Blue Raiders Blank Centenary 6-0
Vander Lugt tosses shutout; eight strikeoutsFebruary 10, 2007 · MT Media Relations
BATON ROUGE, La. - Middle Tennessee softball (1-2) picked up its first win of the season with a 6-0 victory over Centenary College (0-3) in the Easton Tiger Classic Saturday.
Freshman lefty hurler Lindsey Vander Lugt notched her first win on the mound, tossing a seven hit shutout. She had eight strikeouts in the game, the most by a Blue Raider pitcher in two years. Vander Lugt improves to 1-1 on the season in her first complete game of the year.
The Blue Raiders didn't waste any time getting on the scoreboard against Centenary, scoring in the first inning. Justine Cerda hit a one out single to the left side to set up the scoring opportunity. Junior Katie Mielke strolled to the plate and hit a two RBI homerun over the centerfield wall to give Middle Tennessee an early 2-0 lead. It was the third homerun of Mielke's career.
In the top of the third, junior Ashley Cline got her first hit as a Blue Raider with a single to left field. Cline motored to second thanks to a Centenary fielding error, putting herself in scoring position. A sacrifice bunt by Caitlin McLure moved Cline to third but she was stranded there thanks to back-to-back pop ups by Cerda and Mielke.
After breezing through two innings, Vander Lugt had to work herself out of a jam, as Centenary put together its first threat of the game. Allison McClain hit a one out single and Dana Davis hit a double to right field to place runners at second and third. Vander Lugt got out of the situation by forcing Emerald Doria into a double play to end the inning.
Centenary threatened again in the bottom of the fourth inning, but again Vander Lugt stood strong to thwart the Ladies' charge. Two singles put runners at first and second, but after two fielder's choice plays, the Ladies were down to their last out with runners still at first and second. Vander Lugt forced Lauren Flowers to strike out to end the inning.
The Blue Raiders got some insurance runs in the top of the seventh. With one out, pinch hitter Jessica Ives got things started with a single up the middle. Kristine Reed followed with a double placing runners at second and third. Sophomore Sam Floyd hit a two RBI single to plate Ives and Reed and advanced all the way to third. Cline drew a walk and stole second, which was her first stolen base of the season. After McLure struck out looking for the second out, Cerda came to the plate and singled to right field to score Floyd and Cline. Mielke struck out looking to end the inning.
Cerda and Floyd each had two hits in the game, had two RBI and each scored a run. All but two Blue Raider players in the starting lineup picked up a hit in the game.
The win puts Middle Tennessee in a better situation, as the club attempts to earn a seed and play on Sunday at the Easton Tiger Classic. With Centenary's record of 0-3 in the tournament, the Blue Raiders outlook is brighter then it was on Friday. Middle Tennessee closes out round-robin play at 6 p.m., when the club faces in-state rival Memphis at 6 p.m.
NOTES: Junior Katie Mielke hit the third homerun of her career against Centenary ... Junior Ashley Cline notched her first hit as a Blue Raider ... Sophomore Sam Floyd saw action in the infield for the first time after pitching against LSU on Friday ... Freshman Caitlin McLure earned her first start in centerfield, after being the designated player against LSU and Missouri ... Middle Tennessee scored in twos as each of the runs scored were two RBI affairs ... Mielke, Cerda and Floyd each had two RBI hits ... Senior Muriel Ledbetter has gotten a hit in all three games to start the season.
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