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MT Softball drop opener to Kennesaw State

KSU's late offense dooms Blue Raiders

February 7, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TROY, Ala. - Despite two separate three-run home runs by Nina Dever and Kayla Toney, the Middle Tennessee softball (0-1) team surrendered three multiple-run innings late to lose to the Kennesaw State Owls (1-0) 14-12.

MT jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first inning after producing four extra-base hits. Kayla Toney reached on a dropped fly ball by the second baseman and advanced to second on the error. Dukes drew the walk and Nina Dever then blasted a three-run homerun.

With the bases empty freshman Marinna Shadley produced her first collegiate hit by singling to the shortstop. Niki Campbell then laced a double to score Shadley. Austyn Whaley hit a double of her own to put the Blue Raiders up 5-0, plating Campbell. McKena Miller punched a double to left field, scoring MT's last run of the inning once Whaley crossed the plate.

Kennesaw State took one run back in the bottom of the first but left two runners on base after a popup to Campbell.

Following a walk to Samantha Nieves and Laura Duke being hit by a pitch, Dever popped up. Shadley hit an RBI single to right field, plating Dukes and giving Middle Tennessee a 7-1 lead.

Neither team scored in the third, but MT added another run in the top of the fourth. Nieves got her second walk of the game and Dukes singled to right center, which allowed Nieves to advance to third. Dever hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Nieves from third and giving Dever four RBI on the day.

MT held the 8-1 lead but Kennesaw State opened its offense up in the bottom of the fourth, tearing the Blue Raiders for six runs on five hits and one error. Toney produced some momentum for the Blue Raiders with a three-run home run in the top of the fifth, extending the Raider lead to 11-7.

The Owls rattled off four runs in the bottom of the inning to knot the game at 11-all heading into the top of the sixth.

Starting the sixth inning, Dever got the free pass to first and Shadley singled to right. Shadley attempted to stretch the play to second but was caught, giving MT its first out of the inning but advancing Dever to third. Next to bat was Cambpell, who laid down the sacrifice bunt and MT once more held the lead 12-11.

KSU again found its offensive stroke scoring three runs against the Blue Raider pitching staff in the bottom of the sixth. Taylor Denton laid down a bunt-single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Following a single by Kara Chambers, Denton advanced to third. With runners on first and third, Chambers stole second and Sara Sikes drew a walk to load the bases for the Owls. Courtney Sutter then tagged a double, scoring all three runs and putting KSU up 14-12

MT did not produce a run in the top of the seventh.

Caitlin McClure was tagged with the loss. Dever, Toney, Nieves, and Whaley each finished with two hits, while Dever, Toney and Whaley had four, three and two RBI, respectively.

The Blue Raiders take on Memphis at 1 p.m. to conclude the first day of the Troy Subway Invitational.

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