Blue Raiders fall 6-5 in series conclusion

Comeback effort falls just short but Middle Tennessee still wins weekend

April 13, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee rallied from an early 3-0 deficit but saw their comeback effort fall just short in the final inning as the Blue Raiders (17-22, 9-8) fell 6-5 to the Florida International Golden Panthers (23-29, 7-8) in the conclusion of the weekend series at Blue Raider Field on Sunday afternoon.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (12-13) picked up her third decision of the series, this time for a loss. The lefty, coming off two wins in two starts on Saturday, gave up three runs on four hits, while striking out one and walking three, in 6.2 innings of relief action.

Blue Raider starter Kellie Head worked the first 0.2 innings of the contests, giving up two earned runs on three hits, while walking one.

Holly Satterfield (4-7) made her second relief appearance the series for Florida International in the win. The freshman gave up one run on two hits, while striking out one, in 1.1 innings.

Kasey Barrett started for the Golden Panthers and threw the first 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on 12 hits, while striking out five.

Florida International opened the scoring in the top of the 1st inning off a two-run homerun by Kim Rodriguez. Head started the inning strong by getting two of the first three batters out, but Monique White beat out an Ashley Cline's double-play throw to reach base, bringing up Rodriguez. The centerfielder drove a high pitch over the fence in right-center field to give the Golden Panthers a 2-0 lead. The visiting team added another when Jessica Landau hit a RBI single through the right side to score Ashley Faulk from third base.

The Blue Raiders pulled a run back in the bottom 5th inning to make it 3-1 courtesy of a mistake by Florida International pitcher Barrett. Brittney Banania, Corrie Abel and Whittney Padgett began the inning with singles to load the bases, bringing up Whitney Darlington. The senior fought off 12 pitches before Barrett's wild pitch allowed a sprinting Banania to cross the plate.

Darlington went 2-for-4 with a run scored for MT.

The Golden Panthers widened their lead in the top of the 6th inning off a RBI single up the middle by Amanda Cox to make it 4-1.

Middle Tennessee responded in in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 6th inning to tie the game at four runs apiece. Justine Cerda led things off with a single to left field and Martha Davis put two runners in scoring position with a double down the right field line, bring up Jessica Ives. The sophomore, fresh off her second homerun of the season at Southeast Missouri on Wednesday, nailed bomb well over the fence in left field.

Florida International re-established their advantage in the top of the 7th inning when Katie Bell hit a two-run homerun to left field to take a 6-4 lead, leaving Middle Tennessee with just one inning to tie or win the game.

Darlington led things off in promising fashion with a single to right field before advancing to second base on a throwing error by rightfielder Seldi Soberon.

Justine Cerda followed Darlington's second hit of the game with a single to centerfield. With runners on the corners, Martha Davis fouled out to the catcher for the first out of the inning, but the attempt to get the double play at first base allowed a sliding Darlington to cross the plateand pull the home team within one run at 6-5.

The comeback was not to be as Jessica Ives' bloop shot to centerfield was thrown to second base, forcing out Cerda on a close play.. Caitlin McLure was unable continue the rally, striking out to end the game.

The Blue Raiders saw their saw their valiant come up one run short, stranding 11 runners on base. Despite the outcome, Middle Tennessee won their third straight Sun Belt Conference series of the season.

The Blue Raiders return to action for a non-conference doubleheader at Jacksonville State on Tuesday at 2 PM. Follow the action live by selecting the appropriate links on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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