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Softball claims 12-7 victory over Northwestern State

Mitchell has career-high four RBI, Shadley named to All-Tournament Team

February 9, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TROY, Ala. - LaRi Mitchell provided a much needed lift off the bench for the Blue Raiders, totaling a team-high four RBI on the way to helping Middle Tennessee (1-4) defeat Northwestern State (1-4) 12-7 to end the Troy Subway Invitational.

In a total team effort, the Blue Raiders survived a late scare against the NWLA Lady Demons in the fifth inning en route to their first win this season. Shelby Stinnett started the game for Middle Tennessee and cruised through three innings with three strikeouts. Starting the fourth Stinnett, allowed a three-run home run to Northwestern State's Cassandra Barefield and was replaced by Jordyn Fisherback.

Fisherback pitched the remaining four innings, giving up four runs in the fifth, which allowed the Demons to tie the score at 7-all. The Blue Raider offense responded to the NWLA threat in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five runs to comfortably put MT in front 12-7.

Stinnett started the contest holding NWLA hitless through three innings, including striking out the side in the second. Northwestern State's starting pitcher Shelby Sells held Middle Tennessee without a run through the first two innings, before the Blue Raiders scored the most runs in an inning this season.

Kayla Toney started the seven-run second inning off with an RBI-double with two runners on. Samantha Nieves added to the Blue Raider lead with a two-RBI single up the middle and advanced to second on the throwing error.

Nina Dever put the MT lead at 4-0, after reaching on a fielding error by the NWLA second baseman. Following a fielder's choice and a walk by Cheyenne Willis, MT had the bases loaded with Mitchell up to bat. Mitchell lifted a shot to left center and cleared the bases with a triple.

Stinnett started off the top of the fourth and allowed two runners and a proceeding home run to the Lady Demons. Fisherback came in following the three-run shot and shut down the rally attempt, getting the final three outs of the inning.

One inning later, Fisherback found herself in trouble and gave up four runs, three earned to the Demons. NWLA totaled four runs in the fifth on three hits and left the go ahead base runner on third.

MT quickly found itself back at square-one with a tied ball-game. Dever popped up to lead off the bottom of the fifth and had the Blue Raiders with one out early. Austyn Whaley received the free pass and Willis hit a double to right center, giving MT runners at second and third with the lone out.

Mitchell slapped a single to right field for her fourth RBI of the day. Freshman McKena Miller hit a single to left field and cleared the bases to score two more. Miller was able to score on the play as well to give the Blue Raiders a four-run cushion.

Later in the fifth with two outs and runners at first and third, Middle Tennessee called a double-steal, which plated Shadley for the Blue Raiders final run.

Mitchell had a career-high four-RBI day, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 and tying her career-best three hits against Evansville April 10, 2013. Nieves finished 1-of-3 at the dish with two RBI.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action Feb. 14-16 at the UCF/Holiday Inn Classic in Orlando, Fla., starting with James Madison Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Shadley named to All-Tournament Team:
Shadley earned her first honors as a member of the Middle Tennessee softball team, being named to the Troy Subway Invitational All-Tournament Team.

The freshman led the Blue Raiders with six hits in the three-day event and finished with a .353 batting average (6-for-17). Shadley started all five games at third base for Middle Tennessee and had her best game against Kennesaw State Friday. She finished 3-for-4 and had her lone RBI of the tournament against the Owls.

Shadley collected another two hits versus Memphis and closed the first day of the tournament hitting 5-for-7. In the Blue Raiders 12-7 win over Northwestern State Sunday, she stole home to give Middle Tennessee the last run of the game.

Troy Subway Invitational All-Tournament Team:
Erica Davis, Troy
Jaycee Affeldt, Troy
Haylie McCleney, Alabama
Danae Hays, Alabama
Marissa Thomas, UNF
Cortney Radke, UNF
Courtney Sutter, Kennesaw State
Lijah Hargrove, Memphis
Cassandra Barefield, Northwestern State
Marinna Shadley, Middle Tennessee

Tournament MVP
Leslie Jury, Alabama

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