Softball returns to diamond at Tennessee Classic

MT to meet Louisville, Tennessee and Dutch National Team

March 1, 2012 · Athletic Communications

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee softball team will look to continue to build its momentum this weekend when it voyages to Knoxville for the Tennessee Classic.

The squad will play a total of three games in the tournament including an exhibition contest against the Dutch National Team. The Blue Raiders were originally slated for four contests over the weekend, but the threat of inclement weather forced recent schedule changes to the tournament.

Joining Middle Tennessee in the tournament are Boston University, East Tennessee State, Louisville, Memphis, Murray State and the host Lady Vols. The Dutch will play an exhibition game against each team with the exception of Memphis.

Tennessee enters the tournament ranked No. 9 nationally while Louisville currently sits at 17th in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.

Middle Tennessee will open the weekend against Louisville on Friday at 11:30 a.m. CT. The squad will then meet the Dutch team on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. before facing Tennessee on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

The Blue Raiders head to the Classic following a successful showing at last weekend’s College of Charleston Cougar Classic. The team posted a 3-1 record with wins over Wagner, Virginia Tech and the host Cougars.

“Hopefully we can continue playing well and build off what we did last weekend,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Sue Nevar. “We will face some tough competition this weekend, so we are going to have to come out and play our best.”

Sophomore Kayla Toney currently leads the Blue Raiders at the plate in 2012. The former Beech High School Buccaneer leads the team in numerous offensive categories including batting average (.458), slugging percentage (.708) and on-base percentage (.519). She has also scored a team-high 10 runs and is 4-4 in the stolen base category.

Seniors Kaycee Popham and Kelsey Woodruff have also provided Middle Tennessee with solid offensive production to begin the year. Popham maintains a .440 average at the dish with a home run and eight runs batted in. Woodruff meanwhile is hitting .375 to go along with a home run, a pair of doubles and five RBIs.

Middle Tennessee received a great effort on the mound last weekend from freshman Caitlin McClure. The Lilburn, Ga., product allowed just two earned runs in five innings while scattering seven hits to receive the win last weekend against College of Charleston in her first career start. She currently is tops on the team with an earned run average of 2.00 in a total of seven innings pitched.

Each game of the Tennessee Classic will offer live statistics which will be available courtesy of Tennessee and 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.

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