Photo by Brent Beerends / MT Athletics
Middle Tennessee (5-1) started their weekend in the Lion Classic II with an 8-4 against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks (3-2).
Junior Cori Jennings took the mound for the Raiders. She pitched a complete game, allowing four runs off nine hits and struck out two batters in her third win of the season.
Southeast Missouri came out swinging, putting up a hree-run first inning to take the early lead.
The Blue Raiders fought back in the bottom of the second and took advantage of a Redhawk mistake to start the comeback. After a Dani Munoz walk and a Morgan Harris infield single, the Redhawks dropped a pop fly at second base to score the two runners to cut the deficit to one run.
After Southeast Missouri had a scoreless top of the third, Austyn Whaley hit a lead-off homer in the bottom half to tie the game at three.
The game remained knotted going into the bottom of the sixth. The Blue Raiders put two runners on with two outs before Keely McGee hit the go-ahead three-run home run to give Middle Tennessee a 6-3 lead. After Payton Grove, Kirstyn Cuccia and Summer Burgess each walked, Whaley hit a two-run single to give the Raiders an 8-3 lead.
Southeast Missouri got one of the runs back on a solo dinger in the top of the seventh, but Middle Tennessee held on and won by a score of 8-4. With this win, the Blue Raiders set the new mark for the best start in program history.
Game two started against Morehead State (3-2), but was called off due to rain in the bottom of the second.
The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Saturday against UT Arlington, and the host of the classic Southeastern Louisiana State. Games are set to start at 1 and 3 p.m.