Softball opens home schedule with Wednesday doubleheader

Blue Raiders host EIU

March 13, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee softball team will open up its 2012 home schedule when the squad plays host to Eastern Illinois for a Wednesday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT.

The Blue Raiders hope to follow up on its home success from 2011 in which Middle Tennessee amassed a 14-7 home record. The squad began last season by splitting a home doubleheader with Murray State. Overall, Middle Tennessee holds an 11-8 all-time record in home-opening contests.

The Blue Raiders (6-9) come home fresh off a successful weekend at the Lady Bison Classic in Nashville. The squad went 3-1 on the weekend, defeating Drake, Eastern Michigan and Alabama State before falling to Lipscomb to close out the tournament.

“We had a great year here at home last season and we expect that to continue this season,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Sue Nevar. “This is a very important doubleheader for us as we hope to carry momentum from last weekend and keep building heading into conference play this weekend. EIU is a good team, so we are going to have to come out and play well to get a couple of wins.”

Eastern Illinois heads 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.

The Blue Raiders continue to be led offensively by second baseman Kayla Toney. The sophomore is tops in the Sun Belt in both batting (.477) and on-base percentage (.540). She also ranks first in numerous offensive team categories including total bases with 38 and hits with 21.

Meanwhile first baseman Kaycee Popham and right fielder Kelsey Woodruff have gotten off to strong senior seasons. Popham is hitting .413 with a team-leading four home runs and 14 runs batted in. Woodruff maintains a .385 clip at the plate while tallying three long balls and nine RBIs so far this season.

The Blue Raiders received a couple of sparkling performances in the circle last weekend in Nashville. Jordyn Fisherback opened the tournament for Middle Tennessee by tossing a complete game against Drake, allowing just one hit and one unearned run. Shelby Stinnett followed a day later against Alabama State with a complete-game shutout as she scattered six hits while walking only two batters.

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.

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