WKU scores two late to take 4-2 victory over MT

Laura Dukes hits her third home run of the season

April 16, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - With the bases loaded, a Middle Tennessee (7-37) error and a WKU (29-14-1) single scored the two deciding runs in a 4-2 Western Kentucky victory Wednesday at the Blue Raider Softball Field.

Middle Tennessee outhit WKU 8-7 but three Middle Tennessee errors and seven walks helped get the WKU offense going. Laura Dukes provided the offensive boost for MT, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run home run, her third blast of the season. Senior Nina Dever also added a 2-for-4 performance, while LaRi Mitchell finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk.

Senior Shelby Stinnett received the start for the Blue Raiders, pitching five innings with a career-high five strikeouts. Stinnett allowed one earned run to the Hilltoppers and did not allow a run through the first four innings. Jordyn Fisherback (3-12) tossed the last three innings and allowed three runs with two earned, while earning the loss and striking out one.

After four scoreless innings, WKU put the first run on the board with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the fifth. MT went scoreless in the bottom half before Fisherback pitched a scoreless sixth. Dukes put Middle Tennessee up in the bottom of the sixth after hitting a two-run homer to right center.

The Hilltoppers added a solo run in the seventh to tie the game at 2-all. The Blue Raiders put runners on first and second but stranded both, which forced extra innings. With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, WKU used help from the MT defense to score the first run and added the second run on a single by Preslie Cruce.

The Blue Raiders fought to continue play in the eighth and had a runner on first with one out after a Dukes single. A fielder's choice off the bat of Austyn Whaley would have put runners on second and first, but a close call at second provided the second out of the inning. A liner to the WKU shortstop one batter later ended the game for MT.

View more photos

Middle Tennessee continues plays with two games at Chattanooga April 18-19. The first game of the two-game set is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. (CST) with the concluding game slated for Saturday at 11 a.m. (CST).

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