Vander Lugt finishes as nation's best

Becomes just second MT softball player to finish on top of NCAA statistical category

June 10, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Despite being on the wrong end of Middle Tennessee's loss to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in last month's Sun Belt Conference Softball Championships, the play of Sophomore Lindsey Vander Lugt during the 2008 season was phenomenal. Tuesday, she became just the second player in Middle Tennessee softball history to finish the season leading the nation in a NCAA statistical category.

The Olympia, Wash. native finished 2008 with just 26 walks in 263.2 innings pitched for a 0.69 average. No other player in the top five surpassed the 200 inning mark.

"This is a statistic that most people do not even think about but is in my opinion one of the most important. Lindsey was our rock the entire year and leading the nation in this category truly shows what kind of pitcher she has been for this team," said Head Coach Sue Nevar.

The Tumwater HS product finished with a 2.23 earned run average in 43 appearances. She started 36 games, including the final 12 of the season, going 16-22.

"This really puts a lot of emphasis on how we need to improve as an offensive unit next season. We need to get the bats going and score some runs when our ace is on the mound," said Nevar.

Vander Lugt recorded the longest streak in school history for consecutive innings without a walk. Her stellar performance in 44.2 straight innings over seven games from March 22-April 6 crushed the former mark of 24.3 innings by Jennifer Martinez (1999-03). She is already ranked in the top 10 of 19 other school pitching records for both a season and career.

Former Blue Raider great Cortney Mitchell (2003-04) is the only other player to top a statistical category, leading the nation in doubles during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

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