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Blue Raiders split games with Samford 9-7, 6-1

Fisherback pitches a complete game to help MT to 6-1 victory

February 25, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Jordyn Fisherback pitched a complete game en route to a 6-1 victory in the second game of a double header between Middle Tennessee (5-12) and Samford (13-4) after the Blue Raiders dropped an extra inning affair in game one 9-7.

Fisherback (2-3) pitched 7.0 innings against the Bulldogs in game two, while allowing only six hits and one home run in the top of the seventh for Samford's lone run. Offensively the Blue Raiders had little trouble finding rhythm in both games and were aided by the SU pitching staff, who tossed a total of nine walks in the second game alone. Nina Dever finished the day 3-for-8 with three doubles and one RBI. Laura Dukes went 1-for-5 with a home run and three walks. Samantha Nieves tallied two hits with a home run, while LaRi Mitchell received four walks through the two games.

Middle Tennessee started the second game of the doubleheader after a heartbreaking nine inning loss to Samford that eventually saw a three-run blast decide the final score. The Blue Raiders scored their first run on a bases loaded walk in the second.

MT found its way to another bases loaded opportunity with no outs in the fourth and earned another four pitch walk to Austyn Whaley for the second free run of the game. Miller came back up to the plate one batter later and hit a single up the middle for RBI number two.

The Blue Raiders put three more runs across in the fifth and started the inning off with a solo home run by Dukes. Following Dukes, Willis received her second walk of the day and Dever reached safely on a throwing error by the pitcher, who was attempting to get Willis out at second. A passed ball later, MT had runners on second and third, plating the second run of the inning on a ground out by Marinna Shadley. Freshman Austyn Whaley hit a fly ball to left field that was just deep enough to plate Dever from third for the Blue Raiders final run of the day.

Fisherback faced Samford's Hannah Taylor with a 6-0 lead to finish off the seventh and surrendered a solo shot to left field, her second home run of the day. Megan Dowdy, Madison Dickey and Taylor finished 2-for-3 at the plate to account for all six hits by the Bulldogs.

Dever finished the game with two hits, including a double to left center in the second and another double in the fourth. Miller and Whaley each tallied two RBI, while Mitchell, Willis, and Whaley all received two walks.

The first game was a much closer contest between the two schools from bordering states. MT took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Mitchell received her first walk of the day and proceeded to steal second in the next at bat. One batter later Nieves doubled to left center for run number one and scored two batters later on a Willis single to right center.

Samford scored a run in the top of the second and again in the sixth to tie the game at 2-all before MT added another run in the bottom half of six. Shadley hit a leadoff double down the right field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Whaley. A Miller ground out to the Samford shortstop allowed MT to take back the 3-2 lead.

The Bulldogs plated two runs in the top of the seventh and the Blue Raiders tied it once more on a leadoff home run by Nieves over the left field fence. Each team scored a run in the eighth inning to force at least one more.
After a botched catch by MT, Samford had runners at the corners with no outs in the ninth. Abby Sweeney hit a single to left field for run number one and then Taylor came to the plate, lifting a home run over the left center fence to put the Bulldogs up 9-5.

Middle Tennessee added two runs back in the ninth. One run on a double by Dever and another when Dever raced along the base paths after a throwing error by the Bulldogs catcher.

Shelby Stinnett earned the loss in game one, pitching the final 2.2 innings and allowing five runs with three earned. Caitlin McClure received the start and registered 6.1 innings, while surrendering four earned runs with two strikeouts.

Middle Tennessee continues play Friday against Troy at the Eagle Classic hosted by Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga.

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