Softball to play No. 2/4 Tennessee in Mid-State Classic
Game at Ridley Park in Columbia Tenn., at 6 p.m.March 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team (6-22) will play No. 2/4 Tennessee (24-3) Tuesday night at Ridley Park in Columbia, Tenn. The inaugural Mid-State Softball Classic is hosted by the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.
The Blue Raiders earned their first Conference USA win Saturday, taking the second game of a doubleheader against Southern Miss 6-3 in 11 innings. The weekend series ended Sunday with a three-run sixth-inning rally by USM to propel the Golden Eagles to the 5-4 victory and 2-1 in weekend play, winning the first game Saturday 9-2.
In the extra-inning affair Saturday, senior Jordyn Fisherback (3-7) pitched the full 11 innings, setting a single-game career-high. Nina Dever and Austyn Whaley each finished 3-for-6, while Whaley hit her second career home run in the 11th.
Kayla Toney tagged a solo shot to right field to tie the game at 3-all. Neither team scored again until MT's three-run 11th inning, which started with a RBI double by Lauren Riddell and concluded with a two-run homerun by Whaley.
Over the three-games, Whaley led the Blue Raiders with .583 (7-for-12) batting average, while tallying a team-high seven hits and 12 total bases. Dever completed the weekend 6-of-13 for a .462 batting average with two doubles, while Marinna Shadley added four hits (4-for-10) to round out the Blue Raiders with a .400 average or higher. Toney had a team-best three RBI, while Whaley, Nieves and Dukes all had two.
"It was great to get our first C-USA win and it would have been better if we were able to get number two Sunday," said Middle Tennessee Head Coach Jeff Breeden. "Our young kids need to be finishers and we are looking forward to the opportunity to compete against Tennessee Tuesday."
No. 2/4 Tennessee comes into the contest with Middle Tennessee 24-3 overall and 11-1 at neutral site games in 2014. UT is fresh off a 2-1 series with Arkansas, where the Lady Vols beat the Razorbacks 9-2 March 14 and 8-0 in six innings March 15. The lone loss came in the first game of the doubleheader Saturday in a 5-4 decision.
Madison Shipman leads the Lady Vols with 36 hits for a team-best .434 batting average, while knocking in seven home runs. Five more Tennessee batters boast a .300 batting average or greater with Melissa Davin holding a .333 average and a team-high 24 RBI.
Ellen Renfroe leads UT with a perfect 15-0 record on the 2014 season with a team-low 0.49 ERA. Renfroe has faced 351 batters, while striking out 124 to only 13 walks. Rainey Gaffin (4-2) and Erin Gabriel (4-0) each add four wins to Tennessee's record and have totaled 36 strikeouts each in 2014.
Live stats will be available by visiting GoBlueRaiders.com and updates by following @MT_Softball on Twitter.
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More Softball NewsJul 21, 2014: Three incoming MT players named All-State
Jun 27, 2014: Muñoz, Chocallo latest additions to 2014-15 recruiting class
Jun 11, 2014: Laura Dukes earns C-USA Spirit of Service award
May 19, 2014: Blue Raider Softball Field gaining indoor batting cages
May 8, 2014: Dukes, Nieves named to C-USA All-Academic Team
May 7, 2014: Dukes selected First-Team All-Conference USA