing from Nashville, she appeared in five games, recording 11 plate appearances and posting two put-outs in the field.


Audrey Peters – Infielder - Phoenix, Ariz. – Phoenix JC

Audrey Peters was an infielder on the 1997 Middle Tennessee team. In 54 games, the Phoenix, Ariz., product batted .242 with 17 RBIs, six doubles and three triples. She also scored 16 runs and stole 19 bases in her one season in Murfreesboro.


Janele Robinson - Pitcher – Toledo, Ill. – Cumberland HS

Janele Robinson pitched for Middle Tennessee in 2010 and ’11. A native of Toldeo, Ill., she made 20 appearances in the circle in 2010, posting four complete games in 77.1 innings pitched. The following season Robinson saw action in 27 games and tallied six wins and two saves in 118.2 innings.


Kim Seator - First Baseman – Murfreesboro – Oakland HS

Kim Seator played first base for the 1996 Middle Tennessee team. Appearing in just one game, former Oakland High School infielder went hitless in her only plate appearance and recorded one put-out defensively for the Blue Raiders.


2012 SEASON JUST 3 WEEKS AWAY!

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Whether you can believe it or not (and quite frankly, we hardly can), MT is just 3 weeks away from opening up its season at the Charlotte Classic!

The Blue Raiders have been very busy preparing the last couple of weeks and optimism is high. While work still needs to get done prior to opening day, it is safe to say there is a sense of excitement amongst the team as the season quickly approaches.

And speaking of exciting, the 2012 posters arrived earlier this week. Fans can stop by the marketing department in the annex of the Kennon Hall of Fame building or the athletic communications office located inside the Murphy Center to get one. Or, if you can wait this long, they will be available at the home opener on March 14.

In other news, we hope everyone is enjoying our jersey number countdown. If you know someone who is a former Blue Raider, let them know so that they can be on the lookout for their day.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider softball fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 21

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Amazingly we are just three weeks from the start of softball season!! That means today is Day 21 of our jersey number countdown. We take a look back at former Middle Tennessee softballers Stayc Preator, Kayla Sparks, Lindsey Vander Lugt, Melissa Weiland and current Blue Raider infielder Kayla Toney.


21

Stayc Preator - Pitcher/First Baseman – El Cajon, Calif. – Grossmont HS

Stayc Preator was a pitcher and first baseman for Middle Tennessee from 2000-03. She went 12-7 with a 1.64 ERA in 136.1 innings pitched in 2000, collecting 15 complete games, five shutouts and 134 strikeouts while walking just 21 batters. For her efforts, she was named Second Team All-OVC following the season. As a sophomore, she amassed a record of 18-9 with a 1.52 ERA, tallying 24 complete games with 11 shutouts in 193.2 innings. She then went 10-11 as a junior, notching a 1.73 ERA with 13 complete games, three shutouts and striking out 116 while walking a mere 10 hitters. Preator concluded her Blue Raider career by going 22-10 in the circle for the 2003 squad, recording a 1.61 ERA with 20 complete games, eight shutouts, 192 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 195.2 innings. Her terrific final season once again earned her a spot on the league’s all-conference second team.


Kayla Sparks - Infielder/Outfielder – Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Oak Ridge HS

Kayla Sparks played in the infield and outfield for the 2005 Blue Raiders. A native of Oak Ridge, Tenn., she collected six hits with a double, one home run and three RBIs while also scoring six runs in her one season at Middle Tennessee.


Lindsey Vander Lugt - Pitcher – Olympia, Wash. – Tumwater HS

Lindsey Vander Lugt pitched for Middle Tennessee from 2007-’10. She started her four-year career as a Blue Raider by going 21-21 with a 2.79 ERA with 29 complete games, six shutouts, 146 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 273.2 innings pitched. Her season was capped with a solid showing at the Sun Belt Tournament in Murfreesboro in which she earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. The following season she went 16-22 with a 2.23 ERA with 34 complete games, two shutouts, 125 strikeouts and a mere 26 walks in 263.2 innings. Her 26 walks earned her the title of NCAA Statistical Champion for fewest walks allowed during the 2008 campaign. The Olympia, Wash., native posted an 11-18 record as a junior with a 2.23 ERA, 21 complete games, four shutouts, 142 strikeouts and 41 walks in 198 innings in the circle. Vander Lugt closed her successful career by going 20-21 with a 2.36 ERA, 30 complete games, eight shutouts, 212 strikeouts and 33 walks in 246.2 innings. She saved her best for last as she once again put on a show at the Sun Belt Tournament and consequently was tabbed to the All-Tournament team for the second time in her career.


Melissa Weiland - Infielder/Outfielder – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Riverdale HS

Melissa Weiland was an infielder and outfielder for Middle Tennessee from 2004-’07. She began her four-year career by hitting .232 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 17 RBIs in 2004. She concluded her freshman season with a strong performance at the Sun Belt Tournament, earning a spot on the All-Tournament team. Weiland followed that up with a .242 average at the plate with 12 doubles, another four home runs and 13 runs batted in as a sophomore. The Murfreesboro native had the best year of her career in 2006 as she batted .294 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 20 runs batted in. She also walked 11 times and scored 23 runs en route to being selected to the All-Sun Belt Second Team. Weiland concluded her career as a senior by hitting .183 with a double, three home runs and 11 RBIs.


Kayla Toney - Infielder – Hendersonville, Tenn. – Beech HS

Kayla Toney is an infielder on the Middle Tennessee team. Coming to Murfreesboro by way of Hendersonville, Tenn., she hit .264 with six doubles, five home runs, 19 runs batted in and 15 runs scored for the 2011 Blue Raiders.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 22

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We have reached Day 22 of our jersey number countdown. Today we highlight former Blue Raiders Wendy Pollock, Krystal Scott, Shelby Stiner and current Middle Tennessee pitcher Caty Jutson.


22

Wendy Pollock - Infielder – Tullahoma, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech

Wendy Pollock was a utility player for Middle Tennessee in 2000 and ’01. A transfer from Tennessee Tech, she made nine plate appearances in 2000, collecting two hits, one RBI and one walk while scoring twice. Pollock played in 15 games for the 2001 squad, picking up one hit and two runs batted in while walking twice, scoring two runs and stealing one base.


Krystal Scott - Infielder – Arlington, Texas – Neosho CC

Krystal Scott was an infielder for the 2003 Middle Tennessee team. The transfer from Neosho Community College played in five games in her lone season as a Blue Raider, recording five walks while also scoring a run.


Shelby Stiner - Infielder – Peoria, Ariz. – Glendale CC

Shelby Stiner played shortstop for the 2006 and ’07 Blue Raider teams. A transfer from Glendale Community College, she ranked second in the Sun Belt with a .339 batting average to go along with nine doubles, three triples, five home runs and 16 RBIs in 2006. She also scored 23 runs and went 16-18 in the stolen base category. For her efforts, she was selected to the Sun Belt Conference First Team as well as being named Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year. As a senior she hit .292 at the plate with 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 15 RBIs while walking 18 times and scoring 22 runs.


Caty Jutson - Pitcher – Phoenix, Ariz. – Bourgade Catholic HS

Caty Jutson is currently a pitcher for the Blue Raiders. She opened her career at Middle Tennessee in 2009 by making 16 appearances and posting four complete games in 58 innings pitched. She also saw action in 27 games as a position player, recording seven hits, two doubles, two runs batted in and four walks. As a sophomore, she made 11 appearances in the circle, completing one game in 27.2 innings. Jutson also chipped in at the plate with a hit, RBI and two walks. In 2011, the Phoenix, Ariz., native made 24 appearances in the circle, tallying five wins and a save in 91.2 innings pitched.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 23

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- As we continue our jersey number countdown, today we take a peek at No. 24 former Middle Tennessee players Megan Cherinka and Christi Benton as well as current Blue Raider catcher Natalie Ysais.


23

Megan Cherinka - Infielder – El Dorado Hills, Calif. – Sierra JC

Megan Cherinka was an infielder for the Blue Raiders in 2002 and ’03. A transfer from Sierra Junior College, she batted .246 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs during her first season in Murfreesboro. Cherinka closed her career with a banner year in 2003, finishing second on the team with a .331 batting average while hitting eight doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs.


Christi Benton - Infielder – Collierville, Tenn. – Collierville HS

Christi Benton was a Blue Raider infielder in 2004 and ’05. In just seven games played, she scored three runs for the 2004 Middle Tennessee team. A native of Collierville, Tenn., Benton scored two runs and walked three times in 2005.


Natalie Ysais - Catcher – Riverside, Calif. – Jurupa Valley HS

Ysais enters her third season as Middle Tennessee’s starting catcher in 2012. After seeing limited playing time as a freshman, she started all 54 games as a sophomore in 2010 and hit .284 while leading the team in home runs (five), RBIs (27), slugging (.419) and on-base percentage (.402). Last season, Ysais batted .240 with a pair of home runs and 18 runs batted in while finishing third on the team in fielding percentage as the Blue Raiders backstop.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 24

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today in our countdown we look at the No. 24 and current Blue Raider catcher Abbey Sanders.


24

Abbey Sanders - Catcher – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Columbia State CC

Abbey Sanders is a catcher for Middle Tennessee. Playing for Columbia State in 2009, she posted a .315 batting average with four doubles, two homeruns and 12 RBIs. As a sophomore on the 2010 Middle Tennessee squad, Sanders saw action in a pinch-hit situation against Memphis on April 15. Last season, she appeared in four games and hit .250 at the plate.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 25

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we look at the No. 25 and former Middle Tennessee players Melissa Weiland, Laurie Anna Cooley and Lauren Keele.


25

Melissa Weiland - Infielder – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Riverdale HS

Melissa Weiland was an infielder for Middle Tennessee from 2004-07. She began her four-year career by hitting .232 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 17 RBIs. Weiland capped her freshman campaign by being named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament team following an impressive week in Lafayette, La. She followed that up with a .242 average at the plate with 12 doubles, another four home runs and 13 runs batted in as a sophomore. The Murfreesboro native had the best year of her career in 2006 as she batted .294 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 20 runs batted in. Weiland also walked 11 times and scored 23 runs and was consequently named Second Team All-Sun Belt following the season. She concluded her career as a senior by hitting .183 with a double, three home runs and 11 RBIs.


Laurie Anna Cooley - Catcher – Covington, Tenn. – Covington HS

Laurie Anna Cooley caught for the 2009 Middle Tennessee team. A native of Covington, Tenn., she notched nine hits, two doubles, four runs batted in, a walk and two runs scored in her lone season as a Blue Raider.


Lauren Keele - Infielder – Dickson, Tenn. – Dickson County HS

Lauren Keele was an infielder for the 2011 Blue Raider squad. A native of Dickson, Tenn., she did not see action during the 2011 campaign.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 26

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we look at the No. 0 and former Blue Raiders Amanda Kendall, Kari Crandell, Trish White, Ashley Cline and Ashia Terry .


00

Amanda Kendall - Pitcher/Outfielder – Largo, Fla. – Seminole HS

Amanda Kendall was a Middle Tennessee pitcher from 1998-01. As a freshman, she made six plate appearances and collected two hits with a run batted in. She also went 14-12 with a 2.15 ERA as a pitcher, completing 18 games with five shutouts in 163 innings. After sitting out the 1999 season due to injury, she returned to make 15 appearances in 2000, posting a 2.05 ERA with five complete games and three shutouts in 61.1 innings pitched. The Largo, Fla., native made seven appearances as a junior in 2001, notching a 1.03 ERA with four complete games and three shutouts in 40.2 innings. Kendall finished her career by pitching 45.1 innings in 2002, posting a 4.79 ERA with three complete games, one shutout and one save.


Kari Crandell - Catcher – Hendersonville, Tenn. – Ohio State

Kari Crandell was a catcher on the 2003 Blue Raider squad. A transfer from Ohio State, Crandell was primarily a defensive replacement at the catcher position, seeing action in 15 games behind the plate.


Trish White - Pitcher/Outfielder – Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Friendship Christian HS

Trish White pitched and played in the outfield for Middle Tennessee from 2004-06. She went 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA and tied for the team lead with four saves as a pitcher in 2004 while also scoring six runs and walking four times in 17 games as a position player. White made 20 appearances in the circle the following season, posting a 3.38 ERA in 99.1 innings pitched. At the plate, she hit .308 with 14 RBIs and scored 14 runs en route to being named Second Team All-Sun Belt at the conclusion of the season. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., product completed her Blue Raider career in 2006 by notching a 3.67 ERA and once again tying for the team-lead with four saves while batting .260 with 10 RBIs at the plate.


Ashley Cline - Utility – Gallatin, Tenn. – Tennessee

Ashley Cline was a utility player on the 2007 and ’08 Blue Raider squads. A transfer from Tennessee, she batted .245 with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 15 RBIs for the 2007 team. She also walked 17 times, scored 35 runs and went 32-34 in stolen bases on her way to being selected to the All-Sun Belt Conference's second team. Cline followed up her 2007 season with another great year in 2008 as she hit .341 at the plate with eight more doubles, four triples and 17 RBIs while scoring 27 runs.


Ashia Terry - Outfielder – Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Riverdale HS

Ashia Terry was an outfielder on the 2010 Blue Raider team. A Murfreesboro native, Terry tallied two hits, a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored in her one season at Middle Tennessee.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 27

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Today we look at the No. 44 and former Middle Tennessee pitcher/outfielder Laura Moore.


44

Laura Moore - Pitcher/Outfielder – Trenton, Ga. – Dade County HS

Laura Moore pitched and played in the outfield for the 2006 Middle Tennessee team. Coming to Middle Tennessee from Trenton, Ga., she appeared in 12 games in the field in 2006, collecting four hits, a double and two RBIs. In the circle, she made 36 appearances, notching a 4.40 ERA in 140 innings pitched.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 28

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- As we continue our jersey number countdown, today we reach Day 28. And much like yesterday, there has never been a Blue Raider to wear that jersey number. So, today we will highlight No. 45 and current Middle Tennessee pitcher Jordyn Fisherback.


45

Jordyn Fisherback - Pitcher - Greenville, Ohio - Greenville HS

Jordyn Fisherback is a sophomore pitcher for the Blue Raider squad. A native of Greenville, Ohio, she made 24 appearances in the circle for Middle Tennessee in 2011, tallying seven wins, 11 complete games and a shutout in 107.1 innings pitched. A four-year letterwinner at Greenville High School, she notched six perfect games, 16 no-hitters and more than 900 strikeouts during her career for the Green Wave.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN - DAY 29

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- According to our records, there has never been a Blue Raider to wear the No. 29 jersey. So instead, today we look at the No. 99 and former Middle Tennessee catcher Brandi Boehner.


99

Brandi Boehner - Catcher - St. Louis, Mo. - Fox Senior HS

Brandi Boehner caught for the 2005 and ’06 Middle Tennessee teams. As a freshman in 2005, she batted .225 and tied for the team lead with seven doubles and was third on the squad in RBIs with 12. The following season, the St. Louis, Mo., product accumulated 17 hits with a double and four runs batted in. Boehner also walked four times, scored 12 runs and went 4-5 in stolen bases as a sophomore.


BLUE RAIDER JERSEY NUMBER COUNTDOWN

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Believe it or not, softball season is just 30 days away! And to celebrate the start of the season being only a month away, we have decided to do a jersey number countdown.

Beginning today, we will count down from 30 to 1 and take a look at each Blue Raider who has worn each number. For those who wore a number higher than 30, we fit them in various places. And for those who changed numbers during their career, we randomly selected one to go with.

So, be sure to check here each day over the course of the next month as we take a look at all of our former Blue Raiders.

Today, we look at the No. 30 and former Middle Tennessee infielder Kristina Hieb as well as current Blue Raider outfielder Nina Dever.


30

Kristina Hieb - Shortstop - Lodi, Calif. - Tokay HS

Kristina Hieb was a Blue Raider infielder from 2001-’04. She saw action in 54 games as a freshman, batting .200 with 16 RBIs and 11 runs scored as well as finishing tied for second on the team with two home runs. She upped her batting average to a team-high .289 the following season while walking 12 times and scoring 14 runs. Hieb had another solid season in 2003, hitting .250 with 10 runs batted in and another 12 walks. The Lodi, Calif., product wrapped up her career in 2004 with a .304 batting average while bringing in eight runs and scoring 12 runs.


Nina Dever - Outfielder - Greenbrier, Tenn. - Greenbrier HS

Nina Dever is currently an outfielder for the Blue Raiders. The Greenbrier, Tenn., product tallied 16 hits, one double, three home runs, three walks and 12 runs scored as a freshman in 2011. The highlight of her rookie campaign came Feb. 13 in the team’s season-opener when she hit a grand slam and drove in six runs to lead Middle Tennessee past Murray State.


PRESEASON PRACTICE/WINTER CLINICS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Students are back on campus as spring semester classes began today at Middle Tennessee.

With the start of the semester comes preseason practice for the Blue Raiders who have already been at it for a few days now. Even when the weather is not pretty on days like today, the squad is busy preparing for the start of the 2012 season.

Speaking of the start of the 2012 season, we are just five short weeks from the Blue Raiders opening up play at the Charlotte Classic. So, ready or not, Blue Raider fans, the season is almost here!

In other news, MT assistants Megan Rhodes Smith and Kassie Stanfill are hosting their winter clinics this weekend at the Murphy Center. You can find all the information on the Softball page of this site. However, please pay close attention to the start times as they recently changed. So, if you know someone (or possibly are one yourself) who plays softball, definitely let them know of these clinics.

Have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend, Blue Raider fans. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


2012 SCHEDULE CHANGES/WINTER CLINICS TIME CHANGES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- We have had a few changes to our 2012 schedule. While no opponents have been changed, several of the game times and locations in the Tennessee Classic have been altered.

Please take a look at the changes to the schedule here or take a look below at the complete list of games for the Tennessee Classic.

Please be advised that more schedule changes could be coming. We will do our best to let you know as soon as any changes are made, but we encourage everyone to review the schedule before making those travel plans to attend games.

Also, the 2012 winter clinics scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 have also incurred time changes.

Attendees should take note that the pitching camp registration will now begin at 12:30 p.m. CT with the clinic taking place from 1:30-4 p.m. Meanwhile the hitting clinic has been consolidated into one session. Registration will now take place at 3:30 p.m. and the clinic will run from 4:30-7 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Kassie Stanfill at stanfill@mtsu.edu or Megan Rhodes Smith at marsmith@mtsu.edu.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!

March 2 - MT vs. Louisville - 11:30 a.m. CT - Lee Stadium

March 3 - MT vs. Boston University - 9:00 a.m. CT - Caswell Park

March 3 - MT vs. Dutch National Team - 4:30 p.m. CT - Caswell Park

March 4 - MT vs. Murray State - 10 a.m. CT - Lee Stadium

March 4 - MT vs. Tennessee - 3 p.m. CT - Lee Stadium


2012 HAS ARRIVED

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Let us be among the first to wish you a Happy New Year! Hopefully 2012 has gotten off to a great start for everyone.

The Blue Raider softball team is still on winter break as classes at Middle Tennessee do not begin until Thursday, Jan. 12. Once the squad returns to campus, the team will begin its preseason practice schedule in preparation for the start of the 2012 season.

Amazingly, the season is only a little more than six weeks away. Over the course of the next six weeks, we will have practice updates, team news and everything else MT softball related as we get set for the start of the season.

Once again, Happy New Year to all of you and good luck keeping those resolutions! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


ACTION OFF THE DIAMOND

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- While the MT softball team has been away from practice and games, the action has not stopped off the field for the Blue Raiders!

The team spent several evenings over the past several weeks giving their time at a couple of Read to Succeed Family Literacy Nights, including helping out last Friday at Scales Elementary School.

MT Softball also held its annual Christmas party earlier this week. All we have to say about that is check out the video posted on the team's Facebook page (MTSU Softball).

Finally, the squad held its "Blue Raider Battles" on Thursday. These competitions will be posted to the team's Facebook and Twitter pages in the spring. We will definitely let you know before we begin posting these.

Today is the first day of exams here at MT, so everyone is knee-deep in their studies (or at least they should be!). Please go post a word of encouragement on the Facebook page during this fall exam week if you feel inclined. Also be sure to check out a few pictures we posted from the family literacy nights as well as that Christmas Party video.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDER CHALLENGE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team wrapped up its three-day “Blue Raider Challenge on Wednesday morning. You can read the official story here.

The squad endured numerous physical exercises to test their strength and endurance. It is certainly safe to say the Blue Raiders will head home for Thanksgiving a bit tired and sore from the hard work they put in this week. A great Thanksgiving dinner will be much deserved.

The team will return to campus next week before closing out the semester in early December. The players will then take off for Christmas break before beginning preseason practice in January.

The season keeps getting closer and closer! We hope you are excited as we are about the 2012 season!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Blue Raider fans! Be sure to enjoy as much turkey and dressing as you possibly can! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS WELCOME SEVEN TO PROGRAM

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Head coach Sue Nevar and her staff announced this week the signing of seven players for the fall signing period. You can read the official story here.

All seven players will join the Blue Raider program for the 2013 season. By all accounts, this seems to be a very talented group of players that will make a big impact on the program. Nevar and her staff are extremely excited about all seven and cannot wait until they get to campus.

In other news, the current members of the program are continuing to progress through their individual workouts. The coaches seem to be pleased so far with everyone's progress. The squad will take a few days off next week for Thanksgiving and then will go through a series of physical drills and challenges the following week. We will be sure to have updates on this when it happens.

Have a great weekend, Blue Raider softball fans! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS RELEASE 2012 SCHEDULE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball program released the 2012 schedule on Tuesday afternoon. You can read the official story here.

The Blue Raiders will begin the season Feb. 17 at the Charlotte Classic in the first of four nonconference tournaments. Following play in Charlotte, the squad will compete in the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C.

The Tennessee Classic on March 2-4 highlights the tournament schedule as MT will face Memphis, Louisville, ETSU, Murray State as well as the Volunteers. An exhibition against the Dutch National Team is also on the tournament slate.

After concluding nonconference tournament play at the Lady Bison Classic, the squad will open its home schedule with a doubleheader against Eastern Illinois on March 14.

The Blue Raiders will play a total of 18 home games. 11 of those games are conference matchups, highlighted by a weekend series against UL-Lafayette on April 14-15.

The conference road schedule features trips to North Texas, South Alabama, Troy, Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic. Doubleheaders against Jacksonville State, Samford, Murray State and Southeast Missouri are part of an 11-game road trip in late March and early April.

Go ahead and make plans to come out to Blue Raider Field in 2012. This year's team should certainly be fun to watch. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


CLINIC SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team will hold its annual All-Skills Clinic on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. CST at Blue Raider Field.

You can read the full story here. Head coach Sue Nevar and assistants Kassie Stanfill and Megan Rhodes Smith will lead the camp while the Blue Raider players will assist in providing demonstrations.

If you know someone who is a young softball player, encourage them to attend. It will undoubtedly be a great learning experience and extremely beneficial for anyone who is looking to improve their skills.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS BEGIN INDIVIDUAL WORKOUTS

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- After completing fall practice last week, the Blue Raider softball team is now in the middle of its offseason individual training program. These individual workouts are designed specifically for each player in order to help them improve in certain areas leading up to the 2012 season.

Several players including pitcher Shelby Stinnett were spotted working out in one of the Murphy Center auxiliary gyms earlier today. Check out the photo of Shelby on the team’s Twitter page (@MT_Softball) if you have not already seen it.

In other news, the 2012 schedule should be complete very soon. We will post the schedule once it becomes official.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS PARTICIPATE IN GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team spent this past Thursday night assisting with with the Discovery Center's Great Pumpkin Festival. You can read the full story here.

By all accounts, the Blue Raiders really enjoyed interacting with all of the kids. Everyone said they had lots of fun helping the kids have a great night.

You can see a few photos from the event here on the team's Facebook page.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS CONCLUDE FALL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team will complete its fall practice schedule on Friday with a scrimmage at 3 p.m. at Blue Raider Field. You can read the full story here.

The squad will begin individual workouts next week which will run through the rest of the fall semester. Almost unbelievably, final exams are only six weeks away.

Overall, head coach Sue Nevar seems happy with the progress the team made this fall. The important thing now is for each player to continue to work hard individually to get ready for the spring. Nevar emphasized to her team that they must prepare themselves for the grind of the softball season.

I encourage you to continue to regularly check back to The Notebook over the next few weeks. We will have updates on how the team is doing in individual workouts as well as some pictures and videos.

Also, be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@MT_Softball) and on our new Facebook page (MTSU Softball). Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SCRIMMAGE/FALL PRACTICE PHOTO GALLERY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team held an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday afternoon at Blue Raider Field.

Both teams hit the ball extremely well and there were several sparkling plays in the field. Head coach Sue Nevar was pleased with the effort and is happy with the progress the Blue Raiders have made this spring, but emphasized the team still has work to do before the season begins.

Also, you can see the new photo gallery from this past week in practice here.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL (OR PERHAPS WINTER?) PRACTICE UPDATE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders have continued fall practice this week and will bring the week to a close with an intrasquad scrimmage today (Friday) at 3 p.m.

The squad was forced to move indoors for practice on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the inclement weather that came through Murfreesboro. So, apparently I jinxed the team when in the last update I spoke of the good weather that we have received this fall. Nonetheless, things appear to be going smoothly as MT nears the end of its fall schedule.

The pictures that were promised are on their way. I am going to wait until after the scrimmage today to post them. So, be on the look out for them this weekend. I will provide the link to the photo gallery here in the Notebook as well as on Twitter and Facebook when they are up.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Hopefully the weather where you are will be as nice as it is supposed to be here. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL PRACTICE UPDATE

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team is back to practice on Monday following a nice weekend off.

The Blue Raiders concluded practice last week with an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday afternoon. The team will practice each day this week before ending the week with another scrimmage.

Things are looking good as the team has been graced with mostly wonderful weather the last couple of weeks. Amazingly, the squad only has two more weeks of practice before breaking until preseason practice begins in January.

We will be out at practice later this week, so expect some pictures coming in the next few days. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


HOMECOMING WEEKEND PICTURES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- You asked for them. Now you have them! Click here for the Homecoming Weekend Photo Gallery.

In other news, the Blue Raiders gathered yesterday to take their annual team pictures. Wednesday the team will take individual pictures. If you would like to see a photo of any specific player getting their picture taken (which we all know can be extremely awkward), simply mention us on Twitter or send a direct message and we will post one of them. Hopefully we can have some fun with this.

Finally, speaking of social media, we have had to change our Facebook page and it will now be called MTSU Softball. We have been told that if you were already a fan of the old page, you will automatically become a fan of the new page. However, if this changes, we will let you know. But if you know someone who was not a fan of the old page, now is the perfect time to "like" the new page. So, spread the word!

Have a great day Blue Raider fans, and until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


MT WRAPS UP FALL EXHIBITION PLAY

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders fell to Shorter 5-2 and played to a 3-3 tie with Chattanooga State on Sunday at the UTC RBI Classic.

With the fall exhibition season coming to a close, the team will now return to its normal fall practice schedule for the next several weeks as it prepares for the 2012 season.

Be on the lookout on Tuesday for pictures from homecoming weekend. We will post a link to the photo gallery here in the Softball Notebook.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS CONCLUDE DAY ONE IN CHATTANOOGA

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The MT softball team picked up a win and a tie on Saturday at the UTC RBI Classic in Chattanooga.

The Blue Raiders defeated Calhoun 5-1 in their first game. Meanwhile their game against Milligan ended in a 2-2 due to time constraints. The two teams did not end up playing another game because of time issues.

Check back here Sunday evening for scores of the team's contests against Shorter and Chattanooga State. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS TRAVEL TO CHATTANOOGA

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team will head to Chattanooga this weekend to take part in the UTC RBI Classic.

MT will play three games on Saturday and a pair of games on Sunday. Saturday's slate features a doubleheader against Calhoun CC at 11 a.m. CDT and 3:30 p.m. sandwiched around a contest against Milligan at 1:15 p.m. The Blue Raiders will close out their fall exhibition season on Sunday by facing Shorter at 10 a.m. and Chattanooga State at noon.

The entire tournament schedule can be found here.

We will have short recaps of the action right here in the Softball Notebook at the conclusion of play each day.

And of course, if you are in the Chattanooga area, we encourage you to come out and see the team in action. And if you do, make special note of the game locations as two facilities are being used to host the tournament.

Also, we have not forgotten about pictures from last weekend. We are still in the process of gathering up photos, so as soon as we get them all we will post them.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


BLUE RAIDERS SPLIT DH TO CONCLUDE HOMECOMING WEEKEND

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team split its exhibition doubleheader against Lipscomb on Sunday afternoon at Blue Raider Field.

The Blue Raiders won the first game 2-1 before falling 5-4 in the second game.

Game 1 featured a pitcher's duel between both team's pitching squads. With the score tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, MT loaded the bases with one out on a Kristi Marquez single followed by walks to Chelsea Good and Samantha Nieves. Sophomore Kayla Toney then stepped to the plate and delivered a clutch RBI single to left field to put the Blue Raiders up 2-1. Kailey McDougald closed out the Bisons in the seventh to preserve the victory.

In the second game, Lipscomb built a 5-0 lead over the first six and a half innings of the eight-inning contest. But just when it looked like the Bisons were going to cruise to victory, MT mounted a furious rally with four runs in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4. Despite loading the bases again in the bottom of the eighth, the Blue Raiders were unable to cash in and fell by the 5-4 score.

The exciting doubleheader concluded a great weekend which began with the 2012 Blue Raiders defeating the former Blue Raiders in the alumni game on Friday night.

The squad then participated in the homecoming parade on Saturday afternoon before enjoying a tailgate prior to the football team's thrilling victory over Memphis.

MT will now put this weekend behind them as they get back to fall practice this week. The team will head to Chattanooga this weekend to take part in the UTC RBI Classic.

Check back to the notebook this week for some photos of the weekend that was. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


HOMECOMING WEEKEND

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raider softball team is gearing up for a full slate of activities on campus this weekend.

The weekend kicks off on Friday with the alumni game at Blue Raider Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. More than 20 former players will be on hand to face the current squad. You can read the full story here.

The festivities will continue on Saturday as the Blue Raiders will participate in the homecoming parade. The team will then host a tailgate from 4-5:30 p.m. in which fans can come meet current and former players.

The weekend will conclude when MT hosts Lipscomb for an exhibition doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The first game will be 10 innings with a seven-inning game following.

So come on out to campus this weekend for all the fun. It should be a great weekend. Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL PRACTICE PHOTOS/VIDEO

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Here are some photos and a video from the Blue Raiders' fall practices and this past weekend's doubleheader against Belmont. Enjoy!

Fall Practice/Belmont Doubleheader Photo Gallery

Fall Practice/Belmont Doubleheader Video


BLUE RAIDERS SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER FROM BELMONT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team swept an exhibition doubleheader from Belmont by scores of 2-1 and 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Blue Raider Field.

Pitching ruled the day for both squads on the picture-perfect day. Jordyn Fisherback, Shelby Stinnett and Caitlin McClure combined to limit the Bruins to just one unearned run. Meanwhile Nina Dever went 1-2 with an RBI single to help provide the Blue Raiders with just enough offense as MT held on for a 2-1 victory.

Game 2 saw more solid pitching from both sides. Fisherback, Caty Jutson, McClure and Kailey McDougald all saw action as the Blue Raiders once again stymied Belmont's offense, limiting Belmont to no runs over the final six innings.

Aided by another strong effort from the pitching staff, MT waited until the bottom of the sixth to provide the necessary offense. With the score tied 1-1, Natalie Ysais stepped up and delivered a two-out, two-run home run over the wall in left-center field to give the Blue Raiders a 3-1 lead. McDougall pitched a perfect seventh to close out the victory.

Be on the lookout for pics and video on Monday. We will also look forward to Friday's alumni game and Sunday's doubleheader against Lipscomb.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL EXHIBITION SEASON BEGINS ON SATURDAY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders will open up the 2011 fall exhibition season on Saturday with a doubleheader against Belmont. The first game will begin at 12 p.m. with the second game following at 2 p.m.

Admission is free to both games. The concession stands will not be open, but fans are encouraged to bring food and drinks. The current weather forecast (as of Friday at noon) calls for the day to be mostly sunny with the temperature in the 70s. So, come on out and enjoy some softball before watching the Blue Raider football team take on Troy!

As I mentioned in the previous post, the team held an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday. The Blue team defeated the White squad 7-5 in an aggressively-played game by both sides. The contest featured several stolen bases and sacrifice bunts for each team.

We will have pictures and video from this week's action coming within the next few days. We hope to see everyone out at Blue Raider Field on Saturday.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL PRACTICE CONTINUES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team continues to make its way through its fall practice schedule as the squad held what we will call "normal" practices the last several days.

The team will hold an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday before hosting Belmont for a doubleheader on Saturday at Blue Raider Field.

Game 1 is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. with the second game following at 2 p.m. We encourage everyone to come out and support the Blue Raiders this Saturday. The weather should be great and the football game does not start until 3:30, so there is no reason not to come!

Tomorrow we will have a report of Thursday's scrimmage and look ahead to the official beginning of the fall exhibition season.


UTC RBI CLASSIC SCHEDULE CHANGES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The UTC RBI Classic has had a change in its schedule. The new schedule of games for Middle Tennessee is listed below.

Saturday, Oct. 8
Middle Tennessee vs. Calhoun CC - 11 a.m.
Middle Tennessee vs. Milligan - 1:15 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9
Middle Tennessee vs. Shorter - 10 a.m.
Middle Tennessee vs. Chattanooga State - 12 p.m.


FALL PRACTICE IS UNDER WAY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee softball team opened up fall practice last Thursday with a three-hour workout at Blue Raider Field.

It appeared the team was going to have to head indoors as rain made its way through Murfreesboro on Thursday morning. However, just before 3 p.m. the sun appeared and the Blue Raiders were able to practice outside on what ended up being a beautiful afternoon. So, if you believe in omens, you can take that as a positive sign.

The squad practiced again on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Today (Monday) they will be indoors due to inclement weather and Tuesday they will return outdoors.

Be on the lookout later this week for some photos and video as the team continues its offseason workouts.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL PRACTICE BEGINS ON THURSDAY

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Blue Raiders will officially begin full-squad practices on Thursday. The team will practice and scrimmage for the next several weeks in preparation for the 2012 season.

Be on the lookout for photos and video as we will get you ready for the quickly-approaching season.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


NEVAR HONORED WITH GROTKE AWARD

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Congratulations to Coach Nevar on receiving the Leanne L. Grotke Award. I think I speak for everyone when I say the award is very much deserved.

In other news, a few members of the team got together last night at Blue Raider Field for a home run derby. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), no cameras were present to catch any of the action. I am happy to report, however, that no injuries were suffered and no car windows were broken that we know of.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


FALL PITCHING SERIES

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Middle Tennessee assistant coach Megan Rhodes Smith is in the midst of hosting pitching camps for high school-aged pitchers.

Camps are one hour in length and are held at the Blue Raider Softball Field each Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. Each session costs $25. Check out the flyer here.


PHOTOS FROM THE WEEKEND

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Below are links to photos from this past weekend. I hope you enjoy!

"We-Haul" Photo Gallery

Team Dinner/Chuck Taylor Golf Classic Photo Gallery


TEAM ASSISTS WITH CHUCK TAYLOR CLASSIC

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- About a dozen members of the Middle Tennessee softball team rose early Monday morning to give a helping hand at the Chuck Taylor Golf Classic.

The players welcomed tournament participants as they made their way to the course for the 8 a.m. tee time. The Blue Raiders carried bags and answered questions about the day's events. Despite the early-morning wake-up call, the student-athletes were more than happy to help with tournament, which serves as a crucial fundraiser for Blue Raider athletics.

Several other members of the team welcomed golfers for the afternoon session, which teed off at 1:30 p.m. CDT.

Till next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SOFTBALL HOLDS ANNUAL TEAM WELCOME DINNER

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The MT softball team held its annual team welcome dinner on Saturday night at Blue Raider Softball Field.

Blue Raider coaches, players and parents enjoyed food and fellowship as the 2012 Blue Raiders joined together for the first time.

Head coach Sue Nevar began the evening by welcoming the freshmen to Middle Tennessee and the upperclassmen back to campus following summer break. Players then introduced themselves and their families to those in attendance.

Despite battling nerves, I am happy to report that all the freshmen made it through introductions without any major gaffes. I can also tell you that this team is full of personalities.

The night concluded with the team enjoying some cupcakes while singing "Happy Birthday" to one of our brand new Blue Raiders (unfortunately, her name escapes me at the moment).

All in all, it appeared everyone had a great time catching up with friends and getting to know the newcomers. Now it is time to get down to business as class starts on Monday!

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!


SOFTBALL GIVES HAND IN "WE-HAUL"

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Members of the Middle Tennessee softball team spent part of their Friday afternoon helping their new freshmen teammates move into their rooms at Scarlett Commons.

As part of the campus-wide movie-in day termed “We-Haul,” the upperclassmen Blue Raiders officially welcomed the newcomers to campus for the first time.

“This marks the first day of the freshmen being on campus,” head coach Sue Nevar said. “We want to make it a day to remember, so we have all the returning players come to campus a day early and help the freshmen move into their rooms. Today is the first day of these freshmen being official Middle Tennessee students, so it is an exciting day for everybody.”

Battling the mid-afternoon heat, the players carried everything from televisions and computers to lamps and pillows.

“It is important to make a good impression and let the freshmen know that we are a family,” said sophomore outfielder Nina Davenport. “It is another way to help us bond and come together.”

Follow the Middle Tennessee softball team on its relaunched Twitter page @MT_Softball. The team’s Facebook page will be up-to-date shortly. Also, stay up-to-date with the team here on the new blog which is linked on the softball page here on GoBlueRaiders.com.


SOFTBALL EXPANDS SOCIAL MEDIA

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-- As announced earlier on GoBlueRaiders.com, the Middle Tennessee softball team has expanded its social media efforts.

Many of you followed the team on Facebook and Twitter last season, and we felt like the social media pages were a huge success. Therefore we have brought them back at the start of the school year and will expand them in various ways.

The goal of the social media initiative is to give Middle Tennessee softball fans a better connection to the team. Since this is ultimately about you – the fans – we invite you to share your opinions and give us ideas on how we can better serve you. This can be done by posting on the Facebook page, sending direct messages via Twitter and by emailing me – the softball media contact – at slavich@goblueraiders.com.

So be sure to follow the team on Twitter @MT_Softball and check back to GoBlueRaiders.com and you can find this blog linked on the softball team page. Also, tell your family and friends to do the same. Once the Facebook page is up and running, it will be made known here on the blog and on Twitter.

Until next time, Go Blue Raiders!

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