Weiland leads Blue Raiders to Extra Inning Win

Belts another walk-off homerun

March 24, 2007 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Melissa Weiland once again proved that she can be counted on to provide late-game heroics as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (16-17, 5-3 SBC) hit their way to victory against the South Alabama Jaguars (18-11, 3-2 SBC) on Saturday at Blue Raider Field, 11-9.

The Blue Raiders belted four homeruns, including a two-run, walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning, as they picked up their fifth win in the Sun Belt Conference on the season.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (12-11) picked up her second decision of the doubleheader, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out one in the win.

Samantha Floyd and Amy Candioto also pitched for Middle Tennessee.

Linden Jones (12-6) got the loss in relief for the Jaguars, giving up three runs, including Weiland's game-winning homerun, on six hits while striking out two and walking two.

South Alabama took an early lead as they scored four runs on four hits in the top of the 1st inning to leave MT down early, 4-0.

The Blue Raiders would not be outdone as they responded in their half of the inning with four runs of their own on four hits to leave the game tied, 4-4. Corrie Abel began the inning with a lead off single up the middle, her first of five on the day. Abel, Ashley Cline, Martha Davis and Katie Mielke would all score before the Jaguars could get out of the inning.

South Alabama retook the lead in the top of the 3rd inning when Jenny Stevens hit a two-run homerun to left field, giving the Jaguars a 6-4 lead. The inning was not without note as Ashley Cline made a highlight reel catch for the second out of the inning.

MT surely would have gone into the 4th inning trailing if not for a little magic from Whitney Darlington. With Muriel Ledbetter on second base, Darlington hit a sharp drive to shallow center field. The centerfielder dove and missed the ball, which rolled all the way to the fence. Ledbetter scored and Darlington sprinted around third base and crossed home plate just as the ball reached the catcher to tie the game once again, 6-6.

The Blue Raiders took an 8-6 lead, their first of the game, in the bottom of the 4th inning off a two-run homerun to left field by Martha Davis, her first of two.

The Jaguars countered with a run, which could have been more, in 5th inning when Kristen Hayes singled though the left side. With a run having already crossed, Corrie Abel made a strong throw from left field to get out the potential game-tying run at home plate and leave MT leading 8-7.

The Blue Raiders gave up two runs on four hits in the 6th inning and trailed the Jaguars 9-8 heading into the final inning in regulation.

Both teams combined for only four hits over the next two innings to take the game into the 9th inning.

After holding South Alabama hitless, Middle Tennessee, in what is becoming a regular occurrence this season, had a chance to win the game. With Shelby Stiner on second base, the experienced late game hero Melissa Weiland hit a walk-off homerun to left center field to win the game.

Corrie Abel went 5-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the Blue Raider attack, as they exploded for a season-best eighteen hits off of three Jaguar pitchers.

Martha Davis went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two home runs and three runs scored. Whitney Darlington was 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored, and an inside-the-park homerun.

The Blue Raiders conclude their series with South Alabama, Sunday at Noon.

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