MT hosts WKU Wednesday for pink game

Blue Raiders look to avenge April 2 10-4 loss

April 15, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team (7-36) hosts WKU (28-14-1) for its annual pink game Wednesday at the Blue Raider Softball Field with a 5 p.m. first pitch.

The midweek contest features the Blue Raiders wearing pink uniforms in support of cancer awareness with free pink lanyards, wristbands and the opportunity to win pink Blue Raider apparel.

MT and WKU will clash for the second time this season. Middle Tennessee traveled to Bowling Green, Ky., April 2 for a single contest, losing the game with the Hilltoppers, 10-4. The Blue Raiders hold the 9-8 series advantage when playing in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and last won a home contest May 4, 2011, beating the Hilltoppers, 3-2.

Middle Tennessee plays at home after a three-game series against UTEP April 12-13. In El Paso, Texas, MT lost three contests, which includes a doubleheader Saturday, 5-3 and 13-2. In the final game Sunday, the Blue Raiders scored two runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning. The Miners countered with back-to-back three-run innings in the fourth and fifth, taking the lead for good en route to the 6-5 win.

The Blue Raiders were led on the weekend by LaRi Mitchell, who finished 4-for-9 (.444) at the plate and 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts. Laura Dukes finished 3-for-8 (.375) with two RBI, one double and two walks. In Sunday's game, Dukes drew one walk, which tied her for the MT single-season walks record.

In the eight games since the April 2 matchup, WKU is 4-4 with wins over Belmont, Mississippi Valley State and ULM twice.

The Hilltoppers tally a team batting average of .276 and are led by Olivia Watkins, who has a team-high .473 batting average and has been successful on 44-of-47 stolen base attempts. Kelsie Mattox is second on the team with a .319 average and 34 RBI, while Amanda Thomas leads the Hilltoppers with 41 RBI. Thomas tallied six RBI against MT this season, including a grand slam that put WKU up 9-4 April 2, while Watkins finished the contest 4-for-4 with a stolen base.

Emily Rousseau and Hannah Miniard continue to control the circle for WKU. Rousseau has a 15-10 record and a team-high 172 and two-thirds innings pitched with a 2.47 ERA. Miniard has a 2.83 ERA with a 12-4 record and four shutouts.

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