Softball continues season at Frost Classic
MT on a three-game win streak heading into tournamentFebruary 20, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team is traveling to its third tournament of the season, competing at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn., Friday through Sunday. The Blue Raiders will play five teams over the three days with nine teams in attendance, which include Northwestern State, Austin Peay, Butler, Campbell, Radford, Tennessee Tech, Ohio, Toledo and Middle Tennessee.
Middle Tennessee opens its schedule Friday against Radford at 10 a.m. and concludes day one against Campbell at 3 p.m. Saturday has the Blue Raiders playing currently undefeated Ohio (8-0) at 10 a.m. and Northwestern State to follow at 12:30 p.m. Sunday features the Toledo Rockets at 10 a.m. to close out the tournament.
MT is fresh off the UCF/Holiday Inn Classic in Orlando, Fla, where it posted a 3-2 record. The first tournament with a .500 winning percentage or higher since the Lady Bison Classic in Nashville, Tenn., March 10-11, 2012. The Blue Raiders capped the tournament with three straight wins over Illinois-Chicago (3-2) and Florida A&M Saturday (6-5) and again Sunday (3-1).
Against Illinois-Chicago Saturday, MT jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. With runners on second and third, Samantha Nieves dropped the sacrifice bunt to score run number one. Two batters later Cheyenne Willis laid down a bunt single to score the second run. Caitlin McClure pitched 5.0 innings, while giving up two earned runs before Shelby Stinnett came in for the save, her first of the season. Stinnett pitched the final 2.0 innings, giving up one hit with no walks and one strikeout. MT added the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth, when Nieves singled through the left side and Laura Dukes hit the RBI-double to score Nieves.
To close out Saturday, the Blue Raiders played Florida A&M, beating the Rattlers 6-5. The Blue Raiders led the game for six innings before the Rattlers plated three runs in the top of the seventh to take the 5-4 lead. MT did not back down, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Nieves doubled down the right field line to give MT its first walk-off victory of the season.
The final game of the weekend came against the Rattlers again Sunday. Neither team found a way to score through the first four innings until MT added a run in the top of the fifth and then both teams went quietly in the sixth. An opening walk in the seventh to Marinna Shadley and a fielder's choice allowed the Blue Raiders to have a runner on second with only one out. McKena Miller and Kayla Toney hit back-to-back doubles to score two more runs for Middle Tennessee to take the 3-0 advantage. FAMU threatened in the bottom of the inning, but put only one run on the board.
Middle Tennessee closed the tournament on a three-game win streak, its first since March 21-25, 2013. The Blue Raiders won a total of four games in the previous stretch, with two wins over Evansville and ULM.
Admission for the Frost Classic is $8 per day and live stats are available by visiting here. Follow @MT_Softball for updates throughout the tournament.
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