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North Texas drops MT in C-USA action 5-1, 8-1

Series concludes Sunday at noon

March 8, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - North Texas (15-5) handed Middle Tennessee (5-19) its first two losses in Conference USA action 5-1 and 8-1 at the Blue Raider Softball Field Saturday.

In a sluggish offensive day for the Blue Raiders, Laura Dukes and Samantha Nieves each tallied three hits with Dukes going 3-for-6 and Nieves 3-for-8. McKena Miller (2-for-4), LaRI Mitchell (2-for-7) and Kayla Toney (2-for-7) each tallied multiple hits for MT in the doubleheader.

In the first game of the day, NT took the 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a single down the right field line by Jordan Terry. Each side went scoreless in the second and Jordyn Fisherback (2-6) again held North Texas scoreless in the top of the third.

Nina Dever led off the bottom of the third with a single through the left side and two batters later found herself charging towards home on a Samantha Nieves single to left field. The throw from the NT left fielder missed the mark and allowed Dever to safely slide in for MT's lone run of the game.

Fisherback and NT's Ashley Kirk each pitched a scoreless fourth and fifth, holding the opposing team to two hits and one hit , respectively. Three batters into the sixth, North Texas had runners on first and second. Brooke Foster came to the dish and hit a line drive home run to dead center to help the Mean Green take the 4-1 lead.

With the wind out of the Blue Raiders sails, Kirk shutdown MT in the next two innings and North Texas added a final run in the top of the seventh on a single to center. Fisherback received the loss, pitching the full 7.0 innings while surrendering 11 hits with one strikeout.

In the second game of the double-dip, the Mean Green scored in the first four innings to take the commanding 6-0 lead. Starting Middle Tennessee pitcher Shelby Stinnett (1-9) pitched the first 1.2 innings and allowed four runs on NT's five hits, while Caitlin McClure finished the last 5.1 innings and also surrendered four runs.

North Texas had its largest inning of the game in the second, scoring three runs with two coming on a Foster double to left center. To start the third inning Schoblocher hit a solo shot to right field, placing the score at 5-0 NT, before the Mean Green plated one more on a Dani Hoff double in the fifth.

With the 6-0 lead, NT scored two more in the top of the sixth and forced the Blue Raiders to avoid the early 8-0 defeat. After an opening out, three straight singles had the bases loaded for Middle Tennessee. Cheyenne Willis then hit into a fielder's choice, which scored Nieves from third.

Each side went scoreless in the seventh and Miller and Mitchell each hit singles, attempting to provide the late inning rally against the Mean Green's Lauren Poole to no avail. Poole pitched the complete game and allowed nine hits with two strikeouts.

Middle Tennessee concludes the three-game series with C-USA foe North Texas tomorrow at noon.

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