Middle Tennessee Softball falls 5-1 to UT Martin

Drops first game of non-conference doubleheader for fourth-straight time

April 16, 2008 · David Powell
MARTIN, Tenn. - Justine Cerda extended her hitting streak to a season-high eight games but Middle Tennessee made two costly errors in the opening inning and could never recover as the Blue Raiders (18-24, 9-8) lost 5-1 to the UT Martin Skyhawks (17-23, 4-8) in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader at Bettye Giles Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Blue Raider starter Lindsey Vander Lugt (12-15) picked up the loss, giving up three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out one, in the complete game.

Kara Harper (6-9) got the start and the win, giving up one run on five hits, while striking out three and walking three, in 7.0 innings of action.

The Skyhawks went out front 2-0 in the bottom of the 1st inning off two errors by the Blue Raiders. Ashley Benbow singled through the right side before scoring when Greer Long's shot to Middle Tennessee pitcher Vander Lugt was thrown into the ground and past first baseman Justine Cerda. With two outs, Laura Roberts smacked a tough ball into the left side that was mishandled by Whittney Padgett, allowing Megan Williams to score.

UT Martin increased their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Benbow again started things off with a single to center field before advancing to second base on a Greer sacrifice bunt. Savannah Roberts drove her in with a RBI single up the middle.

Middle Tennessee came close to to getting on the scoreboard in the top of the 4th inning. Corrie Abel, Martha Davis and Justine Cerda started things off to load the bases with no outs. However, the Blue Raiders would not score any runs as Padgett struck out swinging and Whitney Darlington popped into a double play to end the inning.

Davis was 2-for-2 to lead the Blue Raiders.

The Blue Raiders took advantage of a defensive error by the home team in the top of the 6th inning to score their only run of the ballgame. Corrie Abel walked and Martha Davis dropped a single just inside the left field line, bringing up Cerda.

The junior flied out to deep centerfield, but centerfielder William's strong throw to third base attempting to prevent Abel from tagging up was mishandled by third baseman Van Arsdale, allowing Abel to round the base and score.

The Skyhawks added two more runs in the bottom of the 6th inning and Middle Tennessee could not pull any runs back as the Blue Raiders continued their recent struggles in the first game of non-conference doubleheaders with the 5-1 loss.

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