Thursday, April 11, 2024

Home-field advantage gives MTSU softball an edge


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Featured photo by Preston Todd

Story by Jacob Burgess

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn – The Middle Tennessee softball team is a team that plays its best ball on its home diamond. The Blue Raiders have an overall record of 17-21 and 11 of those 17 wins have come on the Blue Raider Softball Field.  

From pre to post game, on the field and off, the energy brought by players and fans give the Blue Raiders an extra boost that is missed on the road.  

The Blue Raiders focus on building the right energy from the start doing the same warmups at the same time before every game. The warmups include drills that anyone would see at a softball game; fielding drills, pitchers in the bullpen, and for MTSU, line dancing.  

“It helps us stay loose and helps us remember this is just a game,” Ava Tepe said.  

Then the fans come into the picture once the first pitch is thrown. The home stands are filled with family and friends in the same spots every game compared to the visitors while people are sprinkled throughout.  

The players themselves are the loudest supporters of each other. Tepe is the epitome of team support. Whether she is behind the plate or at first base, she is hyping up the pitcher between every ball.  

“As a player my goal every day is to be the best teammate I can possibly be and the easiest thing you can do every day is bring energy, have passion and hustle,” Tepe said.  

Against Florida International in MTSU’s last home series, the energy was seen as MTSU won the weekend. MTSU won game one and three with a big win in game one and a walk off in extra innings to close out the weekend.  

In front of almost 500 fans, MTSU lost the lead twice in the sixth and seventh innings and were forced to go to extra innings. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Blue Raiders loaded the bases on singles and walks with a sacrifice fly giving MTSU the win.  

Getting to the next level of play requires the Blue Raiders to carry the energy and play on the road in its next trip to Texas to face Sam Houston. The team will stay focused with its plan of trying to win at least one game in the road series.  

“We aren’t looking for anything special, just for everyone to play their role in the grand scheme of things,” MTSU head coach Jeff Breeden said.  

Jacob Burgess is a sportswriter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can contact him at For more news, visit, and follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on X and Instagram at @mtsusidelines. Also, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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