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North Texas powers by Middle Tennessee 11-5

Kayla Toney hits two-run home run in third

March 9, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The North Texas (16-5, 3-0 C-USA) offense scored a series-best 11 runs to stop Middle Tennessee's (5-20, 0-3 C-USA) attempt at avoiding the three-game sweep Sunday, beating the Blue Raiders 11-5 at the Blue Raider Softball Field.

Five MT hitters accounted for the six hits the Blue Raiders produced Sunday with freshman McKena Miller finishing a team-best 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI. Kayla Toney tallied her lone hit on a two-run home run in the third inning to score the Blue Raiders first runs of the day. Shelby Stinnett (1-10) received the start and pitched a total of 5.0 innings while surrendering four earned runs with five walks.

The Mean Green offense went down scoreless in the top of the first and MT followed suit in the bottom half. To start the second, Taylor Schoblocher needed one pitch to put NT ahead, lifting a solo shot over the left field fence. Two batters later North Texas added another run on a Jamie Miller triple to right center that scooted all the way to the fence.

The Mean Green scored their largest inning of the three-game series in the top of the third, plating five runs on only three hits. The last two runs of the inning came on a Spencer Ferrell single up the middle. With only one out NT still had a chance to plate more, but Stinnett forced a line out and a pop up for out two and three, respectively.

With North Texas holding the 7-0 lead, the Blue Raiders needed a spark and Toney delivered. After a opening ground out and a Samantha Nieves walk, Toney lifted her 18th career home run down the right field line. Toney's home run moves her into fourth on the Middle Tennessee career home run list.

Each side went scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings and North Texas scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to push the advantage to 9-2. In the bottom half, MT had its best change to make a dent in the Mean Green lead. Four batters into the inning, Taylor Lee hit a slow-rolling single to the first baseman, which loaded the bases for the Blue Raiders. Austyn Whaley came to the plate next and earned the walk for run number one. Nina Dever then laced a single up the middle, which scored Cheyenne Willis from third. Miller capped off the Blue Raiders' scoring on a fielder's choice to the shortstop one batter later.

The Mean Green scored two more runs in the seventh to create the final 11-5 score. The Blue Raiders finished the contest with four errors, while North Texas committed only one. Ashley Kirk (10-2) earned her second win of the series after throwing the first four innings, while allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts.

Middle Tennessee will continue play March 15-16, traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., to play Southern Miss in another three-game C-USA series.

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