Softball: Blue Raiders take 2 of 3 from 49ers in weekend set


Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines

Story by Darius Horton / Sports Reporter

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (22-10, 5-4) faced Charlotte in a three-game set this weekend, featuring a doubleheader on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. By the time the final out was made in Sunday’s finale, the Blue Raiders found themselves with a series win after sweeping the doubleheader on Saturday.

Excellent pitching, timely offense lead to Blue Raider victory

Game one brought fans an excellent pitching matchup, as Middle Tennessee ace Cori Jennings got the start in the circle for the home team.

Jennings was special in this game, as she threw a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and only a single walk for her 1oth win of the year.

Her counterpart, Haley Wiseman, was just as solid. Wiseman threw a complete game of her own, but faltered in the sixth inning when Middle Tennessee scored the only run of the day for either team.

With the game stuck in a scoreless tie, sophomore Keely McGee stepped up to the plate and provided the only run of offense her team needed. Her home run propelled the Lady Raiders to a 1-0 victory in game one of the doubleheader. 

Early start, late poise gives Middle another victory against 49ers

The Blue Raiders carried the momentum from the sixth inning of game one to the first inning of game two.

After Summer Burgess and Jocelynn De La Cruz reached base with one out, Lexi Cushing out Middle up 3-0 early with a three-run rocket over the outfield fence.

Charlotte made it close by cutting the lead down to one with single runs in the second and fourth inning, but that wouldn’t be enough to complete the comeback. Precious Birdsong scored on an error from Charlotte and that was all the Blue Raiders needed ro sweep the doubleheader, as they won game two by a final score of 4-1. 

Charlotte salvages finale of three-game series

The last game between the Blue Raiders and the 49ers started close, as MTSU found themselves in 2-0 hole going into the bottom of the second inning.

Morgan Harris and Cushing got things going for Middle, as they used back-to-back hits to get MTSU on the board. With most of the game still ahead of them, this run allowed them to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

In the top of the fifth, Charlotte scored two more runs to widen the gap. An error by the Blue Raiders was costly for them early in the inning, as it gave the 49ers a baserunner when there shouldn’t have been one. Charlotte went on to score two more runs and effectively put the game away by a score of 4-1.

What’s next?

The Lady Raiders will return to action against the Tennessee State University Tigers on Wednesday. The game is set to start at 6 p.m. at the Blue Raider Softball Field.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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