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Campbell, Radford each drop MT softball 6-3

Early runs create deficit to large for Blue Raiders

February 21, 2014 · @MTAthletics

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee (4-8) dropped its first game against Campbell (7-4) 6-3 and concluded the day with a 6-3 loss to Radford (2-1) to start the Frost Classic. 

In the opener against Campbell, MT starting pitcher Shelby Stinnett allowed five runs in the first three innings to create a deficit that MT did not recover from. The Fighting Camels put one run across the plate in the first and added another four in the bottom of the third.

CU started the scoring in the third with a Ericka Nesbit RBI-triple to right center and a sacrifice fly to right field for run number two. With the bases empty Campbell's Milly Martinet hit a single to right field then Courtney Kingler launched a two-run home run to left field. Campbell added one last run in the bottom of the sixth on a double to left center.

Down 6-0, MT started to shake up its lineup, which provided a much needed spark for the Blue Raiders. Nina Dever had a lead off pop up to the shortstop, but then pinch hitter Katie Brown received the walk. Lauren Riddell, the second pinch hitter of the inning, hit a ground out to the CU catcher, which allowed Brown to advance to third. McKena Miller drew the second walk of the inning to have runners on first and third with two outs. Kayla Toney then smacked a three-run home run. One more walk and Campbell replaced its starting pitcher Katie Baker with Morgan Eisenga, who recorded the last out and the save.

Jordyn Fisherback came in relief of Stinnett, tossing the final 3.0 innings while allowing only one earned run with three strike outs. Fisherback started game two against Radford in a postponed contest that was originally slated for 10 a.m. She made it through 2.2 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs with three earned against the Highlanders.

In the first inning against RU, MT had one out and runners on second and third after a stolen base by Samantha Nieves. Laura Dukes tallied her first two RBI of the day on a double to left center.

Radford responded in the bottom of the first, hitting back-to-back home runs by Becky Mantel and Julie Gardner to tie the score at two-all. RU added another run in the bottom of the second to take the 3-2 advantage heading into the top of the third.

With two outs, Nieves doubled to left center to give MT its first base runner of the inning. Dukes then slapped a double on a 2-2 count to left field for her third RBI. Radford scored again in the third on a triple to center field and two more in the fifth on back-to-back doubles.

Caitlin McClure pitched 1.0 innings in relief and gave up two runs. Stinnett closed out the final 2.1 innings for the Blue Raiders, holding the Highlanders with out a hit.

Dukes and Toney each tallied three RBI on the day, with Dukes finishing 2-for-5 through the two games. LaRi Mitchell had the best day at the plate among the remaining Blue Raiders, going 3-for-5 with two walks.

Middle Tennessee continues play tomorrow against Ohio at 10 a.m. and Northwestern State at 12:30 p.m.

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