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MT at Jacksonville State Wednesday

Laura Dukes looks to continue hot streak

March 25, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee (7-25) makes a mid-week trip to Jacksonville, Ala., to play a non-conference game against Jacksonville State (19-8) Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Blue Raiders completed a three-game series with Louisiana Tech March 22-23 with MT winning the final contest Sunday 5-3. Shelby Stinnett (2-10) earned the win for MT and pitched the first 4.1 innings, while surrendering three runs. Caitlin McClure tossed the final 2.2 innings and allowed only two hits with no runs.

Laura Dukes finished a perfect week for the Blue Raiders, going 9-for-9 at the plate with six walks, six RBI, four doubles and one home run. Duke's numbers led to a 1.778 slugging percentage with a 1.000 on-base percentage. She was intentionally walked three times through the four games, which included a free pass against Ellen Renfroe and No. 3 Tennessee.

Dukes is one of four Blue Raiders to have started all 32 games with Kayla Toney, McKena Miller and Samantha Nieves being the others. Dukes has a team-best .407 batting average, while Toney has tallied a .324 average with a team-high 24 RBI and 60 total bases. LaRi Mitchell swiped another base in the March 23 contest against LA Tech to elevate her to 17-for-19 in stolen bases on the season.

Jacksonville State is 19-8 overall and 6-3 at home in 2014. The Gamecocks are 2-3 in their last five games, which includes a 21-2 loss to Conference USA member UAB March 18. JSU holds the 9-7 series lead over Middle Tennessee and the series is tied at 3-3 when games are played in Jacksonville, Ala.

Sara Borders leads the Gamecocks with a .482 (41-for-85) batting average with 30 RBI, nine home runs and eight doubles. Six other JSU players boast a .300 average or higher. Kalee Tabor is second on the team with 23 RBI and seven home runs, while Taylor Sloan and Ella Denes are tied for second on the team with 29 hits each.

Tiffany Harbin (7-4) has tossed 65.1 innings with 70 strike outs for JSU this season, leading to a 3.43 ERA through 13 games with 12 starts. Logan Green (4-2) and Casey Akenberger (4-2) are tied for second on the team with four wins with Green tossing 41.2 innings and Akenberger 26.1.

The Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville State contest is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., and updates are available by following @MT_Softball on Twitter.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.