MT softball falls in 2-0 pitcher duel

North Florida scores two early to defeat Blue Raiders

February 8, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TROY, ALA. - The Middle Tennessee softball team (0-3) dropped a pitching duel 2-0 to North Florida (3-1) in its first game on the second day of the Troy Subway Invitational.

The Blue Raiders opened the third game on the weekend as the home team with Shelby Stinnett getting her first start of the season. Stinnett pitched all six innings for the Middle Tennessee, striking out four while allowing two runs with none earned.

The North Florida Ospreys opened up the first frame with a single down the left field line by Danica Mandarano. The next UNF batter ground back to Stinnett and advanced Mandarano to second. A fielding error allowed North Florida to have runners on first and third and a proceeding ground out moved the runner to second.

With two outs and first base open UNF's Ashley Holton was walked to have force outs at every base. Ashia Kerr had different ideas, slapping a single up the middle and plating two runners. Stinnett then forced the last batter to pop up to Samantha Nieves at short.

Stinnett closed out the game, allowing only three more hits through the final five innings. The Blue Raiders committed two errors and equally had only two hits, one by Nina Dever and another by Cheyenne Willis in the second and fourth, respectively.

Middle Tennessee had its best chance to score in the second and fourth innings. Dever hit a single up the middle in the second and advanced to third, but was stranded on a final ground out to the second baseman.

In the fourth, Dukes received her second walk of the day and Willis singled to right center. With runners on first and second, the Blue Raiders hit into a fielder's choice, which took out the lead runner. The next batter struck out swinging to end the MT threat.

North Florida's Cortney Radke had the start against the Blue Raiders and improved to 2-0 on the year. Radke has 19 strikeouts through two games and has a 0.47 ERA.

Middle Tennessee plays No. 6/6 Alabama at 7:30 p.m. Live stats area available by clicking here and updates are provided by following @MT_Softball on Twitter.

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