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MT drops contest to No. 15 Tulsa, 9-4

Tulsa completes the series sweep

April 27, 2014 · @MTAthletics

TULSA, Okla. - Laura Dukes led Middle Tennessee (8-42, 2-18 C-USA) with three RBI in a 9-4 loss to No. 15 Tulsa (45-5, 18-2 C-USA), concluding the last Conference USA road series of 2014 at the Collins Family Softball Complex Sunday.

Dukes led the efforts for the Blue Raiders, finishing 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks and extending her MT single-season record total to 33. McKena Miller, LaRi Mitchell and Samantha Nieves each tallied a hit in the defeat, while Miller notched her 10th RBI of the season.

The Blue Raiders opened the contest with a Mitchell walk, one of six for Middle Tennessee on the day. Two batters later, Mitchell ended up on third with two outs. Dukes tagged her fifth home run of the season and 16th of her career over the right field fence for the two-run lead.

Tulsa responded by plating five runs against starting MT pitcher Shelby Stinnett (3-15). The Golden Hurricane tagged five hits in the inning, which included three doubles. TU added two runs in the third inning and two runs in the fifth to put the Blue Raiders at the 9-2 deficit and on the brink of its second shortened contest in the series.

Neither side scored in the sixth and Middle Tennessee found its offensive rhythm against Tulsa relief pitcher Bailey Erwin. Down to three outs, MT loaded the bases after a Kayla Toney walk. Dukes then earned her second free pass of the day, which scored MT's first run of the inning. Miller proceeded to hit into a fielder's choice but all MT runners were called safe, scoring the final run of the game. A pop up in the next at bat ended the rally attempt for the Blue Raiders.

Stinnett earned the loss after pitching three innings and allowing seven earned runs. Caitlin McClure pitched in relief, holding TU to two runs on four hits with one strikeout. Freshman Austyn Whaley extended her reached-base streak to 18 games after receiving a walk in the fourth inning.

Middle Tennessee continues competition May 1 with a doubleheader at Belmont with a 3:30 p.m. slated first pitch.

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