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Ball State Rally Stuns Lady Raiders

March 20, 2004 · MT Media Relations
ATLANTA, Ga. - Needing a win to keep alive its chances of winning its pool and advancing into the quarterfinals of the Buzz Classic, Middle Tennessee came out strong against Ball State Saturday morning, but faltered in the late innings to fall 10-8.

Middle Tennessee (10-9) led 8-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, but that's when things started to unravel.

Suddenly, the Lady Raiders couldn't buy an out, and they made three pitching changes before Ball State erupted for six runs to tie the game, 8-8. Ball State added two in the bottom of the sixth and held on to stun Middle Tennessee.

"It's a tough loss because we came out and did what we needed to do," Lady Raider coach Cindy Connelly said. "We talked about establishing ourselves and setting a tone, which we did, but we couldn't finish it out at the end."

Katie Tompkins, Brittany Herald and Dani DeCamino keyed Middle Tennessee's 16-hit attack with three hits each, while Cortney Mitchell and Brandy Davis each delivered a pair of hits to give the Lady Raiders five players with multi-hit games.

Davis had a career game for Middle Tennessee. The senior was 2-for-4 with a home run, double, three RBI and one run scored. She entered the game with two RBI this season and four for her career, but she equaled or bettered those numbers in one game against Ball State. In addition to Davis' breakout game, Leah Grothause connected for her first home run this season.

The Lady Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Herald delivered a RBI single, and Davis came through with a clutch two-out double. Ball State got to within 3-2 in the bottom of the third, but Middle Tennessee got two back in the top of the third.

Middle Tennessee then turned on the power in the top of the fifth. Angie Huebner opened the inning with a single and Grothause followed with a two-run home run to left field. The dust had barely settled when Davis belted her first career home run to give the Lady Raiders back-to-back round-trippers and what seemed to be a comfortable 8-2 advantage.

However, Ball State came off the deck with six runs in the bottom of the fifth to even the score going into the sixth inning, and then tacked on two more in the sixth for the decisive margin.

GAME NOTES: The fifth inning against Ball State last 45 minutes as the two teams combined for nine runs and 11 hits. Middle Tennessee made three pitching changes in the bottom of the fifth. Starting pitcher Brittany Herald was relieved by Muriel Ledbetter, who faced two batters. She was relieved by Crystal Bobo, who faced two batters before Herald was called back to the mound. Senior Brandy Davis collected her first career home run in the fifth, and delivered her first double of the season in the first. Leah Grothause hit her first home run of the season in the fifth, the first of back-to-back round trippers for the Lady Raiders. Middle Tennessee hit two home runs in the same game for the fourth time this season. The 16 hits against Ball State were a season-high. The Lady Raiders were guilty of five errors, also a season high.

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