Raiders go 0-2 in doubleheader series finale with Western

Middle Tennessee (9-11, 0-3 C-USA) finished their opening home series against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (16-9, 3-0 C-USA) in a doubleheader on Sunday, falling in both contests.

Game 1

Pitching

Gretchen Greer was in the circle for game one, and she did not get any momentum, allowing four runs, off one hit and three walks in 0.1 innings.

Pattie Ruth Taylor came into the game to relieve Greer. Taylor pitched two complete innings allowing two runs off five hits, while striking out two. After allowing two runs in the top of the third, Megan Chocallo came in to try to slow down the bats of Western Kentucky. Chocallo pitched 4.2 innings allowing no runs off three hits and recording three strikeouts.

Scoring

Western scored first with a four-run first inning, starting with a three-run home run by Brittany Vaughn. A double by Kelsey McGuffin made the score 4-0  before Middle Tennessee answered back with a two-run single by Kaylyn Slatter to get them within two runs.

Then in the top of the third, WKU scored two more runs which made the Hilltoppers go back up by four runs. MT answered again with another double by Precious Birdsong to get the Raiders back within two.

“I had the mindset I’m attacking the pitch as hard as I can, and if it goes it goes and if it doesn’t at least I tried.” Birdsong said.

Birdsong went 4-for-4 in game one with three singles, a double and two RBIs.

Western held onto their lead and win by a score of 6-4.

Highlights

“The top of our order did a pretty good job for us. The one and two spot, which is [Summer] Burgess and Birdsong, they did about all they could do,” Head coach Jeff Breeden mentioned about game one.

Summer Burgess went 3-4  and Birdsong went 4-4 in game one.

 Game 2

Cori Jennings was back in the circle for Middle after pitching in game one of the series. Jennings pitched a complete game, allowing two runs off four hits and striking out eight batters. The Raiders’ bats were silenced by WKU starter Kathryn Downing, only having three hits, one of which was a double by Slatter.

The game was scoreless until the top of the sixth where a WKU double scored two runs, the only ones that crossed the plate in a 2-0 WKU win.

Jennings solid once again

Jennings (5-6) was solid in her second home outing as a Blue Raider. She gained a new season-high in strikeouts with eight.

She’s now pitched nine complete games for Middle Tennessee.

Raiders lacked hitting

Middle Tennessee had 12 hits in game one while in game two, they only had three.

“We were wanting to win and everything, but we just weren’t hitting; our bats were cold.” Slatter said.

Kathryn Downing dominates

Kathryn Downing had the duty of pitching for the Hilltoppers, and she was as solid as Jennings. Downing also pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout with three Ks.

What’s Next?

The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Tuesday against in state rival Austin Peay at home. Then will host Auburn on Wednesday. Austin Peay first pitch is set for 5 p.m. and Auburn is set for 6 p.m. Both games will be at the Blue Raider Softball Field.

Follow MTSU Softball beat writers Cody Strickler (@CodyStricklerSL) and Nick Hardin (@nlhardin2) on Twitter for more coverage.

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