49ers Drop Blue Raiders 3-1, 10-5

Willis finishes with three RBI

March 30, 2014 · @MTAthletics

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Middle Tennessee (7-28, 2-9 C-USA) dropped a doubleheader Sunday at Charlotte (12-15, 4-7 C-USA), losing the first game 3-1 and the second game 10-5 on a windy day at the D.L. Phillips Softball Complex.

MT closed the series with Charlotte playing two games instead of the original three-game series after rain changed Saturday's schedule.

Offensively Middle Tennessee was led by Cheyenne Willis, who finished 2-for-7 with three RBI. Laura Dukes finished the day 3-for-4 with three walks, elevating her season walk total to a team-best 26. Nina Dever tallied two hits, while going 2-for-4 in game one and Samantha Nieves finished 3-for-4. In the second game, Dever went 1-for-3 with one RBI and Kayla Toney finished 3-for-3 with an RBI.

All three pitchers saw action for MT with Caitlin McClure (2-8) getting the start in game one. McClure tossed the first three innings, surrendering three runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Shelby Stinnett pitched in both games, throwing the final three innings of game one and holding Charlotte scoreless.

Jordyn Fisherback tossed the first two-thirds of the first inning in game two and was relieved by Stinnett (2-11), who closed out the final five and one-third innings. Fisherback allowed four earned runs on five hits and Stinnett surrendered the final six runs, while striking out three.

Middle Tennessee scored its lone run of the first game in the third inning. With one out Nieves tallied one of her three hits, smacking a single up the middle. Nieves advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored one pitch later on a Dukes single to right field.

In the bottom of the third, Charlotte centerfielder Jessica Plemmons notched a two-run home run to left center. The 3-1 margin stayed through the final four innings with neither team mustering offense on the cold and windy day.

In the second game of the day with temperatures rising, MT scored the first run of the game on a Dever double to left field, but gave up four runs to the Niners in the bottom half. The second inning was scoreless for both sides and the third inning was the largest offensively for the Blue Raiders.

After back-to-back singles by Nieves and Toney, Dukes earned the free pass to first, loading the bases for the Blue Raiders. Two batters later, Willis came to the dish with two outs and laced a three-run double to right center.

The tied game didn't last long as Charlotte tallied one run in the fourth, taking a 5-4 lead. LaRi Mitchell started the fourth with a double to left center and scored on a Toney single to center. Charlotte added the go-ahead run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. After the Blue Raiders went scoreless in the top of the sixth, the 49ers scored four runs and jumped in front 10-5.

On the day, Middle Tennessee left 22 runners on base compared to Charlotte's 13, while the Niners tallied 22 hits to MT's 19.

Middle Tennessee travels to WKU Wednesday to complete a five-game road swing with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

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