Softball sweeps doubleheader with Austin Peay

Grand slam for Nieves, game-winning single for Dever

March 27, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee swept Austin Peay in a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday, defeating the Governors, 7-5, in Game 1 and 3-2 (in eight innings) in Game 2.

The Blue Raiders (4-27, 1-6 SBC) had 15 hits on the day while APSU (10-13, 1-4 OVC) had 17. Still, the Blue Raiders picked up enough key hits and were helped by six APSU errors on the day.

Caitlin McClure (1-8) picked up her first win of the season, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits in 5.0 innings pitched. She faced 27 batters in the game before Jordyn Fisherback closed out the final two innings, allowing one run and one hit to earn the save.

Samantha Nieves was 1-for-4 in the game with four RBI and a grand slam home run, while Nina Dever finished 1-for-3 in the contest. Kristi Marquez, Lindsey Fenner and Chelsea Good had MT's other hits in the game.

Tied 0-0 heading into the third, Austin Peay's Lauren De Castro doubled to left-center to drive Laurel Burroughs home, putting the Governors up one.

MT, however, would answer back with an impressive bottom half of the third, scoring five runs on two hits while taking advantage of three APSU errors. Lindsey Fenner led off the inning with a single, and moved to third as Chelsey Good reached on a throwing error by the catcher. After Good stole second and Kristi Marquez was hit by a pitch, Nieves stepped to the plate with bases loaded. She then launched her third home run of the season over the left field fence for a grand slam.

The Blue Raiders would add one more in the inning, when Laura Dukes and Nina Dever reached on errors by Abby Guest and Amanda De Vries, respectively. Taylor Lee then pinch ran for Dukes,and both runners moved up on Katie Brown's sacrifice bunt. 

With one out, Lee was thrown out at the plate as Niki Campbell reached on a fielder's choice, but Dever would steal home in the next at-bat, putting the Blue Raiders up, 5-1.

MT would tack on two more runs in the fourth, as Fenner once again led off the inning by reaching base, this time with a walk. Good would then reach on an error, and Fenner moved to third. Marquez than singled into right field and Fenner scored. 

With runners on first and third, Nieves stole second, and Dukes reached on a fielder's choice while Good scored.

APSU answered back with three runs of its own on four hits and one error, including a home run by Burroughs.

In the top of the seventh, APSU's Kayla Davidson added one more run on a solo shot, but that's all the Govs could manage as MT clinched the victory.

Fisherback (3-13) took the rubber to start Game 2 and picked up her third win of the season after allowing just two runs on seven hits.

After APSU pushed the first run of the game across in the first, MT answered back, starting when Dukes reached on an error and scored when Dever doubled with two outs.

The Governors would score one more in the third, using a double by De Castro and two deep fly outs.

In the bottom of the sixth, Dukes blasted a solo home run deep over the right field fence to tie the game, 2-2. MT would strand runners on first and third though, to end the inning.

Neither team could score in their half of the seventh as the two squads headed for extra innings with the international tie-breaker rule in effect.

APSU moved Abbie Cline to third on a sacrifice bunt, but two groundouts to Marquez at third ended the threat.

Nieves was placed on second to start the bottom half of the eighth, and after Dukes moved her to third on a sacrifice bunt, Dever hit a blooper in center field that landed safely, scoring Nieves and clinching the Blue Raiders' first doubleheader sweep of the season.

MT travels to Monroe, La., this weekend for a three-game conference series with ULM. Games are scheduled for 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, March 29 and 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.


On picking up the doubleheader sweep...
"It feels real good. I thought our pitchers came prepared today, ready to go.  McClure did good in the first game and Jordyn came in to close it out, then Jordyn did well in the second game.  I thought there was an opportunity in about the fifth where she could have gotten tired, but she didn't and got out of a jam or two.  Defense played well and in the second game we got enough hits to scratch a run across late."

On ULM series this weekend...
"I expect them to come out and play hard.  They were picked right above us in the conference preseason, so I expect to in there and have us scratch out some runs.  Hopefully we can win that series.  It's an important series for us and definitely has some post-season implications."

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