Blue Raiders falter on Day 1 of War Eagle Classic

Marquez slams three-run blast against Auburn

March 1, 2013 · @MTAthletics

AUBURN, Ala. - Middle Tennessee jumped out to an early lead in the first game of the War Eagle Classic, but ultimately dropped both games on Day 1. The Blue Raiders fell to Auburn, 7-3, and Minnesota, 8-0 (in five innings).

Middle Tennessee drops to 0-12 on the season while Auburn improves to 13-4 and Minnesota now sits at 8-7.

In Game 1, Middle Tennessee took a 3-0 run early in the game, but eventually would falter in the late innings.

Jordyn Fisherback earned the start and threw four shutout innings, but was ultimately doomed, and dropped to 0-6 after allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits. Shelby Stinnett threw the final one-third of an inning to close out the game.

Freshman Niki Campbell sparked the Blue Raider offense, as we was 2-for-3. Additionally, Laura Dukes and Kristi Marquez were both 2-for-4.

In the top of the second, Campbell doubled to right field with two outs, then stole third before Nina Davenport drew a walk. Marquez then launched a three-run blast, just her second home run of her career, over the right field fence.

MT held the lead until the bottom of the fifth, when Auburn's Branndi Melero jacked a two-out grand slam to right-center, putting the Tigers in the lead for good.

In the bottom of the sixth, Auburn would add three insurance runs after an Austyn West single brought in one Tiger, and Baylee Stephens hit a two-run homer to right field, putting the score at 7-3.

The second game of the day pitted Stinnett in the circle against the Golden Gophers. Stinnett threw just two full innings, giving up four runs on six hits, and dropped to 0-3 on the season.

Dukes was the only Blue Raider to reach base in the game. She reached in the first inning on an error by Minnesota's Kaitlyn Richardson, and later drew a walk in the fourth.

MT will face Gardner-Webb (3-5) tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., prior to a match-up with Southern (0-18) at 8 p.m. Live stats are available here.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.