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MT Softball downed by North Florida 2-0, Alabama 9-1

Toney hits her second home run of the weekend

February 8, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TROY, Ala. - The Middle Tennessee softball team (0-4) closed the second day of the Troy Subway Invitational with two more defeats, losing to North Florida 2-0 and to No. 6/6 Alabama 9-1.

The Blue Raiders had their troubles finding an offensive rhythm in either game but did get help from the pitching staff in game one. Senior Shelby Stinnett pitched six strong innings but surrendered two runs in the first.  Stinnett totaled no earned runs, while striking out four.

Game two positioned Middle Tennessee against one of the most potent offenses in softball. The Crimson Tide were silenced through the first inning, but found that offensive know-how in the second and scored six runs against MT starting pitcher Caitlin McClure. At the start of the third, McClure was replaced by Jordyn Fisherback, who held Alabama scoreless for three innings before surrendering three runs in the top of the sixth. With the margin 9-0 Alabama, Kayla Toney hit a solo home run to right center.

In addition to Toney's home run, only three other Blue Raiders accounted for hits Saturday. Nina Dever and Cheyenne Willis each hit a single in the first game, while Marinna Shadley started game two with a leadoff single up the middle.

Middle Tennessee will conclude the Troy Subway Invitational tomorrow against Northwestern State at noon. Live stats are available by clicking here with updates by following @MT_Softball on Twitter.

Game one:
The Blue Raiders dropped a pitching duel 2-0 to North Florida (3-1) in its first game on the second day of the Troy Subway Invitational. MT found itself as the home team with Stinnett getting her first start of the season. Stinnett pitched all six innings, 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 a different idea, slapping a single up the middle and plating two runners. Stinnett then forced the last batter to pop up.

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 Dever and another by Willis in the second and fourth, respectively.

Game two:
The Blue Raider softball team finished off the second day of the Troy Subway Invitational with a 9-1 defeat by the hands of No. 6/6 Alabama (4-0).

McClure was handed her third loss of the weekend after giving up six runs through two innings pitched. Fisherback provided a bright spot for Middle Tennessee, holding the Alabama offense scoreless for three innings after coming in relief for McClure. The Tide did get to Fisherback in the top of the sixth, putting together a string of hits along with some untimely MT errors to plate three more.

The Blue Raider offense found no rhythm against Alabama pitcher Sydney Littlejohn, who pitched a two-hitter against MT. Middle Tennessee received its lone run on a home run by senior Kayla Toney with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Raiders down 9-0. Toney's home run is her second in as many days after hitting a two-run blast against Kennesaw State in the opener.

The only other Blue Raider hit came from Shadley on a leadoff single to start the game.

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