Blue Raiders split pair at FSU Invitational
Win 3-2 against Liberty, fall 4-3 to Bethune-CookmanMarch 6, 2009 · David Powell
In the first game, the Blue Raiders (4-8) came from behind to score two runs in the final inning and pick up a 3-2 victory over the Flames.
Vander Lugt (3-4) earned her third-straight win in her seventh start of the season. The sophomore gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out seven in the complete game performance.
Sarah Ellis (1-5) got the loss for the Flames, allowing two runs on two hits in just 0.2 innings pitched.
Tiffani Smith got the start for Liberty, giving up one run on two hits with seven strikeouts.
Middle Tennessee had a great opportunity to get on the board after loading the bases with no outs, but registered three straight outs without driving a run across the plate to end the opening frame.
Liberty went ahead in the top of the second through a homerun to left field by Liberty first baseman Beth Bennett.
After neither teams managed a hit in the third, the Lady Flames doubled their advantage in the following inning. Center fielder Danielle Howard drew a one-out walk before scoring two batters later on a Kaylee West single up the middle.
The Blue Raiders came close to cutting into their deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tobie Joy led off with a walk and advanced to second on a Kandra Singleton ground out to third base, but Caitlin McLure popped out and Banania grounded out to the shortstop to end the frame.
Middle Tennessee took advantage of a Liberty mistake to get off the mark in the bottom of the sixth inning. Davis smacked a one-out single to center field before advancing to second on a Shelby Barrett ground out to third base. Pinch hitter Caty Jutson nailed a ball through the legs of the shortstop and second baseman before ending up in left field. Davis scored on the play to make it 2-1.
The Blue Raiders left it until the final batter to drive the winning run across the plate. Tobie Joy led off with a single through the left side before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Singleton. McLure singled to the shortstop before Banania reached on a fielder's choice to bring up Kelsey Dortch.
The right fielder smacked a ball that bounced off the glove of Flames second baseman Cassie Hendrix and into right field allowing McLure to cross the plate. The Flames right fielder, West, tried to catch the speedy junior but her relay throw went over the head of the catcher, allowing Banania to score the winning run.
In the second game, the Blue Raiders took a tie game into the sixth inning as they fell 4-3 to the Bethune-Cookman.
Kellie Head (0-1) pitched 5.2 innings of relief ball in the defeat. The sophomore gave up one run on five hits in her third appearance on the season.
Caty Jutson also pitched for the Blue Raiders, giving up three earned runs on two hits in the start.
Allison Garcia (4-7) picked up the win and worked a complete game for Bethune-Cookman. The righty gave up three runs on six hits in the start.
The Wildcats (6-15) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Tafoya, Ceasar and Garcia all scored to make it 3-0. Ceasar had the decisive hit in the inning, hitting a one out double to put herself in scoring position with one out.
The Blue Raiders evened the game at three runs apiece in the top of the third inning. Singleton, Banania and Dortch nailed singles to load the bases before Singleton scored to load the bases. Davis rounded out the scoring with a single through the left side to make it 3-3.
Bethune-Cookman scored what would prove to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning off a solo shot by catcher Sabrina Ferguson.
The game looked to be a copy of the first one of the day for the Blue Raiders when they put a runner on third base with two outs in the seventh inning, but Banania grounded out to Wildcats shortstop Celsey Tafoya to end the game.
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