Blue Raiders drop 7-2 decision to Virginia
Will finish out ECU Invitational against host PiratesFebruary 8, 2009 · David Powell
The Blue Raiders dropped both of their opening contests against the Cavaliers and East Carolina on Saturday, but signs of the young team developing the chemistry necessary to defeat top-level competition began to show as the day wore on.
Caty Jutson (0-2) gave up five earned runs on seven hits to pick up the loss in her second career start. The freshman struck out six and walked five in the complete game effort.
Stephanie Coates (1-0) picked up the win for the Cavaliers, giving up two runs on 10 hits. The righty struck out two and walked four in the 7.0 inning performance. Middle Tennessee began strong when Corrie Abel led off the game with a double over the head of the left fielder and moved to third on a Brittney Banania ground out. She scored on a wild pitch by Coates to put the Blue Raiders up 1-0.
Virginia tied the game in the bottom of the first inning. Alison Pittman walked and stole second before scoring on an error by third baseman Martha Davis. Freshman pitcher Caty Jutson did well to end the frame with two straight strikeouts with a runner threatening from third base.
The Cavaliers took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Designated player Nicole Koren led off the inning with a single to deep left field and two straight walks loaded the bases for Pittman. The second baseman nailed a RBI single to short center field, scoring Koren. Gianna Cipolloni rounded out the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Virginia made it 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning through a sacrifice fly by Abby Snyder.
Down by three runs in the top of the fourth inning, the Blue Raiders could not cut into the lead despite loading the bases. Catcher Laurie Anna Cooley crushed a one-out single to the warning track in left center field before Joy and McLure walked to load the bases. With two outs, Corrie Abel could not find the gap in the infield and grounded out to the second baseman for the final out.
Middle Tennessee provided a fine defensive play in the fourth. With one out, Cipolloni popped up to shortstop Banania who threw it to first for a double play to end the inning.
The Blue Raiders pulled a run back in the top of the fifth inning. Barrett nailed a two-out double to the gap in right field before pinch hitter Jessica Ives singled through the middle in her first at-bat of the season.
After Middle Tennessee fell behind 7-2 in the bottom of the inning on a three-run home run, they put runners on first and second with one out and Abel up to bat. The junior grounded out the first baseman before Banania followed with a ground out of her own to finish off the inning.
Middle Tennessee finishes out the 2009 ECU Invitational against hosts East Carolina at 12:30 p.m. ET.
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