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Blue Raiders fall 6-5 to #6 Tennessee

Play well in tough loss

March 18, 2009 · David Powell
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee scored five runs in the fourth inning but could not hang on as they fell 6-5 in a well-played game against #6 Tennessee at Lee Softball Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (4-8) allowed six runs on 11 hits, while striking out three and walking two in the loss.

Danielle Pieroni (4-0) picked up the win for the Lady Vols, allowing a hit in 3.2 innings of relief action.

Cat Hosfield worked the first 3.1 innings of the game for the home team, giving up five runs on five hits.

It was Tennessee that threatened first when Nicole Kajitani drove a 3-2 pitch to short center field for a single to lead off the inning. The right fielder stole second base during the next at-bat but Vander Lugt did well to force two-straight ground outs to end the frame.

Kelsey Dortch led off the fourth inning with a single to short right field and stole second to get into scoring position. Corrie Abel beat out a hit to the shortstop to put runners on the corners to bring up Martha Davis, who was hitting .373 on the season with 15 RBIs.

The senior smashed a hard ball that was bobbled by Lady Vols third baseman Jessica Spigner, allowing Dortch to come across the plate on the play.

Shelby Barrett singled to center field to load the bases and Abel scored on a passed ball to open the scoring before Ives walked to put three on for the second time in the inning for the Blue Raiders.

Abel went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Blue Raiders.

The next batter, Tobie Joy, drove a ball into the gap in right field for a stand up double to clear the bases and make it 5-0 in favor of Middle Tennessee.

Joy picked up a career-high three RBIs for the Blue Raiders.

Tennessee pulled a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kajitani nailed her second hit of the game with two outs with a shot to left field and scored on a Kellie Grieve RBI single that just beat out a throw by Blue Raider shortstop Brittney Banania.

The Lady Vols made it 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning off a Jessica Spigner two-run home run to left field, her 11th of the season.

The Blue Raiders recorded two outs before the Lady Vols rallied in the final inning. Grieve was safe on a close call at first base and Ashley Andrews followed up with a single just outside of the outstretched arm of a sprinting Banania.

Tiffany Huff lined a 2-2 pitch to center field for an RBI single to make it 5-4 before Spigner doubled down the left field line to score the game-winning run.

The Blue Raiders return to Sun Belt Conference play for a three-game series against South Alabama on Saturday. First pitch at Blue Raider Field is set for 1 p.m.

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