MT and Belmont to play a doubleheader Thursday

Last non-conference games of 2014

April 30, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team (7-42) travels to Belmont (12-32) for its last non-conference doubleheader of the season Thursday with the first pitch slated for 3:30 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.

MT and Belmont have previously played 23 times with the Blue Raiders holding the 18-5 advantage. Middle Tennessee is also 7-2 when games are played at Belmont. In the last five meetings between the two schools, MT boasts a 4-1 record and last played at Belmont Feb. 22, 2006, winning the contest, 4-3.

The 2014 squad is fresh off its last-road Conference USA series against then-No. 15 Tulsa April 26-27. The Blue Raiders dropped all three contests, losing the doubleheader Saturday, 8-0 (5) and 6-1. MT had its most productive day at the plate in the series finale, scoring four runs against TU but ultimately losing the contest, 9-4.

In the finale Sunday, Laura Dukes notched her fifth home run of the season and finished 1-for-2 with three RBI. Dukes also tallied three walks on the weekend to put her 2014 total at 33 free passes, breaking the Middle Tennessee single-season walks record of 30, which was previously set by Muriel Ledbetter in 2006.

Through the 30 non-conference games in the 2014 slate, LaRi Mitchell leads MT with a .314 average, while being a successful 16-for-18 on stolen base attempts. Kayla Toney (.310) and Dukes (.300) are the only other two to have a .300 average or greater. Toney also has a team-high 18 RBI with eight doubles, while Dukes comes a close second with 16 RBI but leads the team with 18 walks.

Belmont hosts MT with a 12-32 record and is 1-9 in its last 10 contests. The Bruins recently played at Jacksonville State April 26-27 and were outscored 22-0 in the three-game series.

As a team the Bruins come into Thursday's contests with a .236 batting average and are led by Kat Hollingsworth's .344 average. Hollingsworth is tied with Jessica Wilson for the team lead with 22 RBI. Wilson along with Hollingsworth are two of four Bruins to have started all 44 contests with Kirbie Ferrell and Mia Vierra the others.

In the circle, Belmont has tallied a 4.46 team ERA with Taylor Moon taking primary pitching responsibilities. Moon leads the team in innings pitched (119.2), appearances (28), games started (16), complete games (8) and strikeouts (61). She has tallied a 7-12 record while Brittanie Albright (2-9) and Mia Vierra (2-6) are tied for second on the Bruins staff in victories.

Live stats will be available by visiting GoBlueRaiders.com and live video will be available through the OVC Digital Network.

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