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Blue Raiders Eliminated from SBC Tournament

Season ends with progression from 19 wins in 2006 to 30 wins in 2007

May 12, 2007 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Lindsey Vander Lugt pitched her third consecutive strong game but her team could not get the victory they needed as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (30-30) were knocked out of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament after losing two straight games, 1-0 and 4-3, against the Florida Atlantic Owls (41-23) at MT Softball Complex on Saturday.

The Blue Raiders came into the day needing just one win to advance to the championship game for the first time since 2004. That year, they lost 16-0 Louisiana-Lafayette.

The first game of the day was a pitchers duel between MT starter Lindsey Vander Lugt and FAU's Jen Musillo. The pitchers combined to give up just one earned run and nine hits in the game.

Vander Lugt (21-20) picked up the complete game loss for the Blue Raiders giving up one run on six hits, while striking out five and walking one, in 7.0 innings.

Musillo (25-11) got the win for the Owls giving up no runs on three hits, while striking out eight and walking two in the complete game.

The only run of the game came in the 1st inning when FAU shortstop Blair Bodenmiller grounded out to the shortstop, scoring right fielder Becky Brandies and giving Florida Atlantic all they would need to force a single game between the same teams to decide who would face the Troy Trojans in Saturday afternoon's championship game.

In the second game, Middle Tennessee was unable to overcome a three-run 3rd inning by Florida Atlantic en route to picking up the loss.

MT starter Vander Lugt (21-21) picked up her second decision of the day in the defeat, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out three and waking one, in the complete game effort.

FAU reliever Amber Barton got her first win of the tournament, allowing one earned run on seven hits, while striking out five and walking one, in 4.0 innings of action.

Jen Musillo also pitched for the Owls, giving up two earned runs on six hits, while striking out one and waking one, in the 3.0 innings.

Florida Atlantic opened the scoring in the 1st inning when all-Sun Belt Conference first-team selection Mandie Fishback drove an RBI single to left field for a 1-0 FIU lead.

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Middle Tennessee took the lead in the 2nd inning when Katie Mielke and Jessica Ives nailed two RBI singles to put MT up 2-1.

Florida Atlantic retook the lead at 4-2 in the 3rd inning through a Fishback two RBI triple and an Amy Bukovich RBI single.

Middle Tennessee trimmed the lead to a single run in the top of the 5th inning but could not get any closer as they dropped the final game of the season, 4-3.

GoBlueRaiders.com would like to congratulate the Blue Raider softball team on a magnificent season.

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