Blue Raiders drop doubleheader to Memphis

Davis has strong offensive performance

February 17, 2009 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Martha Davis went a combined 3-for-6 with two homeruns and five RBI but the Blue Raiders (0-6, 0-0) surrendered a total of 15 runs in the first two innings of each game as they dropped a doubleheader to the Memphis Tigers (5-3, 0-0) at Blue Raider Field on Tuesday.

In the first game, Memphis used three homeruns to power their way to a 10-2 win over the Blue Raiders.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (0-3) picked up the start on the mound for the home team. The junior gave up six earned runs on six hits in the loss.

Kellie Head also pitched for Middle Tennessee, giving up two earned runs on five hits. The sophomore struck out three in a four inning relief appearance.

Vanessa Walle (2-0) gave up two runs on five hits for in her second start of the season for the Tigers. The righty also struck out one and walked two in the five-inning performance.

Memphis used two home runs to take a 5-0 lead in the opening frame. Lelani Bernardino drew a game-opening walk before scoring on a Heather Mott double to the gap in right field. The following batter, Leila Dolfo, smacked a deep drive to left field for a two-run homerun before Kailey Kassner added a two-run shot of her own to round out the scoring.

Memphis added five more runs in the top of the second inning. Shortstop Heather Mott nailed an RBI double down the left field line before Kamri Chester hit a three-run shot to deep centerfield to make it 10-0 in favor of the away team.

Blue Raider third baseman Davis made a nice defensive play to end the inning when she caught a liner and fired across the diamond to double up the runner on first base.

The Blue Raiders pulled two runs back in the bottom of the third inning with a long ball of their own. Corrie Abel singled through the left side before Davis smashed a two-run homerun to left field and make it 10-2.

Middle Tennessee threatened to score more runs with runners at second and third and two outs, but Kelsey Dortch grounded out to end the inning.

In the second game, Memphis again went ahead early as they scored five runs in the first two innings to win 5-1 over the Blue Raiders.

Caty Juston (0-3) gave up nine runs on tens hits in the loss for Middle Tennessee. The freshman walked two in the three inning performance.

Reliever Head worked the final four innings for her second appearance of the day.

Janelle Valle (2-2) had a strong performance in the start for the Tigers. The lefty gave up two runs on eight hits, while striking out two and walking three, in 6.2 innings.

Lyndsey Sterling made an appearance in relief for the away team.

The Tigers opened the scoring when first baseman Dolfo hit a RBI double down the left field line before Chester singled to center field, making it 2-0 in favor of the away team.

The Blue Raiders cut the lead in half during the bottom of the opening inning. Caitlin McLure and Dortch led off with singles before Abel smashed one of her own to score McLure from third base.

Memphis added three more runs in the top of the second inning, before tacking on four more in the third inning. Chester and Tori Gross singled before Kassner walked to load the bases, bringing up Maddie McKinley. The third baseman hit an RBI single to left field to make it 6-0. Leigh Rowan, Mott and Walle also added an RBI apiece for the Tigers.

Middle Tennessee scored their second run of the ballgame in the bottom of the third inning when with runners on the corners, Abel stole home on a double steal with Davis advancing to second base.

Memphis' McKinley added a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning.

Davis made it 12-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning with her second homerun of the day, a three-run smash to deep center field. The third baseman had another chance to add to her offensive performance in the sixth inning, but her sharply hit ball to right field was snagged just out of the air by Tiger right fielder Bernardino.

The Blue Raiders return to action against host Auburn at the Auburn Invitational on Friday. Opening pitch is set for 5 p.m.

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