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Blue Raiders Win Extra Innings Contest

Second longest game in school history

March 20, 2007 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders won another game in extra innings when they defeated the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at Blue Raider Field on Tuesday, 3-2.

Lindsey Vander Lugt picked up the win in relief for the Blue Raiders, giving up no earned runs and just three hits while striking out two over 7.2 innings.

Elaine Fisher picked up the loss for the Redhawks, giving up one earned run, five hits while striking out six over 11.1 innings.

Blue Raider starter Amy Candioto started strong for the Blue Raiders, throwing excellent pitches and causing all three Redhawk batters to ground out to end the inning with no hits allowed.

She allowed no earned runs, five hits while walking one over 5.1 innings.

Caitlin McClure grounded out to the pitcher and Corrie Abel reached on an error by the third baseman to start the bottom half of the 1st inning. Abel stole second and advanced to third base on a passed ball before Katie Mielke struck out looking for the second out. Melissa Weiland, the hero from last weeks Troy series in which she hit a walk-off homerun, was unable to continue her midseason magic and grounded out to the pitcher.

Southeast Missouri took the lead in the 2nd inning. Stacia Dopudja started it off with a single down the left field line before Lindsay Pickering grounded out to the pitcher for the first out. Pinch runner Sarah Stoppage advanced to second base on the fielder's choice on the play. Ramirez grounded out to the shortstop and advanced Estopare to third base before Estopare scored on an error by the first baseman, giving the Redhawks a 1-0 lead.

Middle Tennessee look to respond right away in their half of the inning and Martha Davis singled center field for the home team's first hit of the game. Ashley Cline fouled out to the catcher on her sacrifice bunt attempt and Shelby Stiner flied out to center field for the first two outs. Samantha Floyd struck out looking to end the once-promising inning.

Amber Petersen led off the off the 5th inning with a hard shot to right-center field that was acrobatically caught by Corrie Abel for the first out. Stacia Dopudja would eventually ground out to the pitcher for the final out of the inning.

McClure led off the 5th inning for the Blue Raiders with a single to center field and Abel hit a sacrifice bunt to advance McClure to second base. Katie Mielke was up next with a chance to tie the game for MT. She drove a ball down the left field line, driving in McClure and tying the game at 1-1 Weiland grounded out and Davis flied out to deep to right field to end the inning.

The teams would threaten but not score a singlet runs over the next two innings to force extra innings.

Southeast Missouri and Middle Tennessee were unable to score in the next three innings, despite both teams starting a runner at second base per the International Tiebreaker Rule. They went into the 12th inning with one run apiece.

With Elise Sperakos placed on second base for the Redhawks, Petersen hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Sperakos to third base. Katie Otterness hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field, driving in the runner and giving Southeast Missouri the lead, 2-1. Summers singled up the middle before Vasquez grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.

It set up a dramatic, yet familiar, bottom half of the inning for the Blue Raiders as they looked to add to the extra inning heroics they have become notorious for this season.

With Ashley Cline placed on second base, Shelby Stiner attempted to hit a weak sacrifice bunt to the pitcher and advance Cline to third base. Instead, the pitcher bobbled the ball and her throw to first base was not in time to catch the speedy Stiner. In the meantime, Ashley Cline had rounded third base and sprinted to home plate, tying the game at 2-2.

Samantha Floyd hit a successful sacrifice bunt that advanced Stiner to second and Justine Cerda was hit by a pitch to put her on first base. Pinch hitter Jessica Ives walked, bringing up Corrie Abel. She hit a line drive down the left field line, just hooking around third base, plating Stiner and winning the game for MT, 3-2.

The 12 inning contest marks the second longest game in MT history.

The second game of the doubleheader was cancelled due to the length of the first game.

The Blue Raiders next take the field against the Bradley Braves on Wednesday, March 21 at 3 PM.

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