Blue Raiders sweep Tennessee Tech with 3-2 win

Reach 20-win plateau for second straight season

April 23, 2008 · David Powell
COOKEVILLE, Tenn - The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (20-25, 9-8 SBC) went behind early but rode another tremendous pitching performance from Lindsey Vander Lugt to a 3-2 win in the second game of a non-conference doubleheader and complete the sweep over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (23-27, 7-9 OVC) at Tech Softball Field on Wednesday.

Vander Lugt (14-16) picked up her second straight start and victory of the doubleheader. She gave up two earned runs on just three hits, while striking out two and walking none, in the complete game.

TTU starter Maddie Schmissrauter (8-10) got the loss for the home team. She gave up two earned run on four hits, while striking out six and walking four, in 7.0 innings.

Tennessee Tech took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. Beth Boden singled up the middle and into the diving glove of Ashley Cline before Stephanie Fischer hit a two-run homerun to left-center field.

Middle Tennessee cut the lead to 2-1 when Justine Cerda nailed her second homerun of the season with a solo shot off the scoreboard in centerfield. The Blue Raiders threatened to score more with Whitney Darlington on third base but Kelsey Dortch's drive to centerfield was grabbed out of the air by a jumping Golden Eagle second baseman Lacie Coquerille for the final out of the inning.

The Blue Raiders tied the game at two runs apiece in the top of the 3rd inning following some stellar baserunning by freshman Brittney Banania. Banania started things off with a walk before Martha Davis reached on a throwing error by first baseman Kerilyn Mongar, bringing up Justine Cerda. On the next play, Martha Davis was caught in a rundown between first and second base for what could have been the third out of the inning, but the defense failed to see Banania stealing home.

Middle Tennessee took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 5th inning. Dortch walked and Cline beat out a throw on the attempted sacrifice bunt before Banania walked to load the bases. Corrie Abel's powerful liner deflected off the pitcher's glove and to the TTU second baseman, allowing Dortch to cross the plate.

Middle Tennessee allowed just one baserunner over the final two innings and Martha Davis saved a potential game-tying hit with a highlight-reel catch in right field as the Blue Raiders reached the 20 win plateau for the second straight season.

Middle Tennessee returns to action in a three-game series against the Florida Atlantic Owls in Boca Raton, Fla. on Saturday at 5 PM CT.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.