Blue Raiders Drop Pair of Heartbreakers

Fall to Morehead State and TSU

February 23, 2007 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee softball (3-9) dropped a pair of heartbreakers Friday, at Blue Raider Field, in the first day of action at the Middle Tennessee Strikeout Breast Cancer Classic. The Blue Raiders lost to Morehead State 4-3 (2-4) and Tennessee State (9-0) 2-1.

The Blue Raiders lost both games in the seventh inning as both opposing clubs put together rallies to defeat Middle Tennessee.

In the first game against Morehead State, the Eagles got on the board to start the game scoring a run in the first inning. Courtney Seiler drew a leadoff walk to start the game, and after a sacrifice bunt and fielder's choice she moved to third; Kari Quinn's RBI single scored Seiler for the Eagles.

Middle Tennessee quickly tied the game in its half of the first inning. Ashley Cline returned the favor and led off the inning with a walk and stole second to put herself in scoring position. Justine Cerda perfected a sacrifice bunt and as the Morehead infield was busy throwing Cerda out at first, Cline motored from second all the way home to score.

After four scoreless innings, Middle Tennessee scored posted runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead. Cline again led the scoring for the Blue Raiders, hitting a single to start the inning. Cerda hit her second sacrifice bunt of the game to move Cline to second and Katie Mielke's RBI single scored Cline and gave the Blue Raiders a 2-1 lead. On the play, Mielke made it all the way to third and then scored off a sacrifice RBI bunt by Whitney Darlington.

Sophomore Samantha Floyd started the game on the mound and went 4.2 innings before being replaced by Lindsey Vander Lugt in the fifth inning. Floyd left with a no decision as the game was tied when she exited. It appeared, after Middle Tennessee scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth, that Vander Lugt would pick up her second win as a Blue Raider but Morehead State had other plans.

Morehead State scored three runs in the seventh inning to take the 4-3 win. After a pair of RBI singles by the Eagles tied the game, Brandy Bucher's RBI single to score Seiler proved to be the game-clincher.

Cline led the Blue Raiders in the first game. She was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and picked up her seventh stolen base of the season. Vander Lugt took the loss.

It was a pitching duel in Middle Tennessee's second game of the day with Tennessee State.

Middle Tennessee scored first in the top of the fifth inning. The lone run was thanks to the quick feet of senior shortstop Shelby Stiner as she took opportunities given to her to score the run. Stiner had a 0-2 count but battled back to draw a two-out walk. She stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch by Tiger pitcher Amanda Vaught. With Caitlin McLure at the plate, awaiting the pitch, Stiner took her chance and stole home to score the first run of the game. It was the first time this season she had stole two bases in a game and now has four for the season.

It would seem Stiner's heroics would give Middle Tennessee its fourth win of the season but Tennessee State rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to take that dream away. Tamara Perkens tied the game with one swing as she took Vander Lugt's first offering to start the seventh over the centerfield wall. Bridget Metzger's RBI single with pinch runner Ebon Jones on third base was the game winner for the Tigers.

Vander Lugt tossed her fourth complete game of the year against Tennessee State but unfortunately took the loss in the game. She falls to 1-6 on the season going 6.1 innings allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four.

Middle Tennessee had five hits in the game with McLure, Darlington, Muriel Ledbetter, Cerda and Martha Davis getting hits. Darlington, Ledbetter and Davis' hits were doubles.

Middle Tennessee returns to action at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday hosting Belmont in the second day of the tournament. The Blue Raiders close out the day with Ball State at 3 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.