Blue Raiders host Belmont in home finale
Seniors Marquez, McDougald to be honored pre-gameMay 1, 2013 · @MTAthletics
This week's action
After snapping a 11-game losing streak, Middle Tennessee will hope to continue its hot play in a doubleheader with Belmont on Thursday, May 2. Game 1 is scheduled for 1 p.m., with Senior Day festivities taking place prior to the first game.
Last time out
The Blue Raiders went 1-2 in last week's games, losing to Mississippi State and Lipscomb before picking up an extra-inning victory over Jacksonville State. Middle Tennessee won that game, 6-5, on a sacrifice fly from Laura Dukes that scored LaRi Mitchell from third base in the ninth inning.
Middle Tennessee has dominated Belmont in the series' history, winning 19 of the 22 all-time match-ups. Recently, the Blue Raiders have won eight straight, and have lost just one match-up since the 1993 season.
Four Blue Raiders will bid goodbye to Middle Tennessee at Thursday's doubleheader. Chelsea Good, Nina Davenport, Kailey McDougald and Kristi Marquez will compete in their final home doubleheader against Belmont. Prior to the first game, Kailey McDougald and Kristi Marquez will be honored for their achievements.
Junior Nina Dever has proved her knack for killing opponent's scoring chances, as she has thrown out an impressive seven runners at the plate this season. Additionally, her 89 putouts are the most among outfielders on the team, with a majority coming from her territory in centerfield.
The Blue Raider trio of Laura Dukes, Nina Dever and Samantha Nieves lead the team in nearly every offensive catagory. Dever and Nieves are tied for the team lead in hits (37) and doubles (seven), while Dever leads the team with 19 runs scored. At the plate, Dukes leads the team with seven home runs, 19 RBI and a .282 batting average. Dukes has also shown a knack for working the count and leads the team in walks (24).
For preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team member Kayla Toney, the season got off to a rough start - hitting just .194 over the first 40 games. Over the past 10 games, however, the infielder has come on strong, hitting .241 in that stretch with four of the team's seven doubles and a .483 slugging percentage. Add in her six walks, and Toney has been one of the more productive Blue Raider hitters as the season begins the twilight stretch.
LaRi legs it out
Freshman LaRi Mitchell has found her stride in the batter's box lately, hitting .320 over the past 10 games (nine of which she started). The slap hitter learned her trade over the summer, and though she has struggled at times, has provided a spark in the Blue Raiders' lineup of late, legging out eight hits in 25 at-bats. She sports a .346 on-base percentage, and notched her only double of the season against Mississippi State on April 22.
Middle Tennessee has several athletes of who have reached the Top 10 in career records:
Tied for No. 10 - Kayla Toney (26)
No. 1 - Nina Davenport (9)
- Hit by Pitch
No. 4 - Kristi Marquez (21)
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