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Jutson pitches softball to 4-0 shutout over ULM

Game 2 postponed; Sunday DH at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

March 24, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Middle Tennessee pitcher Caty Jutson threw the squad’s second-consecutive complete-game shutout on Saturday afternoon to guide the Blue Raiders to a 4-0 victory over ULM at Blue Raider Field.

The senior allowed just six hits over her seven innings while walking just one and tying a season-high with five strikeouts. The outing was the second masterful performance this week from the Phoenix, Ariz., native as she tossed 6.1 shutout innings of relief in Middle Tennessee’s 5-2 win over Evansville on Wednesday.

“Caty has completely stabilized our pitching staff,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Sue Nevar. “She has thrown the ball very consistently of late and has turned into the pitcher that I thought she could become this season.”

Meanwhile the Blue Raider offense rebounded from its one-hit performance in the second game of their doubleheader against Evansville. The team tallied four runs on eight hits as they put at least one runner on base in every inning. Middle Tennessee also was perfect defensively, improving to 8-2 on the season when not committing an error.

“I was pleased with how we hit the ball today,” said Nevar. “We came up with some clutch hits which is something we had not been doing. I was also proud of the way we played defensively. Now we need to keep this going because ULM is a good team and will come out tomorrow ready to play.”

The first run of the afternoon came in the bottom of the second on the aid of a ULM error. Kelsey Woodruff reached on a hit-by-pitch and Samantha Nieves walked to begin the inning. Pinch runner Katherine Tucker then scored on Kristi Marquez’ fielder’s choice as first baseman Janel Salanoa was unable to collect the throw from second baseman Miyuki Navarrete. The play gave the Blue Raiders a 1-0 advantage through two innings.

Samantha Nieves gave Middle Tennessee a 3-0 lead in the fourth on her two-run blast to straight-away center field. The blast was her second of the season and first since the squad’s opening game of the season Feb. 17 against Kansas.

Middle Tennessee posted another run the following inning when Natalie Ysais delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle to score Nina Dever and extend the lead to 4-0.

The runs would be more than enough for Jutson who only once allowed more than one hit in an inning as she improved her record to 5-6 on the year. ULM starter Stephanie Routzon was the loser on Saturday, surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits in 3.1 innings pitched.

The Blue Raiders upped their record to 10-13, 1-3 in the Sun Belt while ULM dropped to 14-12, 2-5.

Nieves paced Middle Tennessee at the plate, going 2-2 with her two-run home run. Dever and Kaycee Popham also recorded a pair of knocks on the day. Navarrete and Roxy Cassel both picked up two hits to lead the Warhawks.

After the teams played through some light rain during the contest, a heavy cell hit the Middle Tennessee campus shortly after its conclusion, temporarily delaying the start of the second game. The decision was then made to postpone the second game until Sunday.

The two teams will now play a doubleheader on Sunday with the first game beginning at 11 a.m. and the second scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Live stats will be available for both games of Sunday’s 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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