MT sweeps Belmont, 3-1 and 4-3
Blue Raiders continues play May 3-4 against FAUMay 1, 2014 · @MTAthletics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A two-run ninth inning and a one-run eighth inning helped Middle Tennessee (10-42) sweep the two-game set against Belmont (12-34), 3-1 and 4-3, at the E.S. Rose Park Thursday evening.
In the last non-conference doubleheader of the season, Middle Tennessee was led by a quartet of Blue Raiders, who finished with multiple hits. Lauren Riddell finished the second game 2-for-3 with one RBI, while Nina Dever and Austyn Whaley each finished 2-for-4. Whaley also added four walks to advance her season totals to 30, tying her for second with Muriel Ledbetter on the MT single-season walks record list. Laura Dukes was the lone Blue Raider to tally three hits or more, finishing 3-for-7 with one walk.
In the first contest of the double-dip, Shelby Stinnett (4-16) tossed a career-high nine innings, while allowing seven hits with one run and two strikeouts. Each side exchanged runs in the second and the score held at 1-all until the ninth inning.
With a runner placed on second, Dukes started the inning with a double and advanced to third but the lead runner was called out on the play. Dever singled to center one batter later to score Dukes and give MT the go-ahead run. A Whaley single allowed MT to have runners on first and third and a double-steal attempt allowed MT to plate one more and put the Blue Raider advantage at 3-1.
Stinnett pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the first game against the Bruins.
In the second contest, MT again was aided by a strong pitching performance by junior Caitlin McClure (3-13), who also tallied a career-best eight-innings pitched. McClure dueled with Belmont's best, Taylor Moon, tossing a complete game, while allowing three runs on five hits.
Belmont jumped out to the early two-run lead in the first but MT responded by plating two runs in the second. After three-scoreless innings, each side traded runs again in the sixth to tie the score at 3-3. A scoreless seventh pushed the game to extras once more.
After placing a runner on second, MT led off with a bunt single and worked itself into a first-and-third situation, which allowed Taylor Lee to score from third for the deciding run. Like the first game, the Bruins went down in order, completing the two-game sweep.
Middle Tennessee continues play May 3-4 with a three-game series against Florida Atlantic. The series marks the final Conference USA games of the regular season for MT with Sunday's contest featuring a senior celebration.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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May 19, 2014: Blue Raider Softball Field gaining indoor batting cages
May 8, 2014: Dukes, Nieves named to C-USA All-Academic Team