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Blue Raiders Sweep Motlow State

Sam Floyd hits game-winner

September 29, 2006 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee softball remained undefeated in its fall exhibition games as the Blue Raiders defeated Motlow State 1-0 and 4-3 Friday at Blue Raider Field. The games were two five-inning contests with free substitutions.

The Blue Raiders were slowed offensively in the first game against Motlow State after posting a total of 15 runs in the two wins over Belmont on September 21. It took a homerun by senior Melissa Weiland, her second of the fall, in the bottom of the second to secure the win in the first game.

Freshman hurler Lindsey Vander Lugt continued to look strong on the mound as the Tumwater, Washington native tossed her second consecutive complete game shutout. The southpaw went five innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.

Middle Tennessee's defense, which started off shaky with two errors in the first inning, settled down and pulled off a heads up play in the top of the fifth inning to thwart a Motlow State threat.

In the top of the fifth, the Lady Bucks' Brittany Lopeman led off with a single and Jami McNeeley reached on a fielder's choice to put runners at first and second. Morgan Whitt grounded out to Vander Lugt but it allowed Lopeman and McNeeley to move to second and third.

It was time for Middle Tennessee's defense to kick in and the Blue Raiders delivered. Sally Gale, with one out, hit a liner to shortstop Shelby Stiner who threw the ball home to catcher Katie Mielke to gun down Lopeman. Watching McNeeley trying to move to third, Mielke quickly tossed the ball to Weiland for the double play which ended the Motlow State threat and closed out the game for the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee had three hits in the game. Sophomore Martha Davis hit a double, which just missed going over the fence, and Whitney Darlington, who transferred from Motlow State, also hit a double.

Game two was also supposed to be a five-inning affair but the game was tied at three at the end of five forcing extra innings.

Motlow State became the first team, in three games, to score on the Blue Raiders this fall. Sophomore Samantha Floyd took the mound for Middle Tennessee in the second game and she notched three strikeouts in the first inning, but it was some Blue Raider miscues defensively that allowed Motlow State to take the early 1-0 lead.

Floyd got the strikeout on Gale to start the game but a passed ball by freshman catcher Jessica Ives allowed Gale to reach first. Gale stole second to put herself in scoring position and a Blue Raider error allowed Gale to score.

Middle Tennessee answered in its half of the inning. Davis led off with a single and with one out Stiner hit a two-run homerun to give the Blue Raiders a 2-1 lead. It was the second long ball of the season for the senior from Peoria, Arizona.

Thanks to Darlington, Middle Tennessee tacked on another run in the second inning. Darlington drew a lead-off walk and promptly stole second and third, and then scored on a Motlow State error.

Motlow State tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the fourth inning. Duwana Poore hit a two RBI double to tie the game.

After tossing four stellar innings, Floyd was replaced by Vander Lugt who closed out the game. Floyd recorded 10 strikeouts, allowing three runs on three hits. Vander Lugt shut down Motlow State in her two innings of work to pick up the win and improve to 3-0. Vander Lugt's two innings of work allowed Middle Tennessee to pick up with win.

In the bottom of the sixth, Ashley Cline drew a one out walk. Kristine Reed perfected the sacrifice bunt and as Motlow State was focusing on throwing out Reed at first, not only did Cline advance to second but motored on to third. Cline's base running skills set up the win for the Blue Raiders. Floyd, who had already put together a great performance on the mound, rounded out her night with an RBI single to score Cline and wrap up the game.

Middle Tennessee closes out its fall home slate Thursday, October 5, facing Trevecca Nazarene. First pitch, in the five-inning double header, is set for 5:30 p.m. at Blue Raider Field.

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