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MT earns 5-3 win over LA Tech

Dukes finishes weekend 8-for-8

March 23, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Solid pitching by Shelby Stinnett and Caitlin McClure with an early offensive spurt propelled Middle Tennessee (7-25, 2-7 C-USA) to a 5-3 win over Louisiana Tech (11-20, 2-7 C-USA) Sunday. The Blue Raiders notched their seventh win of 2014, matching the overall win total from 2013.

Stinnett (2-10) started the third contest of the series between the two C-USA foes, tossing 4.1 innings with six hits, three earned runs and two walks for the win. McClure made her appearance in the fifth inning with one out and pitched the final 2.2 innings, while allowing only two hits.

Junior Laura Dukes led the Blue Raiders for the third straight game at the plate, going 2-for-2 Sunday with two intentional walks and two RBI. Dukes finished the weekend 8-for-8 at the plate with three walks and four RBI. LaRi Mitchell went 2-for-3 and notched an RBI triple in the first inning. McKena Miller added two hits (2-for-3), while Cheyenne Willis added an RBI on a single in the first.

"Dukes has been tremendous all week and I think our pitching allowed us to win a game," said Head Coach Jeff Breeden. "Our pitching was solid and didn't allow a big inning, and we hit the ball well enough to win."

On a windy day in Murfreesboro, the Blue Raiders scored three runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning. LA Tech responded by scoring one run in the first and second innings and added a final run in the fifth.

In the first inning with MT down 1-0, LA Tech walked the opening two batters on four pitches to set up a scoring opportunity for Middle Tennessee. Kayla Toney laid down a bunt single to load the bases and Dukes tallied two RBI on a double to left center. One out and two batters later, Willis singled through the left side for the third run of the inning.

Miller started the second inning with a leadoff single and advanced to second as the LA Tech fielders charged towards the ball that had gone into foul territory. Mitchell then laced a triple to the left center fence and scored on a fielding error by the LA Tech shortstop one batter later.

"It was a conference win, which is huge but we were disappointed in the way yesterday turned out because we thought we should have won that last game as well," Breeden said. "Our kids fought hard the whole game and they brought a good attitude with them when they came to the park. Good things happened to us."

Middle Tennessee returns to action Wednesday with a non-conference game at Jacksonville State with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

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