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Softball begins five-game homestand

MT hosts Evansville in midweek doubleheader

March 20, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn -- The Middle Tennessee softball team begins a five-game homestand when the Blue Raiders host Evansville on Wednesday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT at Blue Raider Field.

Middle Tennessee (7-13, 0-3 Sun Belt) returns home to Murfreesboro this week following a tough weekend in Denton, Texas, in which the squad lost all three games to North Texas. The Blue Raiders held leads in the sixth inning or later in two of the contests before eventually dropping both games.

Evansville enters the doubleheader with a record of 7-14 overall, 0-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Purple Aces were swept at Northern Iowa in a three-game series this past weekend.

Second baseman Kayla Toney continues to pace the Blue Raiders at the plate. The senior leads the Sun Belt in both batting (.474) and on-base percentage (.559) and is second in the league with a .789 slugging percentage. She also leads Middle Tennessee in stolen bases with seven while crossing the plate 16 times this year.

The Blue Raiders have gotten great play recently from center fielder Nina Davenport and catcher/designated player Laura Dukes. In five games last week, Davenport batted .471 while scoring four runs and swiping two bases. She now has five stolen bases on the year which puts her second on the team behind Toney.

Dukes meanwhile hit a whopping .412 at the dish last week while tallying a pair of home runs. The freshman also has been impressive defensively while splitting time at catcher with Natalie Ysais. She has thrown out three base runners in seven attempts and has yet to commit an error in five games as the team's back stop this season.

“This is an important couple of games for us as we look to come out and play well after a tough weekend,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Sue Nevar. “We need to get better play both offensively and in the circle. Evansville is a similar team to us, so it is vital that we show up focused and prepared to compete.”

The all-time series record between the two squads is currently even at 8-8. The Blue Raiders swept a twin bill from Evansville when the teams met in Murfreesboro in 2010.

Admission is free to all Middle Tennessee softball games. 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.

Live stats will be available for both games of the doubleheader 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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